Gone are the days of casually walking into a dealership to look at a vehicle you might be interested in purchasing as a new vehicle for yourself, or family.
While new stringent measures are put into place all over the world in the auto industry and all sectors, most people can no longer afford the cars they perhaps wanted to buy before Covid-19. Despite job losses, investments and savings have dropped significantly and the prospect of wanting to purchase a vehicle sometime this year has now fallen away entirely for many consumers.
The next few months are still pretty uncertain for most of us as lower lockdown levels are still in the distant future.
However, some might urgently need a vehicle and not have the finances for it at this moment. Perhaps your current vehicle needs major repairs, or it's been stolen, or your lift club now needs to work from home so you need a temporary solution.
I came across a company that offers short-term solutions to allow the option of driving a new vehicle, without all the permanent costs that go with it, and there seems to be no other business like it locally.
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It empowers the buyer to be mobile, and gives them the option to control their financial circumstances.
The biggest mistake most people make when planning to buy a new vehicle is to budget for all-inclusive costs such as monthly insurance payments, fuel, tyres, and maintenance for extended periods when having to pay off your vehicle.
With WhyBuyCars you can lease a car for few months, with all the maintenance and insurance costs that go with it, much like you would rent a vehicle for a day or week. So same concept, and similar terms and conditions, just at an extended period. And there's no hassle of having a vehicle registered and licensed, interest rates, or taking out insurance.
This could also be the way the motoring industry could be headed in the future, especially since car rental companies are facing a severe dilemma with the Covid-19 situation impacting the economy.
Owais Suleman, Woodford Group CEO explained to Wheels24 just what the WhyBuyCars is about, and how it works: "Even before the lockdown, the majority of South Africans face a few bleak realities when it comes to vehicle purchase and use. Access to finance is the very first barrier. Even if an individual has the deposit and means – which many don't – to secure finance, there are many regulatory hurdles to overcome.
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"Some people may be blacklisted or under debt review, while others may have foreign passports. Rejection of application for finance can be as high as 40%. Once finance is secured, South Africans are then locked into an interest-based, long-term commitment with a depreciating asset that they may not be sure they'll utilize for an extended period.
"Insurance and maintenance then add to the burgeoning cost of owning and using a vehicle. Going this route, it skips ahead to the use of the vehicle, with the realization that, regardless of the situation, South Africans still need to get around and – in the absence of a reliable, robust public transport system – simply have to have a car to use daily.
"We, therefore, offer a short-term lease of just three months or six months with a flat rate that includes insurance, maintenance, and taxes. Having a car becomes accessible and more importantly, flexible in a fragile economy where people are uncertain of their future.
"The offering serves as a form of assistance and help to those who need it during a trying period."
There are currently three depots based at Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban airports, and you can choose either a manual or auto Renault Kwid, a Toyota Corolla Quest, a BMW 3 Series 320i, or a Nissan NP300.
It's as easy as going online, apply and await approval, and you can pick up your vehicle of choice all in the same day. Costs might seem pricey at first glance, but once you do all the math, it adds up, and makes sense as an immediate solution to get behind the wheel in a matter of hours.