1) The review of the dealership
Saw an attractive car that you like? Before you even pick up the phone and start enquiring about the vehicle, do a quick online search about the dealership. An easy guide will be to look at the dealership's official Facebook page, look at the content posted and the amount of good reviews OR bad reviews they have.
2) Mileage of the vehicle
The average ‘healthy’ usage of a vehicle should be about 20,000 to 25,000 km per year. Anything more may imply heavier wear and tear. However, a higher mileage on the car does not always means that it's in a bad condition. End of the day, what is most important is that the car has under-gone timely servicing and have it's defective parts fixed. Always ask for the servicing records (if any) and also send the car to a professional mechanic to check before buying.
3) Number of owners.
The ‘healthy’ average number of owners for a car should be 3 for a 10 year old car. This means a change of owner every 3 years. This is a common indicator used in Singapore based on buying/selling behavior. It is a red flag if you see a car being sold after a year. It may imply a faulty car that the previous owners were unable to fix. However, for super cars, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW M series, Lambo, Audi spyders etc, it's very normal to see 8-10 owners for a 10 year old car with little mileage on it.
4) Bells and whistles of the vehicles.
While it is cool to be able to play with the bells and whistles along with all the technology embedded in the driver’s seat console, it really means very little to the price if you want to resell it later. Only purchase a fancy car if you have the absolute intention to drive it due the COE expires.
5) How much is the used car (Less than 2 years old) compared to a new car.
To identify what is a good deal, the rule of thumb should be about 25% cheaper compared to the brand new car. If the price difference is minimal, you will be better off buying a new car with the options to select your car color and upholstery choices.
6) Servicing Records
In general, a car with full servicing records will always fetch a slight higher price because everyone knows its "health" history, what has been replaced and what has not been changed. While it does not provide a definite answer to the car condition, you will at least get an inkling if the previous owner have maintained it well.
7) Vehicle Inspection
At the last stage of the sales cycle, it's time to do a vehicle check. Send it to your trusted workshop and get a quick repair quote. This would be important for your budgeting. Always set aside a budget of $500 to $1000 for your newly purchased used car, since even the best mechanic will not be able to catch all the kinks/issues that might appear within the next 2 to 3 months of your purchase.
As you can see, there are many factors on deciding what’s the best buy. In OTUA AUTO, we treat all customers like our own family. Our client advisers are all trained to perform basic visual inspections as well as advise you on your car purchase, simply drop a whatsapp to our team and we will share with you about what we know with no holds barred!