6 Aug 2018



Thinking of updating or replacing old faithful for a newer model, (yes we are talking about cars). Whether skimming Trademe or having a “haggle battle” with your local used car salesman, tune in for our 5 tips that need to be top of mind when buying a used car.


5: Take your time.

It’s not a race, carefully examine everything YOU want to look at - not just what the seller shows you. If possible inspect the car on a sunny day, as it’s easier to see visual clues to the cars’ real condition.

Examples of structural corrosion points are:


tips for buying a used vehicle 1


Rust on the car body can be a problem, look for bubbling paintwork as it's possible that the use of a filler may be masking the problem. Also look for rust on weight-bearing parts and steering wheel mountings under carpets, the boot liner and in the spare tyre area and inside the petrol cap door.


4: Start your engines

The heart of the new beast is at number 4.

Before you buy you must get an inspection done by a mechanic and not a friend that knows a bit about cars. A dirty engine can point to vehicle neglect. But a sparkling clean engine may be the result of a recent steam clean undertaken to mask defects. Surprises can be fun, but not if you have to fork out for a new engine 2 weeks after your new pride and joy stops unexpectedly on the side of the road.


3: Do the Twist

Push, pull, twist and turn all dashboard switches and knobs to see if everything works, there’s nothing worse than driving off and a week later when it rains finding your wipers don’t work. Get a mate to stand outside of the car to check headlights indicators and brake lights work. Looking good? Great then let’s move to the next step.


2: Buckle up

As the great Ronald McDonald once said “Make it click” yes one of the most important factors of your new chariot should be the safety belts. Check each seat has a safety belt and that they buckle, “click”, retract, pull out smoothly and lock out when suddenly pulled.

Check the webbing is not frayed or faded as this can indicate UV damage which weakens the belt. If the belt is frayed or faded, then the belt may need replacing.


1: Tyres

Considering the area of contact between your vehicle and the road is a patch of rubber roughly the size of your fist, it is important that your visual check is thorough.

Check all the tyres, including the spare for tread depth and air pressure. Legally, treads must be at least 1.5mm deep across 3/4 of the tread pattern. If you don’t have a tread depth indicator, you could use a match head to indicate tread depth.

If the tyres don’t look up to scratch, you can always look up the tyre size at easytyre.co.nz and see how much it will cost you to replace them. We come to you and take the hassle out of getting new tyres.

Best of luck on your purchase and new addition to the family.

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