Buy a used car like a pro, the CarSwitch five-step programme
You’ve certainly heard it before, used cars are a better deal! New cars lose a lot of value from the moment you drive them off the lot; 20-30% in the very first year.
You cannot look at your used car as an investment, unless you’re willing to hold on to until it’s a collector’s item, and it would need to be quite a special piece for that to happen.
Used cars help you skip the steep initial years of depreciation, but the purchase can be quite daunting.
We’ve all heard the horrific stories of sudden break downs and other scandals. You may end up saving a couple of thousand dirhams up front, and lose a fortune on repairs! So how do you get a good deal while staying safe? You could opt for a service that pre-inspects used cars for you, or do it yourself if you can be vigilant enough. CarSwitch.com experts have put together their top 5 tips for car buyers out there, so you can shop like a pro!
⦁ Find the ride that suits, you! With over 500 unique car models out there, consumers are left with overwhelming choice. Fortunately, little is left to curiosity with endless online reviews on everything from horse power to leg room space comparisons. Seeing is believing though, so once the search is a bit narrower be sure to test drive the model and feel it on the road. Visiting a multi brand dealer can make it easier to try a few models in one place, after which you can hunt down a private seller to get the best deal!
⦁ Know the ins and outs. Once you’ve prioritised a model or two, get to know the specifics. First off, learn the trims the model comes in (the trim describes the specifics of the model from engine size to feature set). Secondly, understand the new car price of each trim and the price difference between different trims. This helps you establish a baseline for the fair value / price, and understand the current price as promotions right now are quite frequent.
⦁ The hunt begins. Now that you know what you want and what it is worth, it’s time to find one! You can opt to buy from the official agency or other dealers, you’ll likely pay a premium but have a physical place you can return to if something goes wrong. Alternatively, you can buy direct from a private seller and avoid the dealer overheads. However, you won’t have a complaints department to go back to! So, unless you’ve opted for a professional service, such as CarSwitch, to walk you through the purchase process, do your research and ensure you can keep safe from any scams along the way.
⦁ Inspect, inspect, inspect! Whichever option you chose, always have the car inspected by someone you trust! CarSwitch.com inspects hundreds of cars every month, including cars from established dealers (on customer request), and they find it’s always worth it! Beyond the obvious checks for service history, odometer integrity, body damage, and operability of functions, the inspection helps you identify the mechanical condition of the vehicle (e.g., engine / transmission leaks, hose swelling or damage, rust) the true condition of the body (e.g., repainting of any panels to reveal accident history), and impending service needs (e.g., tyres, brake pads, break disc replacement needs). Additionally, you need to know whether the car you’re opting for is rated as GCC-spec, or is an import from the US, Europe or Japan, for example. We have harsher conditions here and cars imported from abroad are not necessarily the bargain you think they are; they might look like good value but might require some hefty modifications to bring them up to speed.
⦁ Get the fair price. It’s indeed a buyer’s market at the moment and so play that to your advantage! Here’s where the inspection pays off, adding up the cost of repairs or impending service needs provides a factual justification for any discounts. You need not worry about the hassle of getting it inspected nowadays, just ring up CarSwitch.com and they’ll visit the seller and inspect it for you for AED 300. Alternatively, invest in a visit with the seller to a garage you trust. If that’s not enough to get to a fair value, instead of negotiating in a vacuum show the seller a link to a comparable car at a lower price
Undoubtedly, used car shopping is a bit of work but it’s a substantial investment for most and so certainly worth the effort. If you are strapped for time, as we all often are, try for a certified used car from CarSwitch.com.
Note to the Editor: The legal name of this company is “CarSwitch DMCC”.
Founded in 2016, CarSwitch is the UAE’s latest technology platform providing an innovative customer-centric service that completely reinvents the painful process of buying or selling used cars. CarSwitch offers buyers and sellers better prices through direct seller-to- buyer deals, complete transparency and peace of mind through a proprietary 200-point inspection and guaranteed warranty for every car, and a completely hassle-free experience by taking care of every step of the process. With CarSwitch, buyers pay less, sellers get more, and neither have to do the work!