Looking to buy your next car?
Finding your next car is relatively easy, but there are key things to look out for before signing the dotted line.
Make sure you know your rights and you do some research when buying a vehicle. For example, buying a vehicle privately is generally cheaper than buying from a registered car yard, but you may not have the benefit of a warranty. Weigh up price vs peace of mind when deciding where to purchase your next vehicle.
We’ve put together some tips and guidelines to help make your next vehicle purchase easier.
- Take a friend or family member with you to view the vehicle. Different people see and hear different things
- Take the car for a test drive including the motorway and try parking the car. You might find some blind spots. NOTE: always ask about insurance as you could be liable for any accidents
- Does the car have a current Warrant of Fitness (WOF) and Registration? If not, you will need to consider these ‘on road costs’ into your purchase price. Diesel vehicles will incur Road User Charges (RUC) costs.
- What sort of history does the car have? Number of owners, any accidents, NZ new or imported, leased, service record?
- Have you checked that the car is not stolen and does not have any outstanding fines or debt owing?
- Consider a pre-purchase mechanical inspection. Qualified inspectors can provide additional information and advice on the vehicle
Some checks you can perform yourself:
- Try and view the car in dry conditions as it’s hard to spot imperfections and blemishes when wet
- Are all the body panels straight? Ripples or indentation could suggest panel work
- Make sure all seatbelts work properly and check for excessive fraying
- Check for excessive smoke from the exhaust
- Are there odd noises coming from the engine?
- Check the body for rust spots or bubbles especially around structural areas
- Does the wear and tear of the body, pedals, interior match the age of the car?
- Check the tread of the tyres. The minimum tread is 1.5mm (approximately the head of a match stick). Uneven tyre wear suggests misalignment. Check the quality of the spare tyre too as some cars have space-saver tyres
- Does the car have a Cambelt? Usually these need to be replaced every 100,000kms
- Test the shock absorbers by pushing the corner of the car down. It shouldn’t bounce more than twice
- Contact the manufacturers service department to get an estimate of service and maintenance costs