There are several points to consider but the main ones are Price and Purpose.
Price: What is your budget?
After the initial purchase cost there will be ongoing costs that will need to be worked into your weekly or monthly budget. Some costs are obvious: fuel or running costs, on-going registration and insurance. Car servicing is also important to keep your newest purchase in tip-top condition. North Point Cars can help you with servicing.
If you are taking out a loan to help with the purchase price, remember that it needs to be included in the on-going running costs too.
This would be a good time to check out the fuel availability in your area and the fuel efficiency of the vehicle you are looking at. Is it diesel, petrol or gas? What type of fuel is available where I will be driving? What is the cost of the fuel? Some petrol cars will only work with the higher-octane fuel so check that this is available where you will do most of your driving.
Living in the Outback also presents additional challenges like puncturing or staking tyres and chipped or cracked windscreens. Cold temperatures can play havoc with batteries and a car won’t start without a well-charged battery. Even though we all hope it never happens, they need to be budgeted for.
Spare parts availability is also a consideration. If you need a replacement part, how easy is it to find? Often, the more difficult it is to find a part, the more expensive it will be. Getting that dream one-off car may sound good but will it be practical and suit your budget?
Purpose: What is the car going to be used for?
Is it going to be a family car, work car or lifestyle car? A family may need the extra space of a sedan or station wagon. A car for work may need to be a ute or have a canopy to keep your tools safe. Going bush on the weekend and you might find that a 4WD is more what you need.
Sometimes a car must serve more than one purpose. It may need to be a family car after hours, a work ute Monday to Friday and be able to take you exploring on your bush camping trips. In this case a twin cab 4WD ute might be the best solution. Discuss your situation with the Team at North Point Cars and let them help you find the best car for your needs.
Always do your homework! If you have an idea of what type of car you want, check out the new price and then what price that particular make and model are re-selling for. Look at car magazines, classifieds and even on-line sites like caradvice.com.
If you feel tempted to go with a cheaper interstate vehicle, remember that you won’t be able to take it for a test drive or check it mechanically before you purchase it. It will not have passed the NT Motor Vehicle Registry compliance testing and may need additional work before it can be registered. The transport costs to Alice Springs can be around $600 – $1500 per car.