Tips for buying a second hand car

After a house, buying a car is one of the most expensive items we buy, but many people aren’t confident in the process.

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New research shows that women are less savvy than men when it comes to buying second hand cars.

After a house, buying a car is one of the most expensive items we buy, but many people aren’t confident in the process.

It’s not from lack of effort.

Customers are doing their homework – they’re spending hours looking for the right car but unfortunately they’re not always using their time wisely

A survey of over 1000 Australians, commissioned by online car finance company, Approval Buddy, showed that Australians don’t know how to spot a lemon.

Almost half – 49 per cent – said they had absolutely no idea what they were looking for when inspecting a car, and 7 per cent admitted to ‘faking it’ at an inspection simply to avoid embarrassment.

When it comes to purchasing a lemon, over a third of second hand car buyers said they’d bought a car with pre-existing issues they felt the seller should have warned them about.

Of those who experienced issues, over half noticed the issues within the first month of purchase, almost a quarter within the first week.

And repairs don’t come cheap, with over half of respondents spending over $1,000 on second hand car repairs to fix issues they felt sellers had been hiding.

36 per cent spent between $1,000-$2,000; 9 per cent between $2,000-$3,000, and 10 per cent spent over $3,000 fixing existing issues.

Men are more likely to inspect the car themselves while 67 per cent of women bring a friend to help inspect the car.

If you don’t know how to properly inspect a second-hand car, make sure you have it checked by a qualified mechanic before you purchase.

And if possible, get a warrantee to protect yourself down the line.

Top 5 tips for spotting a lemon

1.       Oil Leaks

Use the light on your phone and look under the engine and sides for evidence of leaks or seals that have cracked.

Degraded engine gaskets and oil leaks can be a fire hazard and can cause the engine to fail without warning if not fixed.

2.       Different colour tone panels

This demonstrates damage has been done and the car has been poorly resprayed.

3.       Engine noise

A knocking noise can indicate a worn camshaft or worn bearing or crankpin; which could result in a costly fix or a complete engine replace.

4.       Transmission noise

A whining noise indicates a failing transmission pump.

5.       False km reading

If the car shows a lot of wear and tear but has a low km reading, it could be that the odometer has been tampered with.

Top 5 Watch List – the second-hand cars most fraught with issues

1.       BMW 3 series E90 model – renowned for oil leaks

2.       Ford territory 2004 to 2012 – rear suspension problems

3.       VW Golf DSG 2008 TO 2011- transmission problems

4.       Kia Grand Carnival 1999 to 2009 – faulty engines

5.       Mazda CX7 – faulty engines

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