Are you ready lose those preconceived ideas about pre-owned cars?
You could get a good deal on an almost new vehicle – if you know what to look out for.
Maybe you don’t want to spend a chunk of your paycheck on a car. Perhaps you want to drop some cash into a side hustle, studying or simply want to save more.
The truth is you don’t
have to skimp on style, safety or reliability if you’re looking to buy a
The big plus here is
that the previous owner absorbs the greatest depreciation in value on the
Typically, a new set of wheels can lose up to 40% or more of its value within the first three or four years after purchase, in part due to the 15% VAT paid on a new vehicle. And, the more expensive the car, the more you lose in the depreciation spiral.
For you, this means a
lower purchase price, a lower vehicle finance amount and even reduced monthly insurance
fees when choosing the pre-owned option.
If you’ve saved up
enough, you can buy a car cash and save on interest. But, if you must finance
it, it will still be more affordable than buying the same car brand new – and
you’ll probably be able to negotiate a better price for it.
In fact, you may be able to sell a pre-owned vehicle for almost the same price you bought it for in a couple of years – if you have looked after it and the market hasn’t changed dramatically.
There are also fewer
hidden fees associated with new cars (delivery and processing fees etc).
car has a past
A used, demo or
pre-owned vehicle has a history. It’s important to make sure the car you’re
looking at has appropriate paperwork and reliable service records. The odometer
reading will probably be your first clue as to its past use.
Ideally, lower mileage
cars still within warranty are your best options. These are considered ‘good as
new’ rather than ‘used’. You can take out an extended or unlimited mileage
warranty on a pre-owned car, so you’re not stuck with costly maintenance bills.
a closer look
When buying a second-hand car, make sure that the vehicle not only looks good – but that it is in great shape under the hood too. While marks or dents to the bodywork are obvious signs to look for, mechanical problems aren’t always easy to spot.
Just because a vehicle
has a road worthiness certificate doesn’t mean it’s without problems. For peace
of mind, AA has partnered with DEKRA, a world leader in vehicle roadworthy,
technical and safety inspections.
Find pre-owned cars
through web searches, or a visit a car lot or showroom in your area.
Don’t get rooked by unscrupulous or shady dealers. Stick to an authorised reseller, reliable franchise or an AA Quality Assured dealer.
Often, dealerships will
run specials or seasonal sales. It’s sometimes worth your while to shop around
and keep your eyes out for some great deals.
Run a basic background
check to make sure you’re not buying stolen property and check that the VIN
number matches the number on registration and other documents.
There is a myth that a
bank or financial institution will shy away from financing a car that is not
new. Most banks will look at financing any vehicle if your credit and other
criteria are satisfactorily met.
If you decide that you
want a brand new vehicle, then use timing to your advantage. For example, wait
a few months until the demand for new models has cooled and the price comes
Better yet, wait until the sales periods between December and March when dealers are looking to sell off last year’s models and may offer great deals.
Aon South Africa is Investec’s approved insurance broker and a leading provider of private insurance. If you have a Private Bank Account, you will enjoy preferential rates negotiated exclusively for Investec clients. You will pay zero basic excess if you have an accident or total loss claim in the first year of insurance. See more on our offering for young professionals.