Archive for November, 2018

Don’t Get Fooled: 5 Tips For Buying A Good Used Car

November 24th, 2018

Cape Town – Prices of new cars are exorbitant, at least for some, but that’s not the case for 36 794 fortunate South Africans who registered their new cars in January 2017.

Over the last five years during January, new car sales in SA remained steady around the 35 000 mark and annually, 547 442 units were sold in 2016 compared to 617 648 in 2015. That’s a considerable difference in sales of 11.4% and pundits say it’s unlikely to improve this year.

Buying a used car in SA

According to WesBank, statistics indicated that 38 343 new cars were sold in May 2016 compared to 89 390 used cars which clearly shows new vehicles sales don’t even come close to used cars.

Who doesn’t love the new car smell or the fact that you are the first owner but second-hand cars simply offer better value for money especially feature-for-feature. Used cars are also likely to ease up on your bank balance with a much lower insurance premium than a new car.

On the flip side, there is that niggling feeling of breaking down in a used car and sometimes sellers don’t really help either. Anyone can get an ‘OBD2 code’ reader and shady sellers can clear codes without fixing any problems.

Rest assured, following these simple steps will help you choose your new (used) car carefully without anyone taking advantage of you.

Step 1: Use your head, not your heart

We’ve all been there and know how hard it is not to fall in love with what seems to be a bargain. Whether it’s your dream car as a child or a reminder of your first true love – be smart and make the right call. Used-car dealers thrive on infatuated customers as they are easily convinced and could end up with an absolute dud.

When you’re looking to buy a car, the secret is to search far and wide and here the internet can be extremely helpful. Consider all your options and be careful buying the first car you see. Give yourself a realistic chance of scouting around and to see what’s out there. Use the first three cars as a point of reference to weigh-up all the pros and cons going forward.

Step 2: Avoid exotic cars

If you’re buying a new car, you can buy almost anything you want as the parts are available and the car will be under warranty. Buying an exotic second-hand car is not so easy mainly because no factory warranty exists and any service or maintenance costs are out of your pocket.

A good example is parts for a Toyota Corolla or a VW Golf versus a Renault. An oil filter can cost as little as R60 but for a Renault in excess of R200. This easily escalates when you own a high-performance or exotic car.

It is more than just considering the price of parts though. You also need to find a service station that can confidently maintain your car. If your engine is more complex than that of a fighter jet, expect to pay premium rates.

In terms of performance, you should ask yourself this very important question; ‘If this Golf GTI, Type R or BMW M3 is so good, why are they selling it?’

It may not always be the case but more often than not, high-performance cars are likely to have been pushed to the limit before they are sold. Steer clear of these unless you are knowledgeable about cars, have a decent mechanic and prepared to pay a premium for parts,

Step 3: Read the seller, not the price tag

There is no hiding from subconscious cues unless you’re a trained spy. Watch the seller closely while you talk about the car and walk around the vehicle pointing out parts. Shifty or nervous behaviour is usually a sign that there’s something wrong with the car.

Keep a close eye on the seller’s body language. If they seem uncomfortable just follow your gut and walk away. Rather this than being stuck with a lemon.

I once viewed a great-looking car for sale but the private seller seemed rushed. Fortunately, I had a good mechanic with me and he pointed out a soapy residue in the oil. For those who don’t know, that’s a tell-tale sign of a blown head-gasket which can be very expensive to repair.

Step 4: Thorough inspection is vital

When the seller asks how much you know about cars, act as if you don’t know much. This means they will only focus on the good points of the car which leaves you with a great opportunity to check the things they didn’t mention.

Specifically, check brake discs for uneven wear; the colour of the oil should be golden brown and not a dark colour. Battery terminals should be clean, tyres in good condition with even wear and the body should be straight. Check the body seams in the engine bay and the boot to identify any signs of accident repairs.

Also, give the car a mighty push with the handbrake up. It should of course not move but if it does, you’ve already identified one problem.

When a car is advertised as having a “new” battery, it could mean there is something wrong with the loom or alternator. Realistically, why would someone sell a car and give you a battery worth R1000? Same applies to new tyres. They’re expensive to just ‘giveaway’ so be careful and keep in mind faulty suspension or problems with the steering.

Lastly, look for body panels where the colour seems a different shade. This could be an indication that the car was involved in an accident and a purchase not to complete.

Step 5: Give it a good test drive

Don’t just jump in and get going. Instead, get the seller to switch on the ignition and let the vehicle idle. Test the wipers, lights and listen to the engine noise. Walk around the car and once it’s been idle for a while, switch it off.

Start the car again leaving the headlights on. If it doesn’t start immediately there may be an electrical problem. Check all lights, aircon, radio, electric windows and mirror switches.

During your test drive, be sure to test all the gears and find a decent incline on your route. Feel for any “flat spots” in acceleration as this could indicate ignition or injector issues. Flat spots are where the acceleration stops momentarily and then picks up again.

Listen for strange noises. Some people are just poor drivers and the old saying comes to mind, “If you can’t find it, grind it” so check for grinding sounds when you brake or change gears especially. This may indicate a serious mechanical fault and it’s best to walk away.

High-pitched squealing noises from the V-belts are also unacceptable under any circumstances and another reason to simply walk away. After the test drive check to see if any fluids have leaked onto the ground. Oil or coolant could indicate serious problems with oil seals, engine or the cooling system.

Last on the checklist is to trust your gut. Does the vehicle “feel right” to you? If the answer is yes, it’s time to sign on the dotted line and happy motoring until the next buy.

Learn How to Make the Most Money Off of a Junk Car

November 19th, 2018

Do you have a junked vehicle that no longer serves a purpose? Perhaps you’ve been working on a “fixer-upper”, but financial hardships have prevented you from being able to finish it. Or maybe you inherited an old pickup truck decades ago that is starting to become more of a potted planter in the backyard woods. Regardless of your junk car situation, there is no need to let it continue going to waste. A junked car, truck, van, boat, trailer, camper, tractor, bulldozer, forklift, golf cart, and any other motorized commodity is worth money. That is, if you find the right type of buyer.

You can double your advantage by making a profit and getting rid of space-consuming junk, all at once! However, it is important to know your options so that you can make the best decision for your junk car. There are two primary options for selling a junk vehicle. The option you choose will depend on your personal preference and available resources, and render a different profit level. Continue reading to learn your options for making the most money from your junk commodity.

Sell it For Parts

If you want to make the highest level of profit possible for your junk car, you can choose to sell it part for part. However, you will need a true car mechanic that has the tools and knowledge to disassemble your vehicle, piece by piece, without jeopardizing their value or performance level. They will need to start by inspecting the vehicle to determine which parts are still functional and which are junked. Then they must take it apart while preserving each piece.

The downside is that you likely have to pay a mechanic to do this, which takes away from your total profit. Furthermore, you would have to take the time to post each part for sale, as well as, manage each individual transaction yourself. This is time-consuming and somewhat inconvenient. For others, this is a fun and exciting project that is totally possible to accomplish. It all depends on your personal preference, resources, and availability.

Sell it as a Whole

The most common way to make a profit from a junk vehicle is to sell it as a whole. Although you make less than selling it part for part, it is the preferred method for a reason. Not only is this much easier and more convenient, it saves a lot of time while still rendering a decent profit. It is important to find the right buyer if you want to make as much as you can from selling your entire junk car. Find a junk car buyer who has the technologies capable of assessing the true value of your vehicle. Electronic platform scales are something you want to look for in a junk car buyer. These buyers usually pay cash on the spot, and will even pick up your car for free. Just be sure to ask which amenities they offer, how much they are willing to pay you for your vehicle, and how soon they can do business.

Top 6 Tips for Buying a Used Car

November 12th, 2018

If you want to look for a good second-hand car, you should do your research rather than rely on your luck. There are lots of used cars out there, but choosing a good one is not a piece of cake. Given below are some steps to help you make the best choice.

Check the automotive websites

If you want to gain an insight into used models, you may want to head to some top automotive websites. Aside from this, online forums talk about reliability concerns and other doubts that you may have about used cars. The car reviews on these sites will help you know about the known issues in the car that you are interested in buying.

Check out less popular brands

Leading brands ask for more money for second-hand cars. However, you don’t have to buy from them only. You can also check out sellers that don’t do well due to various reasons. These sellers can offer the same models at cheaper rates. Automakers like Mitsubishi and Suzuki have overlooked and undersold models. Instead of fixating on just one model, what you need to do is keep an open mind.

Word of mouth

You may also want to let your friends and co-workers know that you have been looking for a second-hand car. One of your friends or colleagues may be thinking of selling their used car. If you are not a picky buyer, you may like a vehicle owned by one of them. so, word of mouth is still a great way of buying your desired vehicle.

Have a budget in mind

It’s a good idea to know the budget that you have for the car that you want to buy. Know your trade-in worth as well. If you want to sell your car, you may want to sell it privately. Moreover, with a bit of repair, you can sell your car at a little higher price. You can then spend that money in order to get your next second-hand car. If you have cash in your hand, you will be able to negotiate better.

Private sale or dealer

For late-model second-hand cars, new-car dealers are an ideal choice. The reason is that they offer very first dibs on trade-ins and lease returns. As a matter of fact, some car dealers send a dubious car or a car with high mileage to an auction. On the other hand, private sales can be called wild cars. If you are lucky, you may get a dud from a private seller or a curbsider.

Take a close look

Also, keep in mind that second-hand cars are just like snowflakes. You can’t find two cars that have the same quality and features. So, what you need to do is take a closer look at each vehicle you come across. If you find paint overspray on mufflers, door seals or wheel-well liners, rest assured that the car had an accident in the past. Under the seats, you can find broken glass fragments. Moreover, a mildew smell is a sign of a water leak. Aside from this, fresh undercoating is a sign that some structural repairs have been done.

So, you may find these tips helpful if you want to a buy a used car.

Top 4 Cars With High Resale Value

November 6th, 2018

Buying a car is a considerable investment. You need to consider a number of aspects such as maintenance cost, mileage and resale value, to have a smooth experience from buying to selling your car. There are many options in the market when it comes to salvage cars for sale or online public car auctions, but make sure you go for a reputable dealer that wouldn’t take you for a ride for a quick buck. Buying a car with a high resale value ensures you get enough cashback when you sell your car off, so as to buy your next set of wheels. These are the top models in their segments with high resale values, which you can easily find in salvage and online public car auctions. Take a look.

Honda Fit: Subcompact Car

WIth an MSRP of $ 15,500, it has a three year resale value of 61.6 %. It offers a city mileage of 27 MPG and 33 MPG on the highway. It comes with a 1.5 liter four- cylinder engine. Packed with a 117 HP this is the perfect economy car.

Honda Civic: Compact Car

With an MSRP of $ 18,200 it has a resale value of 62.3 % after the first three years. It offers a city mileage of 28 MPG and 39 MPG on the highway. The ECON button optimizes your fuel efficiency. It comes with a 1.8 liter, four cylinder engine. The anti lock braking system ensures passenger and driver safety.

Honda Accord: Midsize Car

With an MSRP of $ 21,700 it has a resale value of 58.4% after the first three years. It offers a city mileage of 27 MPG and 36 MPG on the highway. A mix between a sporty and classy sedan, the accord come with a 2.4 liter engine. This model comes with a rear view camera and an 8 inch screen which can display text messages and music information.

Hyundai Azera: Full Size Car

With an MSRP of $ 32,250 it has a resale value of 54% in the first three years. It offers mileage of 20 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. It comes with 3.3 liter, six cylinder engine that boasts of 293 horsepower. The azera is all about safety, comes with nine air bags and a centralized electronic stability control system. The high end audio system ensures you get a bang for your buck.

Conclusion

Buying a car should be a calculated step. Please ensure you’re well aware of the insurance policies, the hidden costs (if any). Make sure you’re well versed with the after sales service and resale price patterns of the manufacturer. Lastly, if planning to buy the car from an online public car auction, make sure you go with a reputable name in the business.