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          A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Used Cars

Price reductions for new cars puts pressure on the used car prices

New cars are currently going through a sales crisis. This apparently, has something to do with the 'wait and see' attitude of the buyers. In addition, this phenomenon also tells us something about the durability of the older cars. What could be more natural than to exploit this situation, e.g., when buying ones first car after passing ones drivers licence? Since buying a new car for under €7000 is hardly possible, in addition, the cheaper and less well equipped the car is, the lower the discounts offered by the dealers are.

Safety equipment is only partialy available

As far as safety technology is concerned, cars of up to ten years old are equipped fairly well. Certainly they don't have as many airbags, and ESP is mostly not available, but otherwise, the older cars can definitely keep up with the new ones. They're also not quite as good, as far as the bodywork is concerned. In this case, a great deal of advancement has been made with every model-change. Be carefull when considering buying a Diesel, the tax is heavy- or can become heavy, for vehicles with unfiltered exhaust gases. However, also when buying a petrol driven car, one should pay attention to the consumption and the road tax.

As a beginner, negotiate with the insurance companies

Beginners with an insurance premium of up to 230%, would be well advised to avoid the high-performance range. To declare the vehicle as the second car of ones parents, can possibly create problems later on. It is wise to have a chat with the responsible insurance company beforehand. They are more likely to show lenience if the main contract has been in existence for a longer period. The conclusion of a partial- or comprehensive insurance contract, also depends on the car in question.

New cars are not suited for frequent changing

Let's assume, that a used car is to be bought. As a rule, beginners often don't have a really good idea of what the market has to offer, and their loyalty to a particular brand name is not yet all that strongly developed. Thus, for those who will maybe change the vehicle inside of the next two years, it would be better to buy a used car because the re-sale value of a new one drops consideraby in the first few years. Be cautious, when equipping the car with all sorts of accessories or tuning parts. Only with a lot of luck will you be able to get your money back, and the number of potential buyers is even more limited.

A neutral second person is helpful when car-buying

In times when the new car prices are reasonable, used car prices as a rule, drop as well. So, how does one best go about it? One should only buy a car unseen, from someone who can be absolutely trusted. When buying from a private person (someone you don't know), the principle of 'four eyes see more than two' is important, also because it may be necessary to have a witness if it (let's hope it doesn't) comes to a legal conflict.

Used car-check with an expert

Almost all the places which carry out an MOT (Germany-HU), also offer the checking and evaluation of used cars. Thereby, not only the road safety of the vehicle is examined. Also possible hidden damages from, e.g., an accident, are looked into, part of the program is the determining of the thickness of the paint. Sometimes indications are found, questioning the plausibility of the shown mileage. The whole thing is concluded by a test drive and a recommendation. For a good € 50 one can't complain, indeed, as long as one doesn't consider endless numbers of vehicles.

Don't only look at the car, but at the salesman as well

Whether the accompanying person has only a little-, or a great deal of knowledge about motor technology, should not be overestimated. Without a vehicle hoist and the necessary measuring equipment, even an expert will find it difficult to get an accurate picture of the car. One could take the car to an appraiser, however the (maybe useless) costs must be carefully considered. It is sometimes wise to trust your own intuition. Try to get an impression of what the seller, who has hopefully been driving the car for some time, is like. Have a good look at how he/she lives. Conclusions about the state of the vehicle are then mostly anything but coincidental.

Read the wording of the dealers guarantee very carefully

Is then the studying of advertisements the best way start? One can of course, also buy from a dealer. In this case, even a guarantee, which one should read very carefully, is possible. Lately, the consumer-rights have been strengthened by court decisions. Indeed, this does seem to be necessary. It wouldn't be the first time, that exactly those circumstances which led to larger repair, are excluded from the liability.

Too many monthly payments are a problem when buying a used car

When buying from a dealer, hire-purchase is nearly always possible. Generally speaking however, it is more advantageous to negotiate hard for a larger discount and then borrow the money from somewhere else. Stickers like 'sponsored by granny', are also quite amusing. Indeed, even a medium sized accident, or repair costs, can render a used car almost worthless. Therefore, it's wiser not to go too deeply into debt, because then you'll have neither a car, nor the money for a new one.

Ensure that you have some money left over for repairs

Don't believe that this type of damage will be covered by your insurance policy. You can consider yourself fortunate, if in the case of a damage claim, the replacement value covers your purchase price. Even though some consider it to be no longer 'in', it is not a bad idea, after having bought the car, to still have some money left over for a possible emergency. This by the way, is the difference between used- and new car buying. Who would be happy to pay tax- and insurance costs for an unusable car and having to go places on foot?

Researching the internet beforehand is absolutely necessary

Up to this point, we haven't even mentioned the internet. Of course, in this context it plays an important role. After intensive researching of the vehicle in question, one can decide on a suitable car, then check out what's on offer. Never ask the dealer what the consumption is! Rather go into the forums for the individual cars. That way, you can discover the weak points of the car you have decided on quicker than you would like to. One can also make an online application for both a loan and for the insurance. Apart from that, the possibility of comparing local offers is particularly interesting.

Stay cool during price negotiations, don't let yourself be put under pressure

Before you haggle over the price, the technical aspects in particular, should be cleared up. Try to be reserved during the whole procedure, don't let your enthusiasm run away with you. Don't give the salesman any opportunity to find out just how much you like the car. The cooler you present yourself, the more likely it is that you'll get your price. Don't allow yourself to be pushed into anything. Because you have a (hopefully neutral) person at your side, before the final signing of the contract, one can withdraw to a nearby café for a cup of coffee. Stick to your predetermined limit as long as you can, but don't overdo it. It would be a pity, if afterwards you were to reproach yourself, regardless of whether you made the purchase or not.               Top of page               Index
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Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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