Close the to retirement age and need to finance a new car? Are you wondering if a pensioner get car finance? We have the answers as well as some considerations here.
When people reach the age of retirement, the question of buying a good, affordable, economical car that will last for years often arises. But can a pensioner get finance on a new or used car?
A search on the internet reveals precious little information about whether pensioners are specifically excluded from obtaining finance to buy a new or good late-model used car. In the property business, people over the age of 55 often battle to secure home loans for the simple reason that these loans are normally payable over 20 years, and if a person is already 60 when applying for such a loan, the chances of being able to keep up with mortgage repayments are fairly slim at the age of 80! Happily, in the case of car financing, where loans are typically paid off between three and five years, the situation is a lot different.
So, is car finance available for seniors?
Ghana Msibi, Executive Head of Sales and Marketing at WesBank, the largest car-financing institution in South Africa, says that pensioners over the age of 60 can finance vehicles in exactly the same way as any other normal qualifying person in South Africa.
“As with any vehicle finance applicants, pensioners are assessed on affordability and must provide proof of funds or income,” says Msibi.
“WesBank vehicle finance applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be over the age of 18
- Be a South African citizen or permanent resident
- Have a valid driving license
- Have a clear credit record
- Earn at least R6,250 per month”
Obviously, that minimum income requirement of R6 250 a month is an important stipulation, and this will preclude many pensioners on lower incomes from qualifying for finance.
Another important stipulation here is the one regarding having a valid driver’s license.
In many cases, finance houses may require that applicants ensure that their driver’s licenses will be valid for the contract period. This will normally require an eye test when applying for a license renewal, so pensioners would do well that their eyesight is good enough for a license before applying for vehicle finance.
What sort of car should a pensioner choose?
The answer to this all depends on the amount of disposable income available to make the repayments on a car. As pensioners typically don’t have large families to lug about on a regular basis, AutoTrader would recommend opting for a light vehicle in the A or B segment, which is sure to be very economical on fuel. Not to mention, it’s cheaper to buy in the first place!
A note to consider here is that the less complex the engine, the more reliable it is likely to be if the car is to be kept for a period of greater than 10 years. This school of thought would also favour small petrol-engined cars over diesels, as diesel cars can be very expensive to repair as their complex, high-pressure fueling systems age.
It would also be wise to favour a non-turbocharged petrol-engined small car over a turbocharged one for the same reason.
Opt for a simple car.
This also applies to the complexity of the car as a whole. Opt for a simple car with fewer electronic options, as there will be less to go wrong in the future. Incidentally, Japanese and Korean-built cars have excellent long-term reliability records. We have plenty of car reviews on our website that you can peruse through.
It would be nice to know that the car you choose will still hold a reasonable amount of its resale value over a long period. In this case, the best-selling new cars generally retain the best resale value. Log onto AutoTrader and peruse cars of the make that you are considering and see what five, six or seven-year-old examples of these cars are commanding as far as re-sale prices are concerned.
Consider servicing costs too
The bigger the dealership network you are going to be dealing with regards servicing and spare parts availability, the easier your “ride” will be as you lovingly look after that “retirement special” that you decide upon.
What about non-franchised servicing?
Once your car has gone out of warranty, you might consider doing some of the simple servicing yourself, such as changing the oil and brake pads. Or you may then entrust your car to one of the many aftermarket servicing outlets that specialise in cars that are no longer under dealer warranty.
There are many of these outlets, and it is not a bad idea to choose one that has RMI certification. The RMI, or Retail Motor Industry Organisation, provides some peace of mind that work carried out on your car will carried out to an acceptable standard.
Generally, non-franchised workshops charge lower prices for work on older cars than the dealerships do. But again, research these workshops carefully before giving the go-ahead. Ask for customer references, and get an estimate of the costs involved before entrusting your car to anyone.
Keyword: Can a pensioner get car finance?