If you are thinking of buying a used car, you need to have a look at some of the obvious and not so obvious pitfalls that I’ve come across again in the past couple of weeks. I’m not teaching you to suck eggs. Just letting you know what goes on out there. I get very angry when I hear these stories! Watch out!
1. Category C & Category D Insurance Write Offs
Insurance Loss Categories at a glance.
* Category A – MUST be crushed. The whole car.
* Category B – Car cannot be returned to the road but parts can be sold.
* Category C – Repairable but has had significant damage. Cost of the repair is more than the TRADE value of the car.
* Category D – Repairable with probably non-structural damage.
1 in 8 cars are recorded as an insurance write-off. This is a major area of concern for any potential purchaser as the seller does not legally have to tell you if the car has previously been written off. Unless you ask. I spoke to three different customers last week who had travelled to see cars at other dealerships only to find out that they were Category C write-offs. It isn’t whether the car has been well repaired or not, it’s that you have no way of knowing. If you’re in doubt the answer is simple, DON’T BUY IT. We won’t.
2. Mileage Anomalies
1 in 14 cars show a significant mileage discrepancy. Some of these discrepancies will be easily explained: a broken speedometer, a mistake in the recorded data but in the majority of cases the car has been “clocked” or had the mileage turned back. Unless you have proof of why there is a discrepancy, DON’T buy the car. We won’t.
3. Outstanding Finance
1 in 4 cars have outstanding finance. Remember, if you buy a car that a finance company has an interest in they may repossess the vehicle as they retain the legal title to it. Once again, DON’T BUY IT. We won’t.
160,000 vehicles were reported as stolen in 2009
190,000 vehicles are being traced by Finance Companies.
We HPI and VOSA check ALL our cars and will not buy them if they show any adverse condition. Make sure you do the same or speak to me and I will help you.