Buying your first car is very exciting, but can also be a little scary. You will probably have a lot of questions: What are the steps involved in buying a car? Where do I get insurance? How do I register my new vehicle? Here are some key tips for new drivers.
My first car! For many people a car is more than just a means to get from point A to point B. Cars convey a message. Cars are pure emotion. Or at least this is what the advertising will have us believe. And your gut feeling is also important when you choose a car. Because obviously you deserve to fully enjoy your car – especially when it’s your first. But if you want this initial happiness to last, you need to pay attention to certain things when you go out to buy a car.
Something zippy for the city, rugged for offroading, or maybe a van or something larger? Take the time to find out what kind of vehicle is right for you. The answer depends on your needs, your budget and your personal situation. Why do you need a car and what will you use it for? How much car can you afford, factoring in both the purchase price and maintenance? Could your personal situation change in the near future? Planning a family, moving to a new house or changing jobs all strongly impact the kind of car you need.
Which features and options are a must for you and which are just nice to have?
Whether you want to buy straight out of the showroom or second hand is primarily a matter of price. Although it’s cheaper to buy a used car, there will be more maintenance and repairs to pay for.
Before you purchase a used car, you should have it checked out by someone you trust who knows about cars. Ideally, they should go with you on the test drive. Pay attention to the overall impression you get from the car and check the vehicle maintenance log for regular maintenance. It’s best to buy a vehicle that has recently been inspected or serviced – or negotiate a better price if it hasn’t.
Leasing is a common option in Switzerland. About half of all the newly registered cars on Swiss roads belong to a leasing company. And yes, leasing can seem attractive – but it is also excessively expensive. You should read the fine print in a leasing contract very carefully.
Mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance pays for any property damage or personal injuries you cause others with your vehicle. And without this certificate of insurance, you won’t be able to register your car.
Voluntary accidental damage insurance covers damage to your own vehicle. You can choose which financial risks you want to take on yourself and which ones you want to pass on to your insurer. The biggest decision you have to make is whether you want full accidental damage or partial accidental damage coverage. Full accidental damage covers all damage to your vehicle, even if you are at fault (collision insurance). Partial accidental damage insurance covers damage caused to your car by natural hazards, animals and unknown persons (see Infobox). Full accidental damage is worth getting if your car is new or in like-new condition. Generally once the car is six to eight years old, it has lost so much of its value that you’re better off with partial accidental damage.
How much you pay for car insurance depends on several different things.
Your new car is ready and you can hardly wait to get behind the wheel! All you need to do now is register it. Here’s what you need to do.
The cost of maintaining a car is made up of fixed costs and operating costs. The exact amount varies greatly from car to car, but in Switzerland, a rough estimate for yearly maintenance is around CHF 10,000 per vehicle.
Annual fixed costs:
Variable operating costs:
If you are not leasing: People often forget that depreciation should be figured into the cost of a car. In other words, your car is constantly losing value at a rate of about 10 percent a year – although it depreciates the most in the first year.