There’s nothing worse than driving around in a car that is on its last legs. I remember driving my Cavalier and having to take it into the repair shop every three or four months for some new problem – I would walk out of the garage several hundred dollars poorer! Maybe your current car or truck needs to be replaced? You’ve already decided that purchasing a used vehicle that’s less than five years old would be the right move. Perhaps you have your eye on a Subaru Impreza WRX that would be ideal for you. Before you pull out your credit card and make a downpayment, read these tips for buying a used luxury vehicle.
If you are buying a used luxury vehicle, hopefully, you have the income and/or savings to put a larger downpayment on your vehicle and make larger monthly auto payments, but that is not always the case. A rule of thumb from financial experts is you should not spend more than 10% of your monthly net income on car payments. If you have calculated that you can afford to buy a used luxury vehicle, keep in mind that the repair and maintenance costs for luxury vehicles are higher since replacement parts are usually of a better quality.
Finally, don’t forget that your auto insurance premiums may increase if you are upgrading to a used luxury vehicle.
If you can find a used luxury vehicle that is off-lease, these vehicles are often a good buy. Vehicles that have been under lease are usually very well maintained, usually have lower mileage and are usually only a few years old.
Before you consider buying a used luxury vehicle, conduct a visual inspection of the vehicle and look for any of these potential repairs. If you are satisfied with your inspection, you will still need to have an independent licensed auto mechanic check the vehicle before you purchase it:
Look for dents or any signs of previous accidents, such as:
- paint touch-ups, bubbles under paint or mismatched paint colour on body panels
- hood, door and trunk panels that are not flush
- doors that don’t close smoothly
- chips or cracks in windows, mirrors or indicator lights
Check the condition of the following items to ensure they are functioning properly and are not damaged:
- air conditioning, power window functions, audio and any other electronics
- interior of doors for damage
- underneath floor mats
Be sure to take any used luxury vehicle you are considering purchasing for a test drive and make a note of anything that is not functioning properly or if there are irregular noises. Of course, you will be taking the vehicle for an independent inspection by a licensed auto mechanic to ensure everything is in working order.
If you purchase a used luxury vehicle from a registered dealer in Ontario, the dealer is obligated under consumer protection laws to disclose the vehicle history. and the dealer does not disclose certain issues with the vehicle such as the odometer reading; make, model and year; whether the vehicle was branded “salvage” or “irreparable” by the Ministry of Transportation or accurate details about past use, you have 90 days to cancel your purchasing contract. This is not the case if you purchase from a private seller.
If you suspect a private seller isn’t revealing the vehicle’s full history, copy the vehicle identification number (VIN) so that you can obtain a CarFax report that will identify previous accident claims and any outstanding liens.
Once you have decided that buying a used luxury vehicle is for you, renew your used car search to find the best used luxury vehicle for your needs.
You might be interested in reading, “5 Must Have Cool Gadgets for Your Car“.