If you’d read my last post that involved buying sight unseen, you’d know that it is probably not the best thing to do when procuring a second hand car. Or any car for that matter. Though it worked out well, you’d have to say that it was the exception that proves the rule.

Worse still is buying a used car in full sight and not test driving it. Or ask whether the car had a full service history. Or forget to check the price before you negotiate.

Unbelievable right?

Well it happened and by a friend of mine. And no, he is not intellectually challenged, though that may be debatable now. 

Go for a test drive

He’s no mechanic, but checking the car starts easily, drives smoothly, and stops properly is something anyone can do, right? 

Check for Service History

Had he also probed the glove box for the service manual, he could have checked its history. 

Just simple things, such as whether the servicing had been done on time, particularly when new, preferably through a main dealer, or at least an accredited service centre. It gives you some semblance of how well it’s been treated. Missed service intervals and stamps from unknown mechanics could suggest a tough life and a potential money pit. 

What is the price?

But most unforgivable of all, for my mate at least, given his status in corporate life, was that he didn’t check the price. So when closing the deal, he didn’t know what the starting point was and quickly gave up what upper hand he could have had. 

It went something like this. 

“Are you open to a discount?”

“What are you thinking?”

“I don’t want to spend any more than $15k.”

“Bear with me, let me just speak to my boss.”

They always say that, by the way. Often they just go to their office and have a quick drink. Two or three minutes later, out came the salesman.

“You know what, I can go better than that. How about $14,885?”

“Hold out your hand,” as Mike Brewer would say. 

Little did he know that $14,885 was the initial asking price. So I am sure you can all see where he went wrong. 

Be cool

His issue was emotion. The next element of the process that needs to be controlled. 

You see, he was too excited to buy his daughter her first car. Luckily for him he did buy from a bona fide dealer, so gets a 3 month warranty. But enthusiasm to the point of delirium did him no favours at all. 

I can hear you say that it wouldn’t have happened if his wife had been with him. Unfathomably, she was right there beside him. So technically, is just as culpable.

If you’d like help searching and acquiring your next car, MPH Auto Services offers a Buyers Package. 

As well as researching the market and suggesting what to look out for in terms of issues, we give you a cheat sheet to check for problems when viewing and actually test driving the car. And when possible, we’d be happy to join you. We utilise car history reports, such as Car Vertical or carhistory.com.au. We will detail the car too so that it truly feels like yours, and not some bloke’s from down the pub. We will also try to help you strategise when it comes to negotiating. For as my friend can attest, excitement and emotion can sometimes get the better of you.

Looking to sell? Check out our Seller’s Package

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