At some stage we all feel the need to upgrade our car. It might be because we need a bigger one for our growing family and the tiny little hatch, we’ve had for the past 10 years just isn’t cutting the mustard anymore. In some instances, our beloved vehicle might cost more to maintain than is feasible anymore.
It can be easy to be swayed by bright advertisements promising you the most luxurious or up to date tools. Cars these days can have push button starts. Which is at times easy, but can be expensive if you lose the remote and need to call out a car locksmith.
Having recently done the newer cere are some tips I found helpful to purchase my newer second hand, larger family car.
- What type of car you need?
If you’re needing a larger car, think about what your personal requirements are. Do you need child car seats in the back and if so, how many? Are you planning on having more or do you need additional room for other family members?
If you’re needing a smaller car, again, consider how many people you need to accommodate and what other needs you have. You still might need boot space or a decent amount of leg room.
Consider your preference in the style of car you desire. Are you drawn to wagons, SUV”s or sedans or even a tiny groovy hatch back.
- Research car names and badges.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to the type of car you want, start looking at brands and badges. Research the price both new and used and what you can generally get for your dollar. This will help you recognise what extra goodies you might be able to get for your budget.
Be willing to compromise on the extras. If it means less kilometres and a warranty, do you really need heated seats or alloy wheels? Make a list of what you really need and what you’d like if you can get it.
Get onto the car makers web site and check for any recalls or information on the vehicle of your choice. There is generally a list of models that have been recalled for defects.
- Look into all the hidden costs.
Check out costs such as servicing, tyres and insurance. Larger cars attract a more hefty price when it comes to these matters. It helps to be aware of what you might be up for regular expenses, rather than being caught unprepared.
- Ask the right questions.
It’s a good idea to try and have these conversations in a written format, even if it’s messenger or email. This creates a written record if you ever need it down the track.
Ask questions such as the following:
- Has the vehicle ever been in an accident?
- Has it ever been written of and repaired?
- If so, why was it written of?
- Has there ever been any major mechanical issues or repairs, even if they’ve been rectified?
These questions will help you get an idea of the history or condition of the car. If there have been accidents and the insurance company elected to write the car of, there is generally a good reason why. Some may consider a previously written of vehicle a bargain, whilst others may be sceptical about if the safety and condition is now compromised.
Major mechanical issues or repairs may indicate the vehicle is in bad shape and a potential money pit. No one wants to buy a set of wheels and then find out it needs thousands of dollars of TLC.
These questions mean that you’re hoping the seller is going to be honest with you. But, with written records, if a car yard dupes you into buying a faulty car, you have proof and this may assist you should you elect to take them to the small claims court.
You can also request the VIN number and check on the PPSR and REVs list to gather information on if your new vehicle has been written off.
- Check out its actual value.
Look online to ascertain what the actual value of the car is. Redbook is a great site as it gives unbiased information on new and used cars. It lists trade in value too.
Because cars are so expensive now, a second-hand car can be quite costly. In some situations, people are known to advertise their automobile for what they paid for it and in some situations even more!
- Have a REALLY good look at the car.
A good detail and quick mechanical make over can see any car looking and feeling good. It’s important to keep an eye out for tell tail signs the car you’re viewing might be hiding some problematic issues.
Check the following:
- Check the overall body of the car for dents, rust and mismatched patches. Check all the doors close, including the boot and hood.
- Look underneath the car and at the floor underneath for any leaks or wet spots. If a car has been sitting in the same spot, and leaks, there will be a puddle or stains.
- Check all the fluids (oil and coolant) when the car is cold to ascertain that they are the colour they are meant to be. Don’t forget to check the oil stick and filter cap. If you see a milky colour in the oil or around the engine, back that truck up baby and do not buy that car. Potential engine troubles are very expensive.
- Make sure everything works. Go over the lights, indicators, doors, windows, radio, air conditioner and any parking sensors or cameras.
- Get Ready to haggle.
With all that information, you can haggle a decent price. Remember to stick with your budget and not let your heart rule your head. You can always get another car if one is out of range.