The Used Car Market – Can You Trust It?

Has the economic downturn destroyed your plans for purchasing a new set of wheels? If the answer is yes, you are far from alone. Over the past 12 months, the new car market has all but dried up, leading to job cuts, factory closures and hordes of new cars remaining unsold and clogging up plant car parks. Bosses are even forcing workers to take paid leave to allow time for the backlog of cars to shift. The problem for the consumer is simply one of money; barely anyone who wasn’t a millionaire before the recession has any cash to spare. So what do you do if your car conks out and you desperately need a new one? Buy a used one, of course.

The used cars in Melbourne market has often been tarnished by cynics as a hive of ne’er-do-wells looking to con everyone who passes by out of all their money. This may have been partly true in the spiv 70’s and greed-orientated 80’s, but times have changed. These days there are many reputable dealers who want your business and are willing to offer you incredible offers to get it. Because of the current economic climate the market is extremely competitive and the dealers know this. The only way they can stay afloat is by offering the best possible price and the best possible quality. This places the consumer in a very agreeable position, being in a better position to bargain and haggle to get the best deal.

Everybody with even a cursory interest in the automotive industry will be aware of how drastic the depreciation of cars is. As soon as a new car is driven off the forecourt, a car can have its value slashed by anything up to 50%. So why not take advantage of this knowledge and look for a car a year or so old that has barely been driven, but has had a huge percentage knocked off its value. A great idea is to look for ex-demonstration models, which may have only a couple of thousand miles on the clock. Technically these cars are second hand even though they have only been driven by the dealer and a few prospective buyers. These cars will have considerable discounts on them, even though they have hardly been touched. You have to be quick though, as these deals are often snapped up as soon as they are announced.

On the topic of mileage, I always remember some advice given to me in regards of buying a used car. Typically a car engine lifespan (depending on quality and other factors) probably only has a running life of around 100,000 miles. When choosing your used car it is worth considering how close the mileage is to the magic 100,000 mark. Ideally speaking, many great bargains can be found for 35,000 miles or less. These cars generally ensure a longer lifespan and better customer satisfaction. The only exceptions to this rule would generally be classic cars, which can be expected to have totted up a few more miles than a 2006 Vauxhall Corsa.

Many motorists harbour concerns that the used car they are buying has previously been written off or is stolen. These fears can easily be put to rest with a variety of new services offered in conjunction with the police and the DVLA. By checking a website or inputting the cars registration into a text message service you can easily find out the cars history and be sure the car you are buying is exactly what the dealer says it is. Should you discover that the car is not what it seems, then you should notify the police as soon as possible. This is a rare eventuality for a licensed trade dealer, as they have a lot more to lose in the current climate by gaining a bad reputation. It is worth checking though, for peace of mind if nothing else.

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