All the Barefoot team members have only ever owned second-hand cars. We just don’t see the point in driving around in a $50,000 car that in three years will be worth $20,000. Cars are depreciative assets, and unless you need to compensate for something there is no real point in forking out for the latest model Commodore.
So buying used cars in melbourne is best, and who knows – it might just be old enough to be retro cool. Think SUV and old minis!
Here are some key pointers for the smart buyer when it comes to navigating shady second hand car dealerships and making sure your car loan is more than it needs to be.
*Decide how much you can afford to spend. Getting a full car loan is a bad idea, because as we mentioned, it’s a depreciative asset which means that if times are tough and you have to sell, you won’t recoup nearly enough to cover the loan.
*If you do need a small car loan to cover part of the price, don’t get roped into a finance plan at the used car dealership as these are generally designed to rip you off Look around for a better deal on your car loan, but also beware companies that advertise with lines such as “no application refused”..
*Remember that the price asked for the car isn’t the only cost. There is stamp duty, a transfer registration fee and the all-important insurance.
Where to go:
* The Trading Post is a great place to start looking, and you can feel very Australian while doing it. Just make sure you don’t end up with a pair of jousting sticks. Also check out the online version at tradingpost.com.au.
* Car markets are essentially the same as buying privately, but they give you the ability to see several cars in the one place rather than hitch-hiking all over town.
* Car dealerships will generally be more expensive than a private sale, so tread carefully.
* Make sure the car has a roadworthy certificate. Otherwise there could be all sorts of hidden costs lying within your defective car.
* In a private sale, make sure that the person selling you the car is the owner. Otherwise you can’t fill out the paperwork.
* Inspect the car thoroughly. There are several dodgy tricks that car dealers will try to pull to make a bomb look like a wedding cake.
Watch for these dodgy tricks:
* Worn brake pedals or driver’s seats are a common indicator of excessive mileage.
* New floor mats are a dead giveaway in an old car: check underneath, they might be hiding a patchy or damp floor.
* Scratches or fingerprints on the odometer cover could indicate it has been tampered with. Another indication is umbers that don’t line up properly.
* Shiny paint jobs could indicate replacement panels fitted because the car has been involved in an accident. Check the paintwork matches surrounding panels. Paint marks around the headlights are signs of a respray.
* Oil leaks under or around the engine or blue smoke when you start up are an indication that the motor is burning oil.
* Engine knocking or ticking noises indicate excessive wear.
* Bouncy suspension indicates worn struts or shock absorbers.
* Check tires for wear or uneven patches
* Vibration or shaking when driving the car indicates poor wheel balance or alignment or poor tyre pressure.
* Clunking gear changes indicate a faulty gear box or universal joints connecting to the drive shaft.
* Check log books to ensure the vehicle has been regularly serviced.
Follow these tips and make sure that any car loan you have doesn’t become a burden!