As the cost to own
a new vehicle is rising, it's more
important than ever to consider what
you'll pay for a car loan and to shop
for the best interest rate.
It is difficult to
work out percentages used with loans in
Thailand, but the following pointers can
be looked at when you are in the
The average new car
loan interest rate reached 5.5% in 2018
in the UK, up about one percentage point
from the previous year, according to Ben
Bartosch, J.D. Power's manager of
forecast analytics. Meanwhile, a new car
purchase price is going up, on average,
he says. That means a buyer will pay
thousands of baht in interest on a
With the shift in
the loan market, anyone looking to buy a
car or refinance a loan needs smart
strategies. Here are five things
financial and automotive experts say
will help you lock in financing that
fits your budget.
1. Check your
If you don't know
your credit score, you don't know what
interest rate you could qualify for.
Additionally, if you find a problem on
your credit report, you can fix it
before entering the car-buying process.
And, if you already have a loan, you may
be able to refinance into a lower rate
of payment if your credit is stronger
than when you started the loan.
Your credit score
is available from many personal finance
websites, banks and credit card issuers.
2. Shop around
for the best rate
process should start long before the
car-buying process, Bartosch says.
Calling around, or submitting online
applications, could save you hundreds of
To compare loan
offers, keep these terms the same:
Loan amount: In
addition to the negotiated purchase
price of the car, sales tax and fees
will increase the amount you'll need to
Down payment: The
more you put down, the less you have to
borrow, saving you money on interest and
it might help qualify you for a better
3. Can you
really afford it?
60-month loans for new cars and 36
months for used vehicles.
Aim to spend no
more than 10% of your take-home pay on
your loan payment and less than 20% for
total car expenses, which also includes
gas, insurance, repairs and maintenance.
refinancing, extending your loan term
can lower your monthly payment, but you
may pay more in interest overall.
4 Look at
help you get the most competitive rate.
Some shoppers coming in with preapproved
loans from credit unions, but others, he
says, are waiting for 0% financing from
car manufacturers' lending companies.
5. Review the
While the loan
contract is long and the verbiage is
dense, it's important to review it
carefully before signing. Double-check
the numbers. Mistakes (sometimes
intentional) do happen. If the numbers
don't add up, make sure the lender
hasn't slipped in extra items you don't
want, like an extended warranty or gap
insurance. And question any extra fees
you weren't told about initially or that
other lenders don't charge.
Are autonomous cars going to disrupt all
Stephen Rice and
Scott Winter, of the Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University believe so,
publishing their views in “The
Conversation”, an independent and
nonprofit source of news, analysis and
commentary from academic experts.
Rice and Winter
believe autonomous cars will change
people’s travel habits not only around
their own communities but across much
larger distances. Their research has
revealed just how much people’s travel
preferences could shift, and found a new
potential challenge to the airline
Imagine someone who
lives in Bangkok and needs to travel to
Chiang Mai, for business. This is about
a 10-hour drive. A flight takes about
two hours, assuming no delays. Add to
that the drive to the airport, checking
in, the security line and waiting at the
gate. Upon arrival in Chiang Mai it may
take another 30 minutes to pick up any
checked bags and find a rental car – and
even more time to drive to the specific
destination. The average person would
estimate a total travel time of four to
five fours as private car and plane.
However, if they
could have a fully driverless car take
them there, the choice changes.
Passengers could eat, drink, work and
sleep during the 10-hour drive. They
could leave whenever they want, and pack
whatever they want – including liquids
and pocketknives – with no searches or
scans. When they get to Chiang Mai they
wouldn’t have to find a rental car and
navigate to the actual place they’re
Which would you
choose? Now imagine the self-driving car
has a reclining seat with actual
legroom, or even a bed. It’s more than a
Experts in public
opinion research says that the public
loves how quickly flights can cover
large distances, but hates the security
checks, long lines, delays, risk of
losing baggage and overall hassle of the
We also know that
at the moment, most people are reluctant
to ride in driverless vehicles –
including school buses and even
ambulances that could speed their
treatment in an emergency. However, our
data also shows that as people learn
about the benefits of driverless cars,
they become more accepting of the new
technology. Over time, people will feel
comfortable using autonomous cars (and
ambulances), just like they adjusted to
riding in the first automobiles.
In their study, the
data indicated that people preferred
driverless vehicles over manual driving.
Taking your own driverless car got even
more attractive if people were told that
after flying, they would need a rental
car in their destination city.
On short trips,
with a five-hour drive, two-thirds of
people would rather drive themselves.
That didn’t change much when they were
offered a self-driving car, unless they
were told they would need a car in their
destination city. Then nearly
three-quarters of people preferred a
self-driving car to flying.
How will this
affect the airlines?
Losing even one in
10 customers would substantially reduce
airlines’ revenue. They don’t make much
money on each flight as it is; less
income would likely cause them to shrink
their service, flying fewer routes less
These changes could
substantially change the aviation
industry, with airlines ordering fewer
airplanes from manufacturers, airports
seeing fewer daily flights and lower
revenue from parking lots, and even
airport hotels hosting fewer guests. The
future of driverless cars is appealing
to consumers – which means the future of
commercial flight is in danger.
(I believe this
article is a little too negative, but
undoubtedly autonomous travel is in the
What did we learn from Austria?
We learned that it
is still possible to have excitement in
F1, however the stewards still show
their inability to make quick, sensible
At the previous
Grand Prix, first across the line had
been Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, however
as he exceeded the track limits while
dicing with Hamilton (Mercedes), he was
penalized by 5 seconds being added to
his time, effectively relegating him to
second place. This time, with Leclerc
(Ferrari) and Verstappen (Red Bull)
dicing neck and neck, the Ferrari driver
was forced to take an off-track
excursion on the second last lap. After
deliberating for a couple of hours, the
stewards (this time) said no penalty.
There are far too
many rules promulgated by the FIA and in
attempting to appear even handed, just
showed the nonsensical nature of the
rule itself. Anyone who has raced a car
(or go-kart) has been pushed off the
track during a passing maneuver at some
stage. The usual way to get past someone
is to take the apex from him by sliding
in underneath. The car being passed then
either cedes the position on track, or
runs out of road (off track). Ayrton
Senna was very skilled in that
procedure. “Give way or crash!”
rule and attendant penalty was position
in the grid box. Haas driver Magnussen
even wound up with a drive-through
penalty for being out of position at the
start. “Out of position” was around 100
mm with his wheel on the line. A
nonsensical application of a silly rule.
the front row was all youngsters with
Leclerc on pole and Verstappen
alongside. The second row was all
Mercedes with Bottas in front of
Hamilton. It was not the World
had a genuine fight on their hands on
two fronts, with both Ferrari and Red
Bull looking the better race cars.
Bottas looked to be coasting to a
composed second, before losing out to
Verstappen later on. Managing an
overheating race car, the Finn didn't
put up too much of a fight. Hamilton
fared worse after running wide over the
kerbs and damaging his front wing. He
pitted for a replacement which cost him
places on track, and with similar
heating issues, he lacked the speed to
chase those ahead.
Meanwhile, way down
in the field, but still showing lots of
fight, Alex Albon said, “Unfortunately,
we didn’t have the pace today, it was a
tough first stint where we weren’t quick
enough. We weren’t too bad in the second
half of the race, but we lost too much
time in the first stint. It’s a
difficult one to swallow because our
long runs were looking quite good on
Friday, and that’s two races in a row
where we’ve struggled with the balance
of the car, so we need to figure out
where we can improve.” A truer word
The (real) Mini is 60
It is difficult to
comprehend that Alec Issigonis’ Mini was
first released in 1959, and I do make a
difference between the BMC Mini and the
BMW MINI (which of course it isn’t).
However, BMW themselves prefer to use
the name all in caps to make sure there
is no confusion.
The BMC Mini went
from drawing board to showroom floor in
less than three years. In today’s
computer age, manufacturers take five
years as the industry standard.
To say the Mini was
popular, was an understatement. Over its
lifetime, they sold 5,387,062 and was
the most formidable British car to
influence the world marketplace.
I had a Mini 850 in
1960 and a 1275 GT in 1990. They were
not perfect. They had some peculiar
quirks, but they made motoring fun.
An early Mini.