Following the restructuring of auto duty rates by the Malaysian government, car prices in the country could rise by up to 15 per cent in 2020, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association. For many Malaysians interested in buying new vehicles, this means having to spend more on what’s already one of the biggest investments they’ll make in their lives. But, this doesn’t have to be the case for you. There are many tips and tricks you can use to help you save money while still getting a car that serves your needs perfectly.

Do some due diligence 

We are lucky to be living in the age of the internet, where any kind of information is readily available after a few clicks on your laptop or smartphone. Cars are not built the same, and knowing as much information as possible about the car you’re about to purchase will put you in a better position when it’s finally time to negotiate and make the purchase. Using the internet, you can find out all the details you need to know about various cars so that you can choose the most cost-effective option. For instance, if you are interested in a minivan to be ferrying your kids around in, you can start your research by comparing a few models from different automakers to find out the cheapest one with the kinds of features and ratings you are looking for.

Consider your financing options carefully 

How you choose to finance your vehicle purchase has an impact on how much you end up paying for it. If you can, it’s best to pay cash; since a vehicle is a depreciating asset, paying interest on it means that you’re discounting the value of your future labour and income. Also, the car loses value after you drive off the dealership and in most cases, its value depreciates faster than you can pay off the loan. If paying cash is not an option, you have to be careful about where and how you seek financing. First of all, do some research to find out which bank has the lowest interest rate for the shortest available time. You also want to pay as much down-payment as possible to reduce the amount you pay in installments.

Consider the lifetime costs of ownership 

The price you pay at the dealership is not the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to the full cost of owning the car. You must also factor in other ownership costs like insurance, spare parts, registration, taxes, and fuel, all of which differ depending on the car you choose. For example, two vehicles may have a similar price and features, but if one consumes more fuel than the other, it will be more expensive for you to drive over its lifetime.

A car is a fantastic investment but it can end up being a costly financial mistake if you are not careful. If you play your cards right, you can save a lot of money on your next car purchase without compromising on the quality and features you need.