Unless you buy and sell cars for a living, there’s a good chance you have no idea where to begin when buying a second-hand car. Here are the common mistakes you should definitely avoid when purchasing a used vehicle.
Failing to Have a Target Car
There are literally hundreds of available cars for sale at any given time. Take a peek at Auckland car dealers and sellers online, and you should be able to find lots of vehicles just ready to be driven off the parking lot. Before you start browsing, however, you need to have a reasonably good image of what car you want.
Is it a small one, a big one, an electric, a manual, a Honda, or any other particular need? This will help narrow down your choices and will not make the process more confusing for you.
Buying at a Wrong Time
Car dealerships have quotas to meet, and to meet those quotas, they’d be willing to make concessions – to the point where they’d put as much discount as possible to the price of the car. The quotas are usually based on quarterly sales, means that the best time to buy would be at the end of March, June, September and December.
If you are buying from a private seller, however, understand that they do not have targets to meet so they might hold out for the amount they want.
Not Privately Selling Your Car
If you have a car and just want to exchange it for something else, you might want to try privately selling it first. This will net you around 20% more as opposed to simply exchanging it for a different car. You will find that you’ll have more money in your pocket and, therefore, happier with the exchange.
Failing to Ask for a Maintenance Record
Another very important aspect of buying used is the maintenance record. You would want a document itemising the different fixes, maintenance, or parts replaced from the car. This way, you’d know exactly what parts are brand new, what was changed, and what routine maintenance was made.
This is an excellent bargaining point because a car that has been improperly maintained means you’ll have to shoulder the maintenance costs – thereby reducing the total value of the vehicle if purchased.
Not Buying a Year-Old Model
Cars experience the most significant depreciation in their price after the first 12 months of their use. They experience a reduction rate of as much as 27% during the first year, after which the succeeding years will have a slower decline in the value.
Hence, if you want the most value for your money – you would opt for a year-old model with probably 10,000 miles under it. This way, you can still use the car for a long period of time, as if brand new – but without the expensive list price.
Of course, those are just some of the things you could be doing wrong. It always helps to have the input of a trusted friend who knows a little bit about cars in this situation.