After your home, your car’s probably your most expensive possession – and with almost all South Africans having to tighten their belts, changing cars every few years is no longer an option. ‘In the past, people may have opted for new cars every three to five years. Now this has been stretched to seven years or more, so caring for your vehicle is even more important,’ says Layton Beard, spokesperson for the Automobile Association (AA). Here’s how to take better care of your car so you can delay its replacement:
EXTEND THE WARRANTY ON YOUR CAR
All service and maintenance plans have limited lifespans when bought with a new vehicle. They only apply for as long as the car has a specific number of kilometres, or is of a particular age. ‘Keeping an older used car without a service plan, maintenance plan or at least a warranty exposes you to potentially crippling maintenance and repair costs and can result in a nasty financial surprise. Some of these warranties are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning you can purchase them monthly and not only when buying a car from a dealership. For example, the AA offers a month-to-month service plan,’ says Layton. So which one is best for you?
SERVICE PLAN: Mike Fourie of Cars.co.za says a service plan (which comes standard on most new cars) covers the cost of regular servicing (consumable parts and labour) and is usually limited to years and ki