Posts Tagged ‘car trade’

It might be because your current one has given up and refuses to go those “few more kilometers” together with you. Or it might be because you just got tired of each other’s appearance. Whatever the reason, moving on to a new car is a confusing time in a driver’s life.

I prefer to commit to used cars, as I’m not really a fan of signing a document that will practically marry you to a leasing company for the next (at least) five years. The other reason why I don’t approve of buying new, especially new models is that you can’t guess their week sides.

If you still want to buy a new one, however, here’s my advice. Buy a model that will soon be out of production. It might sound strange, but this could save you some trouble. Fist of all, all manufacturers begin producing spare parts before the official launch of the car, and stop making the spares long after the car is pulled out. This means you’ll be able to easily find whatever part you need on an affordable price. Second of all, by the time a particular model is ready to “retire,” all of the production defects are corrected (except for a few models), so you’ll be buying the best possible version. This also means that you’ll be getting the best possible equipment for the lowest price.  And, finally – dealers will be willing to give you a big discount. Old models are something unwanted and dealers want to get rid of the cars as fast as possible before a new model is introduced. You can either ask for a bigger discount on the asking price, or for longer service.

Now, used cars. First of all, be sure what model, year, and engine you want to get. Be specific – it does really pay off to do your research on it. The best way to go is to ask people who own the same car about their experience – running cost, fuel consumption – all the boring stuff. If you don’t know anyone who could help you, the Internet is the place to go (surprise, surprise). There are plenty of pages that can provide you with technical data, as well as with owners’ opinions. I recommend http://www.parkers.co.uk, where you can find a pretty accurate marking system.

Then comes the exiting part: searching and testing. I personally rely on the Internet. There are many search engines for used cars, no matter where you live. An important tip – do not buy from car traders.  The moment you set your foot in a car park crowded with shiny cars, you are immediately tempted to buy something else, rather than the car you have chosen. Furthermore, cars there are usually faulty or have hidden defects that you won’t notice. Avoid company cars as well – they have been driven by many people, none of whom is likely to have taken care of the cars.

So try to pick cars only from private owners.  Such vehicles have most probably been in use until the moment they were put for sale. Once you see the car, there a couple of things you should check for on the outside – oil leaks beneath the car, as well as rust on the lower part of the doors (that is often the most rusty place and is usually overlooked). Also check for any signs of collisions – the easiest way is to open the bonnet and the trunk and see if the sides are straight and symmetrical. Examining the inside of the car is fairly straightforward. Flick every switch, push every button, and twist every nob. If there is anything faulty youll spot it.

Finally, check if you and the car are compatible. During your test drive, it’s important to feel how the car rides and if you’re comfortable with it. Everybody has a different driving style and some cars just won’t fit. If that’s the case, walk away. There is no point in trying to like a car you don’t enjoy driving. Another thing to remember during the test drive is to turn the radio off and listen for any rattles, bangs, or squeeks. Be rude with the steering and brakes. Be an idiot behind the wheel for a minute or two and see how the car responds to hard braking.

If you like what you see, negotiate. It is almost impossible to find a used car in a perfect condition. However, this could be an advantage, as you can persuade the owner to lower the price because of the car’s flaws.

Finally, take your new car to a mechanic to change the brake pads, timing belt, oil, and filters. Even if all this doesn’t seem necessary, make sure you do it – you can never be sure when your car last visited a mechanic.

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