BUYING a good used car is actually trickier than buying a new car.
And there can be many pitfalls for unsuspecting players.
Has the car previously been involved in an accident?
Is it stolen? Are there any outstanding fines? Has it got a roadworthy?
What will it cost you to get it fixed if you’ve overlooked a problem that soon rears its head?
For peace of mind, you might like to at least consider buying the used car locally and there’s good reason why Joe Basten, the owner of Tomeric Motors in Wonthaggi, has been able to survive and flourish in this tough sector for more than 17 years…
He looks after his customers and stands behind the cars he sells.
Here’s his advice for those looking to buy a second-hand car or update to a better model.
“Buy it from a Licensed Motor Car Trader (LMCT).
“They can give you a guarantee of ownership and you can also get a warranty,” said Joe this week.
“If you buy locally, you’ll get a warranty and you’ll also get some back up. It’s very much in our interests to keep our customers happy because we do get a lot of repeat business.
“When you buy privately, there’s no back up and no warranty which is a risk.
“I’m not knocking the private seller trying to get rid of the family car but if you go outside the local area or go to a public auction for example, there are people there looking to take advantage of the situation.
“There are still people around capable of winding speedos back for example. You simply don’t know.
“While you are buying from a licensed motor car trader (LMCT) you know there are quite a lot of things they have to comply with.
“All the cars we have come with a road worthy and the price includes all on-road costs, rego, stamp duty and GST.
“Here at Tomeric Motors, we own the cars we have on the lot so we’re not only trying to get the best car for the customers, we’re trying to get the best cars we can to sell.
“There’s a whole trade within a trade in the car sales industry; the LMCTs deal with their wholesalers who get the pick of the trade in stock and the rest go to auction.
“Look, you get what you pay for. We simply don’t deal in old rubbish because we are looking for repeat business which we need to survive.”
Joe said it wasn’t uncommon for him to find several cars over the years for the one family and then follow up by getting cars for their kids as well.
“Without repeat business we wouldn’t survive and you’re not going to get that unless you sell good cars that are good value for money.
“And we really look after the locals.
“People’s expectations are high. They basically want a new car with all the bells and whistles for a second-hand car price.
“As for price; what does a decent bike cost you these days? Some people would think nothing of paying $3000 or more for a bike and yet they want to spend the same amount buying a car.
“But it’s simply impossible to find a good small car under $5000 and we don’t usually go any lower than that either.”
Joe says there are a lot of people looking for all the new safety features when they buy their next car and while that’s entirely understandable, it means paying a bit more.
Joe’s pick of the week this week is a 2009 Ford Mondeo, in as new condition, with most of the wanted safety features including driver and passenger airbags, side airbags, ABS, traction control, cruise control etc for $9750 drive-away.
“It’s registered until January 2016 so you’ll have your costs tied down pretty well until then.”
And Joe is more than happy to chat with you about what you’re looking for in a used car, just call in at 334-336 Bass Highway, Wonthaggi, talk it over and take a test drive… it could be the start of a happy, new, friendship.