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Good to know with Wendy Knowler is a monthly consumer podcast series that gives subscribers insights into the most common mistakes made by consumers in South Africa. If you are in the market for a car, planning your wedding or wondering how to change your travel plans – this series will have something for you. Subscribe so that you don't miss out on the series, here.

In the first episode, Wendy Knowler talks about the common mistakes first-time car buyers make when purchasing a car and, by the looks of it – most of us have fallen victim to at least one thing on her list.

Here are Wendy Knowler's top six tips to consider when buying your first car:

1. Do your homework and drive that internet search hard

Google the name and model of the car, the dealership and check if people have complained about the car or the service from the dealership on Hellopeter.

2. Think about the real reason you want to buy that particular car

Assess your budget and consider whether you're living beyond your means and remember, your car insurance premium will increase based on the type of car you purchase.

3. Test drive the car, especially if it's not a brand new car

You should test drive all cars, especially second-hand cars on a hill with the air-conditioner on and, over speed bumps to determine if there are problems with the suspension.

4. Blindly trusting the salesman when it comes to used cars

Car salesman aren't exactly known for being forth-coming with information about second-hand cars, especially if the car had been in an accident. Get the car tested by a third-party inspection centre and specifically ask them to look for signs of major accident damage and, then request for the key to be sent to the dealership for an a report as well as the service book.

5. Not sourcing your own financing will cost you big time

The interest rate will have a major impact on the costs of the car. If you don't shop around for a finance deal with the lowest interest rate, you're likely to end up with a deal that benefits the dealership and not you. Balloon payments? This deal allows you to buy a more expensive car for a lower installment, leaving you with a once-off repayment of an outstanding lump sum.

6. Getting locked in a contract padded with adds-on

Keep an eye out for the various add-ons that dealerships tend to add to the contract. The bow that you get on the car, the champagne, flowers and the gift you get when you buy the car – they're all add-ons that you end up paying for. Other add-ons to look out for are, paint protection, extended warranty, sound systems, car alarms and valets.

Got an idea that you think would make a great podcast? Send an email to consumer@knowler.co.za with Good to know with Wendy Knowler in the subject line followed by your podcast pitch.

For more consumer-related stories, tune in or visit the ConsumerTalk feature page.

ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler on Afternoons with Pippa Hudson, Wednesdays between 13.00 – 14.00 on Cape Talk.

Knowler Knows Consumer Talk on The Azania Mosaka Show, weekdays between 13:00 – 15:00 on 702.

This article first appeared on 702 : 6 common mistakes we've all made when buying our first car

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