Most young people dream of owning their own car one day, and all for different reasons. A car epitomises independence, success, stature and mobility – the freedom to go your own way, in your own time.
But buying your first car can be challenging. So where do you start? What car do you buy, what can you afford, what safety features do you look out for and what are the servicing requirements?
Ford is aware of the confusing choices that first time car buyers are faced with, and have taken it upon themselves to provide new buyers with essential and easy-to-follow tips and advice so that the road to car ownership isn’t littered with potholes.
1. Don’t rush
It is important to keep your emotions under control when considering your first vehicle purchase. Be conservative and don’t rush the decision, because it is one you will have to live with for a few years. Also, don’t forget to shop around for the best insurance rates.
2. What can I afford?
When asking this question you need to take into account more than just the purchase price. Besides the costs of financing, you also need to consider all the associated costs – fuel, maintenance, repairs and insurance, along with incidental expenses such as parking and registration fees, and possible changes to your monthly instalments should the interest rate go up. It might be a good idea to decide how much you can afford and how much you are willing to pay before you shop for a vehicle.
3. Choosing your ride
Ensure that the car comes with a full service history (a record of all the mechanical work that has been done to the car) should you be buying used, and only buy from a reputable and ethical organisation. The Ford Motor Company, for instance, has been recognised as one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute last year. More importantly, take the car for a test drive to decide whether you will be comfortable and happy in it for years to come.
4. Understand the terms and conditions
Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of your buyer’s contract and pay special attention to the interest rate and whether there is a balloon payment or residual value required at the end of the contract term. This is the total balance remaining on the car at the end of the payment plan, and it usually needs to be paid in full as a lump sum after all the monthly payments have been made. In some cases, refinancing of balloon payments or residual values is permitted.
5. Safety first
When buying a new set of wheels an important consideration is the safety features in the car – these could literally mean the difference between life and death. Safety features in any car are air bags, seat belts, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) which prevents the wheels from locking during braking and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), a system that steps in if your vehicle is about to skid out of control. Additional safety features include crumple zones, the structural features of your car which minimize the impact of an accident.
Ford is one of the leaders when it comes to safety, which is why the new Ford Figo comes with advanced safety features. All models are equipped with ABS brakes, while the Figo Titanium PowerShift Auto incorporates Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Hill Launch Assist that holds the vehicle for up to three seconds as the driver’s foot moves from the brake to the accelerator.
To encourage responsible driving, the Figo Titanium features Ford’s MyKey® functionality. With MyKey®, Figo owners can set sensible restrictions for drivers with less experience. They can activate a maximum speed limit, or a persistent seatbelt minder that mutes the audio system volume and continues to play a chime until front-seat occupants fasten their seatbelts.
Additional features of the Figo:
The Figo boasts no less than 20 smart storage spaces and convenience features strategically located around the cabin. The seat-backs of the hatch (Trend and Titanium) boast a 60/40 split for greater flexibility.
It features exceptional smart technologies that help customers integrate their car more easily into their digital lives: MyFord Dock®, a first-in-class feature (standard in Ambiente and Trend spec vehicles), offers drivers a unique solution for storing, mounting and charging mobile phones, MP3 players and satellite navigation systems, and for integrating these devices into the car’s entertainment system. When not in use, the dock can be closed out of sight.
Consumers seeking even greater technological integration will benefit from the fitment of SYNC®, Ford’s advanced in-car connectivity system, as standard equipment on the Figo Titanium. SYNC® lets drivers interact with their mobile devices and entertainment system with voice commands while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
For first time buyers, the Ford Figo is an affordable choice and a fun car to drive. Which means you don’t need to spend a small fortune in order to have a safe and trendy ride.