Anyone seeking to buy a used car wants to get the best value for their money and to avoid any pitfalls. Here are nine things you need to remember when looking for the right bargain.
Learn all you can about the model of car you want to buy. “This is the only way to judge how reasonable a price is, what engine variants there are, what is part of the basic equipment, what weak points there may be and, above all, what the car once cost, ” says Bernd Meyer from a German automotive industry association.
Buying a car is usually a thrilling experience and sometimes that excitement can lead you into making the wrong decision. “After the frenzy comes the regret, ” says Ansgar Klein from an association of independent car dealers in Germany.
That’s why he says it helps to bring a neutral companion with you when you go to look at a car. Their job is to keep an eye on the facts and keeps emotions in check.
These can have a significant impact on the price.
“Above all, driver assistance systems and connectivity extras such as live navigation or smartphone connection via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now very popular and are increasing sales prices, ” says Martin Weiss, head of a vehicle valuation organisation in Germany.
These are an important indicator of how well or badly a car has been cared for.
Cars cover an average of 15,000km to 20,000km per year, according to Meyer. “So a 10-year-old car with only 60,000km is unusual and could be a bargain, if the rest of it goes well.”
The mileage also determines what regular maintenance work needs to be carried out. One particularly pricey job is replacing the engine’s timing belt.
The majority of cars are offered in the standard colours of white, black, grey, and silver. Unusual colours can therefore reduce the price.
“Red, green or yellow are colours that are more accepted in sporty vehicles than in SUVs or station wagons and such vehicles are then cheaper, ” says Weiss.
If the odometer reading does not match the car’s history and its overall appearance, the alarm bells should ring.
The number of owners and how long they owned the car is also significant. “Especially if there are owners in the logbook who only owned the car for a short time, you should be careful, ” says Klein.
The seller should report previous repairs due to an accident, for example. However, if professional repairs have been made, you can’t always assume the value has decreased, Weiss says. – dpa