Should I service my own car?
There are also costs associated with vehicle ownership, such as paying for petrol and the obligatory ongoing maintenance. But should you cut down on costs by servicing your own vehicle?
If you’re considering getting out the tool box, spanner, and grease-laden towel, you need to carefully weigh up the risks and benefits. A trained mechanic will need to complete certain tasks, while you may be perfectly capable to handle other aspects yourself.
If you’re short on time, it may be worth paying for the convenience of a full vehicle service. However if you’re trying to slash your expenses, there are some basic maintenance tasks that you can complete yourself.
You should call a mechanic if you’re unsure about a vehicle maintenance task you’re about to take on. However there are a number of maintenance tasks that you may be able to complete with your own two hands including:
- Replacing your car battery
- Changing the oil
- Replacing worn windscreen wipers
- Replacing blown fuses
Remember to keep your car’s body in good condition, by washing and applying a protective wax on a regular basis, too.
Always check your car warranty agreement as some new car purchases come with an extended car warranty provided your services are conducted at the vehicle service centre where you purchased the car. In these circumstances, you may find the service fee is capped, alleviating some of the maintenance woes.
The federal government imposes a luxury car tax of 33 per cent on the value of a car above a threshold. As of the 2017-18 financial year, that threshold was $75,526 for fuel-efficient vehicles and $65,094 for other vehicles. So a fuel-efficient car worth $80,000 would be taxed only on the difference between the threshold and the value of the car ($4,474), rather than taxed on the entire $80,000. Similarly, an ordinary car worth $70,000 would be taxed on the $4,906 above the threshold, rather than the entire $70,000. The luxury car tax is paid by dealers that sell or import luxury cars, and also by individuals who import luxury cars.
Poor credit doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get finance for your car purchase, though your options aren’t likely to be the same as someone with good credit.
In fact, a number of specialist lenders exist offering car finance for customers with poor credit, able to provide access to bad credit car loans.
However having a history of poor credit will likely mark you as a potential risk to lenders, so your car financing needs could see higher fees and interest rates. Alternatively, consider a secured car loan, which is a type of loan that uses the car you purchase as collateral, reducing the risk.
Other options include getting someone close to act as a guarantor for your car loan, or to talk to a broker about a personalised rate specific to your circumstances.
You might be better off finding a specialist lender who will look at your credit history and income, who will decide whether or not you are able to responsibility pay back the loan. Alternatively, you could contact a car finance broker.
Your credit score is a number that represents how credit-worthy you are. The higher your credit score, the more credit-worthy you are and the more likely you are to receive loans from credit providers.
There is no industry standard for credit scores – different credit reporting bodies use different methodologies. For example, Equifax gives consumers scores between 0 and 1,200; Illion (through the Credit Simple service) gives scores between 0 and 1,000; and Experian gives scores between 0 and 999.
When it comes to car loans, lenders tend to offer lower interest rates to borrowers with better credit score. There are steps you can take to improve your credit score, including paying bills on time and paying off existing loans.
A pre-approval is a formal document that indicates how much a lender is willing to lend to a consumer – once that person has found the car they want to buy. A lender will assess a borrower’s credit history and financial circumstances before issuing a pre-approval. However, lenders are under no obligation to follow through on pre-approvals, so pre-approvals should be seen as statements of intent rather than rock-solid guarantees.
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