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Our top 10 tips for buying a used car

We can't all afford to buy a brand new car. But there is nothing wrong with buying a used car. After all, it was once brand new too. To make sure you are on the right track with your used car shopping, here are our top 10 tips to get you started:

  • Check out the dealership you are looking at before you arrive. Look on their website and check for customer testimonials. There is no better way to see what their service and stock is like than by finding out from other customers. Are their testimonials current? Do they have photos showing the customers? Here is an example www.daveallenmotors.co.nz/testimonials

  • Narrow down the type of car you are looking for by researching online first. If you arrive at a used car dealer with no clue what you are looking for, you may be more likely to try out too many cars, and not able to make a decision. At least if you have some idea you can focus your search i.e.; station wagon, SUV, sedan.

  • Get your finance Pre-Approved with the dealership. You can do a simple online application with the dealer via their website, and have pre-approval before you arrive. This makes the car shopping experience all about the car you need, and not about how you will be paying for it.

  • Prepare your trade in. If you plan to trade in your car, give it a tidy up. Make sure the WOF and registration are current, and the service history is available. You may get a few extra dollars for the vehicle by doing these things.

  • Shop alone or with your partner NOT with a friend. Everyone has an opinion about what sort of car is the best. And many people have had experiences good or bad with cars that can sway their feelings about particular makes and models. Only shop with the person who will be the final decision maker with you, not the person who will give their personal opinion, but no money.

  • Beware of deals that are too good to be true. Cheapest is rarely best, especially when it comes to motor vehicles. Buyer Beware.

  • Always ask about warranty options for your new car. There is no better way to get peace of mind motoring, than buy having a decent mechanical and electrical warranty. Negotiate with the dealer on the price, but you should always take one.

  • Shop when you have time. There is no point in visiting a car yard, and having to run off to be somewhere. You will not be focused and taking in the information given. You may forget to ask an important question, or you may not have time to test drive. There is no point in looking for a new vehicle, if you don't have time to learn about it and take it for a drive.

  • If you are looking for a vehicle that will need to serve a purpose i.e. big enough for the family dog, or plenty of room for the pram. Take the pram and/or the dog with you. Don't be shy in asking to test out the vehicle for what you need it to be suitable for. Alternatively, test drive the vehicle home, and test it all out in your own driveway, make sure it fits in the garage and that all the kids can fit.

  • The final item that every used car buyer should do as part of their buying process is make sure that the vehicle has been independently checked by a professional technician. Here at Dave Allen Motors you can be confident that every vehicle that leaves our yard has been Safety Certified, Odometer Certified, comes with an AA Appraisal, and has been Mechanically Serviced. If the vehicle is a "fresh" import from Japan ask for the Japanese auction sheet, to make sure it's not accident damaged. If a dealer cannot provide this, ask yourself why?

Being an MTA Assured Dealership you can also be confident that we abide to the highest standards of the MTA — N.Z.'s most trusted name in motoring.