Christmas seems to be absolute bonanza time for advertisers of all sorts, including car advertisers. They’re out there trying to tell you that a new car would make a great Christmas present for yourself or your family. Some of you might be considering it, which is why you’re out looking for a personal loan or a car loan to finance it.
If this is you, it might be time to stop and think before signing anything. Christmas is a bit of a high-pressure time when the advertisers are out to get you to spend, spend, spend. More than one person has committed to something over the Christmas present and then ended up regretting it in January when the pressure of regular repayments starts to bite.
You should never buy a car under pressure when there’s a deadline and Christmas day is a deadline of a sort. It’s bad enough if you have to find a new vehicle in a hurry at any time, but in other situations, there’s always the option of using public transport or catching a lift with a mate (with the promise of returning the favour later) while you take the time to find the best deal for a car loan. But with a deadline that’s when you can end up committing yourself to a finance package that might not be the best for your income and existing commitments.
Before you sign up for a car loan, you should always ask the questions and do the research, not only into the car you would like to buy but also into the financial package in question. Ask about interest rates, the term of the loan, repayment frequency and whether or not you can make extra repayments. Feel free to ask us any questions even if you think they’re silly questions. It’s what we’re here for.
Unless you are loaded (in which case, you wouldn’t be visiting a financing website), a new car makes a bad Christmas present, even for an enthusiast. New cars depreciate shockingly quickly and second-hand ones can provides some surprises that you don’t really want. It’s better to pick out your own car that suits your own needs (and budget) than to try to choose something that suits someone else.
If you do have a car enthusiast in the family and want to buy him/her a car-related Christmas present, look for something smaller than a car that doesn’t require the same level of financial commitment and which probably won’t require a loan. Here’s a handful of suggestions:
- A years subscription to an automotive magazine (do some sneaky asking around to get the right title).
- Any car care accessories: chamois leathers, car wax or some home-made I will wash your car vouchers. Or make your own car care products.
- Driving gloves. Old fashioned but due for a comeback.
- Other car accessories: seat covers, sunshades for windscreens, fluffy dice for the windscreen.
- Model toy cars of the type that you know the car enthusiast in your life dreams of having.
- Items decorated with the logo of their favourite marque: key rings, drinking glasses, T-shirts, etc.
And for a light-hearted look at those Christmas-themed car ads plus a few parodies, have a look at this link from Jalopnik: http://jalopnik.com/5970105/great-six-years-of-car-payments–your-lexus-christmas-ad-parody-roundup-is-here/.