Higher car prices are having little effect on South Africans’ desire for new cars - possibly, says Standard Bank, because of favourably low interest rates.South Africans keen to acquire their dream car are exploring various finance options to help them buy, whether a compact city runabout or a high-end performance car, the bank said. 'ASPIRATIONAL BUYERS'Glenn Stead, head of personal markets in the Vehicle and Asset Finance team at Standard, added: “Even though vehicle prices have been rising cars have become more affordable through slowing inflation and lower interest rates. The result: buyers of new and low-kilometres used vehicles have become more active.Stead said: "South Africans have always been aspirational car buyers and are increasingly taking advantage of prevailing low interest rates to buy the vehicles of their dreams."Financing options were also more varied than before."Choosing an option that's right for you depends on your financial circumstances and what you may want to buy. It pays to do a bit of research and choose an option that suits you personally before committing to a purchase."MANY OPTIONS AVAILABLEOptions outlined by Stead include: saving up and paying cash, buying a less-expensive model, increasing your monthly instalment, renting rather than buying or using the residual option available on many new cars. You could also refinance the vehicle up to 72 months.Stead also offered tips to make your money last longer, despite buying a new car. “Always make sure your dream car doesn’t absorb all your disposable income,” Stead cautioned. Also, “take fuel costs, insurance, maintenance and other ownership costs into account before you buy, remember that a good credit record is an invaluable asset and, in the event of financial difficulties arising, contact your bank.“Buying a car is often the second-largest purchase most people make. Taking the time to explore the options available, doing the calculations, then taking a decision will be time well spent.".