June 2016 was probably the best day of her life. She had just gotten her driving license after struggling to pass for a few months and was thrilled starting her new journey with Pearl. Meet my friend Dupe and here is her story about her car and what she has learnt in the process.
Starting off as an article clerk in audit at EY, she felt the pressure to buy a car due to the nature of her job. In audit, one works a different clients almost every second month, sometimes within town, but other times out of time. In the beginning, her siblings will drop her at work but she quickly learnt that was not feasible as she often have to go in the complete opposite direction of the where they work. Long story short, she bought her first car, a Mazda 2 ( named her Pearl) 6 months into her working career.
Knowing nothing about cars, she has already been window shopping whilst at her struggles of working on her license. During the process she was looking at car within the price range of N$150 000 – N$200 000; however that excluded Polo Vivo’s as the car was too popular, even being driven by taxi drivers and would really be offended if she is mistaken for a taxi. She had also sought advise from people around her who advise her to maybe consider buying a second hand car but in her mind the idea of driving a car pre-owned by another person with kilometers already does not really sit well with her.
For her if she buying something, it must be the latest and trending model at the time of purchase. She was also looking at something that feels luxurious and have a good sound system. So immediately when she got her license, she went to the Mazda dealer to feel the Mazda 2 which she has been seeing around at church. Even though she had been saving for a deposit, somehow when her deal got approved, it was approved at Zero deposit and she never corrected it. Off she went with her car for N$4 600 per month.
She then shopped around for insurance but because she is new driver, no previous history, under 25, female, all odd were stacked up against her at getting an affordable insurance and ended up with a monthly insurance of N$2300. Looking back, that was probably not a wise decision at an article salary level, that was almost half her take home pay. This did not really bother her because she did not have many expenses, lived at home and all she really did was minor contribution towards the groceries at home. She managed just fine.
As she progressed in her career, her expenses started increasing. She signed up for gym, started using Herbalife and also her contribution toward the house increased. This unfortunately did not match the increase in her yearly salary and often when she goes back to the numbers; the car related expenses just seemed to take up the larger junk of her income.
Year on year, she started realizing that the convenient of having a car is actually to take you from point A to point B. And she did not need a luxury car to get her there. If she could turn back time, she could opt for a second hand car as long as it has the basic necessity like an aircon, seatbelt, well as a good sound system and a reasonable service plan. Along the way, she also had many accidents, some within the first few months of owning the car, others even after she was experienced. This even re-enforced the fact that even if you have a luxury car, you can get bumped any day ( sometimes not even your fault) and you be stuck with the excess you have to pay on insurance.
As a recently qualified chartered accountant, she is looking at exploring the world and started thinking of moving overseas. Of course that meant selling the car and settle the amount that is left at the bank. At this point, she was already in a negative space because most of her friends that recently moved overseas could not get their cars sold on time. This is because the economy is tough and cars are not really selling, which just started a new challenge for her.
She visited almost every dealership that takes second hand cars that she could think of, including the dealer that sold her the car. She was surprised to learn that that particular dealer only takes in trade ins and of all the dealers she visited, none of them had a Mazda 2 on the floor. To make matters worse, because she was not planning on moving, she never bothered to fix the dents on her car from the accidents, which made it difficult to sell the car.
In the end, she only got one offer from a dealer at a price below the amount she owed the bank. She negotiated with them to meet her half way by disclosing how much she has left to pay the bank , becuase essentially she was selling the car at the loss. At the end of the day, all she wanted was to get rid of the car and settle the amount at the bank.
Ultimately she realized that it is not about owning a luxury car, it is about what you want the car to do for you. If you want an off-road experience, by all means, buy the car that suites you but if you are like her that simply wanting a car to take her from point A to point B, re-consider what you are looking at.
As she prepares for her overseas adventure, we are grateful to have her share her story with us and wishing her a safe flight and a successful start in Europe.
In tomorrow’s article, we wills share some of the key lesson she learnt along the way, what you need to know if you are looking at selling your car and what the bank process is.
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