piggy bank on beach

Affordable ways to have fun on a tight budget

You can still have fun without spending too much money

When expenses are increasing, sticking to a budget can be a little overwhelming. It can easily feel like there’s little or no money left over for any sort of fun after all the bills and essentials have been paid. However, having fun on a budget is definitely possible. It just requires a bit more creativity and planning ahead. Plus, it’s a lot easier to stick to your budget if you allow for a well-deserved break every now and then.

Here are some ideas:

Free events

Keep an eye out for free events in your community. Check out your local council website and see what’s on offer. It could be concerts, art exhibitions, or festivals depending on the season. Many cities and town have regular free events that offer entertainment without a cost.

Host a potluck dinner

Invite friends or family over for a potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish to share. It’s a great way to enjoy good food and company without spending a lot of money.

pot luck dinner

Watch movies the cheap way

Find out what day of the week your local cinema offers a discount day, or special movie deal and go then. Or, stay home and watch free to air streaming on TVNZ+ or ThreeNow. You’ll be surprised at the variety of free tv shows and movies available.

Picnics in the park or at the beach

Pack some sandwiches, snacks, and drinks, and head to a local park or beach for a picnic. Enjoy the outdoors, play cricket, throw a frisbee, or just sit back and relax.

Search for specials

Find mid-week meal deals at your local restaurant or pub. Check out websites like GrabOne. You can find discounts on things like activities, restaurants, accommodation and items from participating stores throughout the country.

happy hour sign

Enter competitions and giveaways

Someone has to win and it could be you!

Spend time outside

Explore nature and head out bike riding or bush walking in a nearby regional park. It’s the perfect way to get in some exercise too. 

Visit your local library

Aside from the books and eBooks you can borrow, libraries often run free events, workshops, talks, exhibitions, as well as activities for the kids in school holidays.

Games night

Invite friends over for a games night. Dust off your board games, deck of cards, or have everyone bring their game of choice. It’s a fun way to spend time together without spending a lot of money.

board game

Explore free online resources

There are lots of free online resources to learn and stretch your knowledge. You can watch educational videos, listen to podcasts, or take free courses on topics that interest you.

With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can still have plenty of fun without spending a lot of money.

If you have a loan with Oxford Finance and are experiencing an unforeseen change in your financial situation, don’t leave it too late to contact us or call 0800 88 44 66.


computer hacked

Fraud awareness

Tips to recognise and avoid identity fraud

Having your identity stolen can be an extremely distressing and financially damaging experience. Unfortunately, identity fraud occurs more often than you may think. As we rely more and more on digital technology in our everyday lives, personal information is increasingly vulnerable to theft and misuse.

To help you recognise and avoid identity fraud we’ve put together some useful tips.

Secure your personal information

Keep your personal information such as your IRD number, and bank account information secure. Avoid carrying unnecessary identification documents in your wallet or handbag.

Be wary of sharing personal information

Be cautious when sharing personal information online, over the phone, or via email. Ensure you’re dealing with reputable companies and only provide personal information when necessary, and to trusted sources.

password options

Use strong passwords

Create strong, unique passwords for your online accounts and change them regularly. With so many logins and passwords to remember, from subscription services to online banking, we understand it’s tempting to use the same one again and again. However, please avoid using easily guessable or obvious passwords like your birthdate, or the word ‘password’ – you’ll be setting yourself up as an easy fraud target.

Disposal of personal documents

Make sure you shred any old bank statements, power bills, or any document that has your name and address on it, and never put these documents in a public rubbish bin. Think about getting your statements sent to you online instead.

Getting rid of your old laptop or computer?

Make sure you remove all your personal information before you dispose of them.

Enable two-factor authentication

Whenever possible, enable this two-step login process to your online accounts. It adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your password.

Check your bank accounts regularly

Regularly monitor your bank and credit card statements for unauthorised transactions. If you notice anything unusual contact your bank immediately.

caution sign

Be cautious of unexpected events

Be sceptical of unsolicited emails, phone calls or text messages requesting personal information or financial details, and never click on any links. Legitimate companies typically won’t ask for sensitive information via these methods.

Keep your software up to date

Ensure your devices, including laptops, computers, and phones have up-to-date security software and operating systems to protect against the latest viruses and other cyber threats.

Review your credit report

It’s a good idea to regularly check your credit report and look out for any unusual or suspicious activity.

secure password

Use secure Wi-Fi networks

Try to avoid accessing your bank account or making financial transactions on public Wi-Fi networks, as these can be susceptible to hackers.

Keep yourself informed

Stay informed about identity theft scams and tactics used by criminals. Check the news and talk to friends and family. Being aware of potential threats can help you recognise and avoid them. Check out Scam Watch, a NZ government website for useful information and tips.

looking at laptop

Should the unthinkable happen, here are the steps to take if you suspect your identity has been stolen:

  1. If your drivers licence has been stolen, contact and alert the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
  2. If your passport has been stolen, contact and alert Internal Affairs.
  3. File a 105 police report. The police report should highlight what happened, and to the best of your knowledge, who committed the fraud.
  4. In all cases if you think someone has or is using your details, contact all local NZ credit agencies (Centrix, Equifax and Illion) to put a freeze on your profile. This is to mitigate any use of your credit information if an unauthorised person applies for credit using your personal details.

Has something else been stolen? Check out the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website for a full list of what you need to do for lost and stolen personal documents.

Don’t let yourself become and easy target! By taking proactive steps to safeguard your personal information and staying vigilant against potential threats, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft.


handing over car keys

Car loan affordability tips

What you need to know before you apply.

Before applying for a loan, it makes sense to assess your financial situation to find out how much money you can afford to borrow.

Here are some tips we’ve put together to help:

Know your budget

Before considering a loan amount it’s a good idea to review your monthly budget. It will help you understand how much you can comfortably allocate towards regular car loan payments without straining your finances. Remember to account for other expenses like rent or mortgage, groceries, insurance, other loan payments including buy now pay later, and utility bills such as power and broadband.

piggy calculator

Calculate total costs

Think about and consider all the costs associated with owning a car, not just the fortnightly or monthly loan payments. This includes things like insurance, fuel, maintenance (including warrant of fitness and registration), and potential repairs. Factor these into your budget to ensure you can afford the total cost of car ownership.

Find out about loan terms

Understand the loan terms, such as the interest rates, loan duration, and any additional fees. To give you an idea of what your car loan payments might look like, check out our handy Car Loan Calculator. You can easily adjust the loan amount, term, and frequency to see your estimated loan repayment amount.

credit score on laptop

Evaluate your credit score

Your credit score plays a significate role in determining the interest rate you’ll receive on a car loan. Firstly, find out what your credit score is. To get a free copy of your personal credit report provided by Centrix Credit Bureau, visit their website here. Check your credit report for any errors and work on improving your score if it’s not in the best shape. A higher credit score can result in lower interest rates and better loan terms.

Save for a deposit

Saving for a deposit can help reduce the loan amount and could lower your repayments. Aim for a substantial deposit to demonstrate financial responsibility and potentially improve your loan terms.

Consider a pre-approval

Getting pre-approved for a car loan can give you a better understanding of how much you can borrow and the interest rate you qualify for. Pre-approval can also streamline the car buying process and give you negotiating power when you’ve found the car you want.

happy driver

Be realistic

Be realistic about the type of car you can afford based on your budget and financial situation. Avoid stretching yourself too thin to buy a more expensive vehicle than you can comfortably afford. Look at your circumstances and how they may change over the next 12 months. Factor this into your decision making.

Understand

Ensure that you fully understand the loan and the obligations that you are entering into. Do not be afraid to ask someone you know and trust for assistance, or seek advice from an independent body that deals with finances.

By carefully evaluating your finances and considering these tips, you can determine a car loan amount that fits within your budget without compromising your financial stability.

Know that you are in good hands with us

Oxford Finance is a responsible lender, regulated by the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA). We are a member of the Financial Services Federation and follow their principles on responsible lending and borrowing. Our experienced team of lenders are available to assist and answer any questions you have about applying for a loan – Get in touch with us today, customerservice@oxf.co.nz, www.oxfordfinance.co.nz.


open road in New Zealand

Summer road trip car games

Car games to entertain the whole family

Summer holidays are almost upon us – Think melting ice-cream, hot sand, and large packs of pre-cooked sausages for the bbq. Whether you’re off to spend a few weeks at the bach, or a day trip to the beach, the long car journey with bored kids in the back can be a daunting prospect…but, it doesn’t have to be!

To avoid the endless variations of “Are we there yet”, try some of these fun car games to make the drive more enjoyable, and before you know it, you’ll have reached your destination.

beehives in field

Beehives game

If you’re out in the countryside look out for those colourful beehive boxes. If you spot one shout “beehives”. The person who spots the most by the time you arrive at your destination wins!

Twenty questions

One person secretly thinks of a person, place, or thing. The other players then take turns asking yes-or-no questions, such as “Can it fly?” or “Does it grow in the ground?” A round ends either when a player uses one of their questions to correctly guess the answer, or when all of the players have asked 20 questions and the answer is revealed. Each player gets at least one turning being “it.”

empty trolley in supermarket isle

The supermarket game

Decide on your first player and ask them to think of an item you can buy at the supermarket. Everyone else takes turns guessing what it might be by asking a question. For example, “Is it frozen?”, or “Is it packaged in a box”. The first person to correctly guess the item wins and it’s their turn to think of something.

In my suitcase memory game

The first person starts by saying ‘I’m going on holiday and I packed …’ finish the sentence with any item that begins with the letter ‘a’. The next player repeats the sentence said by the first player and adds in an item to the list beginning with the letter ‘b’. Keep going and see how many letters you can get through before someone forgets.

Question time

A simple game to create distraction for the younger ones by asking them questions. Things like: “What are three things you want to do this summer”, “What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever eaten?”, “What’s your favourite movie or cartoon character”.

The theme song game

One person hums a tune to a favourite tv show or movie, and everyone else tries to name the title as fast as possible. Then, the first person to guess correctly hums the next song and starts the game again.

imaginary scene

Tell us a story

Get creative and invent a family fairy tale. The first person starts with “Once upon a time” and offers a complete sentence, then the second person adds to the story with their sentence. Take turns adding sentences until the story reaches a conclusion. Tip: You may want to set a time limit, say 15 minutes to tell the story, and for good measure, record it on your phone so you can laugh about it later.

Two truths and a lie

One person tells everyone else two things that are true and one thing that’s a lie. Everyone else in the car tries to guess which is the lie. The winner begins the game again with their two truths and a lie.

Fortunately, Unfortunately

This last game is a test of the imagination and can get quite silly very quickly. The first person starts a statement with “Fortunately” and the next person follows it up with a statement that relates to the first one but starts with “Unfortunately”. Keep going, alternating between fortunately and unfortunately. For example:  “Fortunately, I packed lots of food for this holiday”, “Unfortunately, it just flew out the broken back window”. “Fortunately, I’ve patched up the window by taping up your beach towel”. Unfortunately, the towel just caught on fire…

Whatever game you choose, distraction and laughter are the ultimate goals. And, wherever you’re off to this summer, we wish you a safe journey, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


adding up receipts from Christmas present purchases

Budgeting

Need help budgeting for Christmas and beyond?

We all know that the lead up to Christmas can be financially stressful. Juggling expectations from kids between what they want and what you can afford, to who’s going to buy the turkey or the ham for Christmas lunch.

If you’re look for help to organise your budget for Christmas and beyond, but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.  Kiwis have access to some great budgeting advice and assistance from a range of different sources, including government agencies, non-profit organisations, and financial experts. The key is to find the right one that works for you.

Here we’ve put together some options for you to consider looking into.

working out spending on calculator

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

CAB offers free budgeting advice to New Zealand residents. They can provide you with information and resources to help you manage your finances effectively. Check out their website to find your nearest CAB office.

Sorted

Sorted is New Zealand’s free (government funded) independent online guide that offers tools, calculators, and resources to help you create and manage your budget. It also provides information on a range of financial topics, such as savings, investing and getting out of debt.

MoneyTalks

MoneyTalks is a free financial helpline that provides confidential budgeting advice and information. You can reach them by calling 0800 345 123 or visiting their website.

Local Community Organisations

Many local community organisations and social service agencies offer budgeting advice and support for individuals and families in need. Check with your local council or community Facebook page for recommendations.

Financial Advisers

You may want to consider talking to a qualified financial advisor or planner for personalised budgeting advice. They can help you create a financial plan tailored to your specific goals and circumstances.

couple talking to their financial advisor

Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ)

If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for assistance from WINZ. They can give you information about financial assistance and support, such as benefits and allowances.

Debt Consolidation Services

If you are struggling with debt, organisations like the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services can provide advice on debt management and consolidation. Additionally, talk to your loan provider, in some circumstances they may be able to vary or extend the terms of your loan. By extending the term of your loan it may be possible to reduce your regular repayments. However, the trade-off is that you will be paying off your loan for longer.

Financial Workshops and Seminars

Keep an eye out for financial workshops and seminars in your area. These events are often free and hosted by financial experts who can provide valuable budgeting insights.

Online Resources

In addition to the above linked websites, there are a number of online resources, blogs, and podcasts dedicated to personal finance and budgeting. Websites like Interest.co.nz and The Happy Saver offer lots of information and are a good place to start. Additionally, there are some great budgeting apps available that can track your spending and help you identify areas to focus on. Check out The Money Hub for a list of popular apps and find one that suits you.

typing on laptop about budget planning

Books and magazines

Head to your local bookshop or library, and look for books or magazines by New Zealand authors that focus on personal finance and budgeting.

Remember, budgeting is a personal journey, and the right source of advice for you will depend on your individual circumstances and needs. It’s also important to be cautious of anyone offering financial advice who is not qualified or reputable. Always verify the credentials of financial professionals and seek advice from reliable sources.

If you have a loan with Oxford Finance and are experiencing an unforeseen change in your financial situation, please don’t leave it too late to call us on 0800 88 44 66.


car insurance

Car insurance explained

Car insurance can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be.

Car insurance is designed to provide you with financial protection in case of accidents, theft, or other unexpected events involving your vehicle. Having car insurance is not compulsory in New Zealand, but there are a number of reasons why you should think about having it.

Here we’ve provided an explanation and things you need to know about car insurance.

man thinking about car insurance

Types of car insurance and what they protect

  • Third party – The least expensive cover type. It covers damage to someone else’s car or property caused by your car, but does not cover damage to your own car.
  • Third party, fire and theft – This type of insurance covers damage to someone else’s car or property, as well as protection if your car is stolen or catches fire.
  • Comprehensive – This is the most extensive cover option, and if you take out a car loan, you’ll need to have this level of insurance. It covers damage to your own car, as well as damage to someone else’s car or property, theft and fire damage. It often includes (or, you may be able to purchase) additional benefits like roadside assistance and windscreen repair or replacement. You can choose to insure your car for either, ‘Agreed Value’ – You and your insurer will come to an agreed value when you first take out the insurance (it’s the maximum amount your insurer will pay for your vehicle, and is adjusted each time it renews). Or, ‘Market Value’ – What your vehicle is worth just before it is damaged or stolen.

Optional extras

In addition to the basic cover options, you can often buy optional extras, such as:

  • Excess reduction – You can choose to pay a higher premium which will reduce the amount you need to pay as an excess if you need to make a claim.
  • No claims bonus – This is a discount off the premium that your insurer may offer if you haven’t made any claims over a period of time.

man with laptop thinking about car insurance options

Other optional products to consider

  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) – Insurance that covers repair or replacement of major mechanical and electrical components of your vehicle if they breakdown. MBI is designed to protect you from unexpected and costly repair bills that are not covered with standard car insurance.
  • Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) – Is designed to pay the shortfall between the balance still owing on your car loan, and the amount your insurance company gives you for your car if it is written off.
  • Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) – This insurance is designed to provide financial protection if you have a car loan and are unable to make your loan repayments due to reasons such as illness, injury, job loss or other unforeseen events.
  • Payment Waiver – An optional product offered by Oxford Finance that you can purchase at the time you take out a car loan. Aimed to protect you against unforeseen events such as redundancy, serious illness or death. It is included in your loan repayments and will clear the balance of your loan depending on the level of covered events you choose. Find out more about Payment Waiver.

man in moon boot working on laptop at home

Premiums

A premium is the cost you pay to have your car insured. You can choose to pay your premium fortnightly, monthly or yearly. The cost of car insurance premiums depends on various factors, including your age, driving history, the type of cover you choose, the type and value of your vehicle, and where you live.

Excess

Excess is the amount you must contribute towards a claim before the insurance company covers the rest.

Claims process

If you need to make a claim, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Remember to take notes of names, addresses, contact numbers, car regos, and drivers licence details of other drives involved in the accident. If your car has been stolen, you’ll need to contact the police and provide the police report to your insurer.

lady talking to insurance company about car accident

Penalties for uninsured vehicles

While car insurance isn’t mandatory, many finance companies, including Oxford Finance, will have comprehensive car insurance listed as a condition of the loan agreement. There can also be financial risks for driving without insurance if you’re found at fault in an accident. You may be responsible for covering the cost of damage to the other drivers’ car, not to mention your own car.

It’s important to carefully review insurance options, shop around for quotes from different providers, and choose the policy that best suits your needs and budget. Always look closely at what’s covered and what’s not, so you can make the right choice and avoid having any surprises if you need to make a claim.

If you’re thinking about car finance and want to know what your repayments may be, check out our loan calculator. Alternatively, if you have any questions around applying for finance or insurance please get in touch with the friendly team at Oxford Finance, we’re here to help.


cleaning away soap suds

Spring clean your finances

From your home to your wallet, it's time to get organised.

Spring is a great time to clean up your house after a long wet and cold winter. It’s also the perfect time to tidy up and review exactly what’s going in and what’s going out of your bank account.

 

Here we’ve put together a guide to help you declutter and organise your finances.

the year 2023 ticking over to 2024

Review your financial goals
Start by revisiting your short-term and long-term financial goals. Are they still relevant? Adjust them as needed based on your current circumstances.

 

Budget
Review your current budget. Are you sticking to it? We know it’s tough out there at the moment with everyday items and services costing more. However, there may be areas where you can cut back and reallocate funds. Making small adjustments now could be a great help to you in the future.

 

Organise financial documents
A boring task but a necessary one! Sort through your paperwork and digital files. Shred or delete unnecessary documents, and organise important ones such as bank statements and insurance policies into appropriate folders.

 

Take a closer look at your debt
Start by listing all your debts, including credit cards,
car loans, mortgages and any buy now, pay later plans you may have. Prioritise paying off high-interest debts first or consider a debt consolidation loan to simplify repayments.

man stacking blocks with insurance images

Insurance policies

Review your insurance coverage, including health, life, car, and house/contents insurance. Contact your insurance provider and make adjustments if your needs have changed.

 

Savings and investments

Review your savings and investment accounts. How is your KiwiSaver performing? Most providers now give you the option to make adjustments. And, don’t forget, you’ll automatically receive an annual government contribution of $521.43 when you contribute at least $1,042.86 to your KiwiSaver account each year. Don’t have a KiwiSaver account? Find out more here.

man with remote selecting a movie

Subscriptions and memberships
These sort of things can add up really quickly. Cancel any you no longer use or need. Remember, you can always re-subscribe to your favourite streaming channel when a second season of that series you’re watching starts up again.

 

Automate your finances
It’s easy to set up automatic transfers to your savings and bill payments. The last thing you want is missed bill payment because you forgot to pay it.

blank paper for setting financial goals

Set new financial goals
Firstly, congratulations for any financial goals you have achieved this year so far. Now’s the time to think about new ones and create a plan to achieve them. It may seem daunting at first, so break a big goals down into a series of smaller ones. You’ll find it easier and will be more motivated to reach them.

 

Regular check-ins
Schedule calendar notes in your phone at regular intervals throughout the year to review your financial progress and make necessary adjustments.

Remember, financial spring cleaning is an ongoing process. However the good news is, that if you keep on top of things with regular reviews, you’ll be better prepared to achieve your goals.

 

If you have a loan with Oxford Finance, did you know you can access your account online? Check out our Existing Customers page on our website to find out more. Alternatively, if are experiencing an unforeseen change in your financial situation, don’t leave it too late to contact us or call us on 0800 88 44 66.


filling up car with fuel

10 ways to improve your car's fuel economy

10 ways to improve your car's fuel economy

Last month the cost of fuel went up by around 29 cents per litre, and you’ve probably begun to notice the sting in your pocket when you fill up at the pump. While you can’t change the price of fuel, you can make small changes to the way you drive and how you look after your car. Here’s a list of our top ten:

 

Regular car maintenance

Keep your car in good working condition. Book an annual service that includes oil changes, air filter replacements, and spark plug inspections. A well maintained car is more efficient and consumes less fuel.

 

Check your tyre pressure

Underinflated tyres create more rolling resistance, which reduces fuel efficiency.

 

Clear out the extra clutter

Remove unnecessary items from your boot or in the back seat. The extra weight places a greater burden on your engine and increases fuel consumption.

 

Avoid excessive idling

Easier said than done in Auckland traffic, we know! However, if you think you’ll be stationary for more than a minute, it’s better to turn off the engine rather than letting it idle.

 

Use cruise control

If your car has this functionality, use cruise control on the open roads or motorways so it maintains a consistent speed. This helps to avoid unnecessary speed fluctuations, which can result in increased fuel consumption.

car on open road

Drive smoothly and avoid aggressive acceleration and braking

Rapid acceleration and hard braking consume more fuel. Instead, accelerate gradually and maintain a steady speed whenever you can. Look ahead so that you can anticipate traffic conditions to avoid sudden stops and starts.

 

Reduce drag

Keeping your windows closed at high speeds will minimise drag. And, take down that roof box. It was perfect for your last road trip but driving it empty around town will increase wind resistance and reduce your cars fuel efficiency.

 

Plan your trips efficiently

Where possible, combine multiple errands into one trip to minimise the distance you travel and reduce fuel consumption. Check Google Maps to help you plan the fastest routes with the least traffic congestion. It will help you avoid excessive idling and stop-go driving.

traffic on motorway

Driving an SUV?

Think about switching from aggressive off-road tyres to on-road highway tyres to improve fuel efficiency on city roads.

 

Consider carpooling

Sharing rides with others, and even using public transport whenever possible can help reduce your car’s fuel consumption.

man driving car with friends

By implementing these fuel-saving practices, you can improve your car’s fuel economy, and at the same time save some money on fuel costs along the way. Every little thing helps!

 

If you have a loan with Oxford Finance and are experiencing an unforeseen change in your financial situation, don’t leave it too late to contact us or call 0800 88 44 66.


taking a closer look at a car with a magnifying glass

Buying a car privately?

Buying a car privately? Do your due diligence first!

So, you’ve found the perfect car, it looks great in the photos and price is right – what’s next? When buying a second-hand car privately it’s important to conduct thorough due diligence checks to ensure you’re making an informed purchase. You may not realise that the automatic rights you have under the Consumer Guarantees Act when buying through a car dealer do not apply to private transactions. We’ve outlined some key steps and checks you should consider:

Vehicle history report

Obtain a comprehensive vehicle history report, such as a CarJam report, which provides important details about the car’s ownership, previous accidents, outstanding finance, stolen status, and other relevant information. This report can help you identify any potential issues with the vehicle.

VIN check

Conduct a VIN check to ensure the car hasn’t been reported stolen or written off. You can use the Waka Kotahi (NZTA) website or the CarJam report to verify the vehicle’s status.

car history report illustration

Ownership and finance check

Verify that the seller legally owns the vehicle and has the right to sell it. You can do this by comparing the seller’s identification with the registration papers. Additionally, confirm that the car is not subject to any outstanding finance or security interests. The Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) can help you check if there are any security interests registered against the vehicle. If there is finance owing, don’t buy it until you have confirmation the seller has paid the finance company and the outstanding balance has been settled in full.

model car made of NZ 100 dollar bills

Personal inspection

Physically inspect the car or have a trusted mechanic do it for you. Look for signs of damage, rust, or poor repairs. Check the mileage, overall condition, and functionality of key components like the engine, brakes, suspension, and tyres.

Mechanical inspection

Consider getting an independent, professional mechanical inspection such as the AA’s Pre-Purchase Inspection service. A qualified mechanic can thoroughly assess the vehicle’s mechanical condition and identify any hidden issues.

Service history

Ask for the car’s service records to assess its maintenance history. Regular servicing indicates proper care and can give you an idea of potential future maintenance requirements.

Test drive

Take the car for a test drive to assess its performance, handling, and overall driving experience. Pay attention to any unusual noises, vibrations, or warning lights.

handing over car keys

Warrant of Fitness (WoF) and Registration

Ensure the car has a current WoF, which confirms it meets the required safety standards. Check the registration details, including expiry dates, to ensure they align with what the seller is telling you.

 

Purchase agreement and documentation

If you decide to proceed with the purchase, make sure to draft a written purchase agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. Collect all necessary documentation, such as the vehicle’s registration papers, service records, and any warranties provided by the seller. You’ll need to let NZTA know and transfer the car registration into your name.

happy lady driving car

Remember, it’s essential to exercise due diligence and conduct these checks to minimise the risk of buying a faulty or stolen vehicle when you buy privately. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the purchase, it’s advisable to seek legal advice. Alternatively, head into your local car dealership and if something catches your eye, you’ll know they’ve already done all the hard work and checks for you. It’s less risky and may ultimately save you money and unwanted stress.

If you’re thinking about financing a new car or have any questions around applying for a car loan, please get in touch with our friendly team, we’re here to help. Alternatively, if you have a loan with Oxford Finance and are experiencing an unforeseen change in your financial situation, don’t leave it too late to contact us or call 0800 88 44 66.


calendar image

Seven Day Banking

Seven Day Banking

Did you know that on the 26th May New Zealand’s major banks changed the way they process payments from five days a week to seven days a week, 365 days of the year? It’s a significant change that hasn’t been widely publicised. So, what does it mean, and how does it affect you?

sign with days of the week

What’s happened?

Prior to the 26th May 2023 our banks only processed payments Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. This followed along the lines of ‘normal business days’ whereby banks and other businesses traditionally opened five days a week. For a while now, many companies and banks are now open for business seven days a week, so it makes sense payments can be processed everyday too.

 

What does this mean?

Automatic payments, bill payments, credit card, debit card and direct debit or direct credit transactions can now be made every day, including weekends and public holidays. For example, someone buys an item you’ve listed on TradeMe on Friday, you give them your bank account details and the money is in your account on Saturday, instead of having to wait until Monday or Tuesday, if Monday happens to be a public holiday.

man and lady throwing money illustration

Things to be aware of

  • Banks have stopped allowing customers going into unarranged overdraft when direct debits are due.
  • In the past, direct debits would still be processed if there weren’t sufficient funds in your account and your account would go into unarranged overdraft. Now, direct debits will only be processed if you have enough money in your account on the day the direct debit is due.
  • Also, if you have an automatic payment or direct debit payment scheduled on the 20th of each month for example, this payment will be taken no matter what calendar day the 20th falls on, even if it’s a weekend or a public holiday.
  • Most major banks have adopted seven-day banking. A full list of participating banks can be found at Payments NZ.

calendar pages

Plan ahead

  • Make a list of all your outgoing automatic payments and direct debits and set up calendar reminders in your phone a day or two before they are due. Check your account balance and make sure there is enough money so you’re not caught out.
  • If you need to, make any necessary changes to your automatic payment or direct debit payment dates so that they align with your salary payment cycle.
  • Ensure there is enough money in your bank account on the day a direct debit is due, or talk to your bank to see if you can organise a pre-arranged overdraft limit.

lady at computer looking at online banking

As with any change, now is a good time to review your budget and finances to ensure you’re on the right track and to make any adjustments if you need to.

If you have a loan with Oxford Finance and would like to change the date of your direct debit to align with your pay cycle, get in touch with our friendly team, we’re here to help. Alternatively, if you are experiencing an unforeseen change in your financial situation, don’t leave it too late to contact us or call 0800 88 44 66.