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    Buy & Sell Used Cars

    • Buy | Is it Better to Buy a New Car or a Used Car?Buy & Sell Cars Articles

      Some people seem to feel strongly that there is a one-size-fits-all answer as to whether it is better to buy a new or used car, but the fact is that everyone must consider certain personal variables before deciding what kind of car to buy. For some people, a used car is a more financially prudent purchase, while for others, buying new is the better option.

      Can You Afford a New Car?

      In terms of the up-front price tag alone, new cars are usually more expensive than used. This fact alone dissuades many shoppers from purchasing a new car. In some cases, buying a used car that is just one or two model years old can provide similar mechanical and technological benefits to owning a brand new car, but the price differential can be substantial. For some people, this price differential doesn't really matter, but this is mostly true of people who are quite financially secure. If you are looking at a car and there is a similar model available that is just a year older, it may make sense to purchase the older, used version.

      Can You Finance a New Car?

      Another factor to consider is financing. Car shoppers with bad credit may not be able to get a good financing deal for a new car payment. In this case, saving up and buying used may be the best option. This is also true for those who aren't sure they will be able to maintain their current level of monthly income. If credit and continued income are not potential areas of concern, buying new may be a suitable option.

      Can You Afford Repairs for a Used Car?

      Unless you end up buying used through a Certified Used Car programme that includes a warranty, any repairs your used car needs after you purchase it new will be paid for from your own pocket. Ideally, you'll buy a used car that is in decent repair and either has obvious maintenance needs that can be part of price negotiations or has already been fixed up by its previous owner. One way to ensure you won't immediately be hit with costly repairs is to get the car thoroughly inspected by a trusted mechanic before buying. Paying the total vehicle cost up front also leaves some purchasers room to save a bit of money every month for a repair fund. As car parts experience normal wear and tear, they need to be replaced, so this is an inevitability that all car owners face. Used car owners just tend to face this reality sooner than those who own new cars.

      Can You Spare Your Car While It's in the Shop?

      Conventional wisdom holds that new cars are more reliable than used cars. If you live in an area without public transportation or have a work schedule that requires you to have daily access to a car, buying used may be a bad idea simply because there is a high likelihood that there will be days you can't use your car because it is being repaired at a mechanic's shop. Shoppers who absolutely must have a car in good working order may want to buy a new car.

      Will Depreciation Affect You?

      Some sources consider new cars to be bad investments because their value as a brand-new, previously unowned vehicle drops the moment the owner takes possession. This means that if you buy a new car and decide a few months later that you'd rather have a different car, your trade-in value will be significantly lower than what you paid for the car, even if you hardly drove it and it is still in pristine condition. Some owners count on their car's resale value when they purchase it, but this value is hard to determine and will certainly be less than the car's final price. Used car owners typically do not have to worry about this value depreciation and in fact may be able to slightly increase their car's value by making repairs and improvements.

      Do You Want Special Features?

      If you have your heart set on a red, two-door convertible with a specific type of sound system, buying used may not be the way to go. Used cars aren't configurable the way new cars are, and shoppers can back themselves into a corner if they are too attached to certain features while shopping for a used car. This can lead to a shopper accepting a bad deal or overlooking other problems with a used car. With new cars, shoppers can ask a dealership to include certain features in their purchase. These special features often cost more, but savvy shoppers may be able to negotiate some of these features as part of their overall purchase deal, which is usually not possible when shopping used.

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    • Buy | What Is a Certified Used Car Programme?Buy & Sell Cars Articles

      Car manufacturers often offer Certified Used Car programmes, allowing wary car shoppers to buy a used vehicle while also having some confidence that the car operates up to a certain standard. Buying a used car is often a difficult process, and Certified Used Car programmes are designed to give the buyer some confidence in his or her purchase. Cars sold through these programmes have been previously owned, but they have also been inspected and, in some cases, repaired by the manufacturer's trained and approved mechanics.

      Why Choose a Certified Used Car?

      These programmes are a good idea because they remove the sense of uncertainty that often hangs over the process of buying a used car. Certified Used Car programmes often include a variety of guarantees, and they can include a multi-year manufacturer's warranty. In this way, opting for a Certified Used Car offers many of the same comforts and protections as purchasing a brand new car. But because used cars typically cost much less than brand-new models, it allows shoppers to get a good deal on a car without taking a risk with respect to quality.

      Features of a Certified Used Car Programme

      Each manufacturer's Certified Used Car programme is different. For example, South Africa's Chevrolet dealers may offer Certified Used cars through their programme, the G2 Certified Used Car Programme. This programme is designed to offer a quality car with verified safety features at an affordable price point. Features of this programme include mileage verification, which helps customers know that the car they are buying is actually as new as it claims to be. Chevrolet's mechanics perform a thorough inspection of more than 110 points on the car to make sure it is functioning properly. Customers can also opt to sign up for a roadside assistance programme. These are the kinds of features that are often offered in Certified Used Car Programmes that used cars sold outside such a programme typically do not offer.

      Shopping for a Certified Used Car

      Typically, only auto manufacturers offer Certified Used Car programmes. The cars they sell are typically limited to those within the manufacturer's brands. For example, the luxury sports car manufacturer Ferrari offers a Certified Used Car programme, so shoppers who are interested in owning a used Ferrari may need to contact that company directly in order to get a true Certified Used Car.

      Benefits of a Certified Used Car Programme

      There are a few different benefits to opting for a Certified Used Car rather than just buying a used car from a dealership or individual. While there are many obvious benefits to purchasing a Certified Used Car, there are some less obvious benefits as well that some shoppers may not notice until they are actually looking at cars and considering a purchase. These benefits extend beyond the features of the programme itself.

      Brand Loyalty

      Some people have certain car manufacturer brands that they know and trust. If this brand has a Certified Used Car programme, brand-loyal customers can stick with what they know. While used car sellers do not always specialise in a certain brand, Certified Used Car programmes are brand-focused. You will not see a Honda for sale as part of Chevrolet's Certified Used Car programme, for example.


      Car companies that have these programmes often offer a wide variety of models to choose from and may even have a variety of different colours of the same year and model of used car available on the same lot. Used car shoppers often put considerations such as colour or luxury features aside, but a Certified Used Car programme may enable a bit more consideration to these nice but not strictly necessary features. In this way, Certified Used Car programmes often function similarly to the way a car dealership works for a brand-new car. There is always a chance that shoppers with specific desires will need to compromise, but the process of finding the exact right car isn't quite as difficult as it is with traditional used car shopping.


      Car companies with Certified Used Car programmes typically offer these used cars at the same dealerships that sell brand-new models. This means that shoppers can compare and contrast between a used model and a brand-new option. Pre-owned vehicles are a practical choice in many ways, but sometimes a newer car may have more features or mechanical updates that are desirable to the shopper. Rather than having to visit multiple locations, shoppers deciding between a new and certified pre-owned car can do all their test-driving in one place.


      Many used car transactions require an up-front payment in full. This can make the process of buying a used car quite difficult for individuals who don't have a lot of liquid cash on hand. Many Certified used Car programmes offer some sort of financing through the same financial systems they use for financing the purchase of a new car. That means that shoppers can opt for a more expensive car than they are able to afford out of pocket.

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    • Buy | Glossary of Car Buying Terms (aka Dealer Speak)Buy & Sell Cars Articles

      One of the most nerve wracking experiences can be buying a car, mainly because of the seemingly esoteric language the car dealer seems to be speaking. It is commonly known as dealer speak, and it can be especially problematic for new car buyers. While understanding every car buying word, phrase or concept is not necessary, it is a good idea to have a general awareness and understanding of common terminology that might be used at the dealership so that you are not taken advantage of or agree to terms that are not in your best interest.

      Getting to Know the Numbers

      The MSRP, an acronym for Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, is the base price, or sticker price, posted on the window of a vehicle for sale. Sometimes car shoppers are surprised at the number, because they feel it is too high. Once you have decided on a vehicle you are interested in at a suitable price, the dealer will ask you to pay documentation fees; these are essentially processing fees, covering the cost to the dealer for doing the necessary paperwork to execute the transaction. If the vehicle is new, then a dealer preparation charge will be required of you; this special charge covers the cost to the dealer for preparing the vehicle for sale after it has been received from the factory.

      Another number that can cause surprise is the interest rate, also called the finance rate. This is how much interest-expressed as a percentage and thus called an annual percentage rate-the lender will charge you if you take out a loan on your new vehicle. The APR can be negotiated.

      Car Lease Terms

      If you decide to lease a car, then understand the fundamental terms related to this option. There are two payments the dealer will want you to pay at the outset: the acquisition fees and the down payment. The acquisition fees are what the dealer charges to initiate the process required to check your credit reports and determine what type of financing you qualify for. The down payment is the amount you pay in order to cut down on your finance charges: the bigger the down payment, the lesser the finance charges. When you enter into an agreement to lease a vehicle, you are referred to as the lessee. The finance company that you agree to make specified monthly payments, or lease payments, to in order to have full access to the vehicle is called the lessor; sometimes car companies have their own finance companies, and these are called captives. Since you do not own the vehicle, the lessor is actually the legal owner, or buyer, of the vehicle until you pay the dealer in full for the vehicle, if you so choose. The lease is basically a long-term rental agreement in which you agree to use the car for a predetermined period of time-the lease period or term-or you agree not to exceed an agreed upon mileage limit or allowance, in exchange for making lease payments. Going over the limit will lead to your incurring excess mileage charges. If you decide you no longer want to lease a car before the term ends, then you will have to pay a penalty appropriately called early termination fees.

      When the Lease Ends

      At the end of the lease period, you have the option to either buy the car or return it to the dealer. The type of lease you ideally want from your dealer is a walk-away lease, or closed-end lease. The reason is that this type of lease gives you the right to simply buy the car at the end of the term for a set price or to walk away from the lease at the end of the term and not be liable for any unexpected reductions in the value of the automobile.

      If you want to continue leasing a car after the term expires, you can arrange to do this with the dealer: This prolonging is called a lease extension. If you decide you want to keep the car and buy it outright, then you must pay the buyout price for the car. You must also pay a disposition fee: the price the dealer charges you to return the vehicle to its fleet and restore it to sale condition again.

      After-Purchase Care

      Purchasing an extended warranty ensures you will receive additional car protection after your original warranty-the factory warranty-expires. An extended warranty will state the specific kinds of services and repairs that will be covered on the vehicle you purchase.

      You do not have to be at a loss when making sense of dealer speak. Of course, you may not understand everything being said, but educating yourself on some of the key car buying terms and car leasing terms will enable you to speak intelligently and confidently at your dealership. Get a good APR, or negotiate it if you do not like the one being offered. Negotiate the dealer preparation charge if you are not satisfied with it. If you lease, make sure you get a closed-end lease so you are not stuck with any hidden charges the dealer may try to make you pay.

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    • Buy | Guide to Vehicle TypesBuy & Sell Cars Articles

      When you buy your next vehicle, whether it is a new or used model and whether it is from a dealer or a private owner, you will be confronted with more shapes, sizes and styles of vehicles than you can probably stand. It is good to know what all of these different types of vehicles have to offer that distinguish them from one another so that you can know which one will be right for you.

      SUV and Bakkie

      Sport utility vehicles are notable for their carrying capacity. This type of vehicle can generally accommodate as many as eight people. In small to midsize SUVs, a convenient third-row seat makes it comfortable for children to find extra seating; however, the third-row seat in large SUVs, which are any SUVs that are more than 5,08 metres long and more than 1,635 metres tall can accommodate adult-size passengers, instead of forcing them into centre rear seats. Examples include the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe. You can also take advantage of the sizable storage space, or cargo area, that these vehicles have. If you fold down the rear seats or take them out altogether, then that will give you the room you need to transport large objects such as camping equipment. Fancier versions of the SUV are also available, for example, Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GLK class. They are appropriately known as luxury SUVs because they provide luxury features for their owners. Another type of vehicle that provides a cargo area is the bakkie; for example, the GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Avalanche and Ford F-150 all have open cargo beds in the rear. Because the cargo area is open, it is good for carrying tall items that might not fit in a conventional size vehicle. SUVs and bakkies have something else in common: Both of their engines use eight cylinders. The V-8 engines provide them the power to haul their loads.

      Hatchback and Coupe

      A hatchback is any four- or five-seat car with a lift gate - the formal name for the rear panel or hatch that swings upward-which opens up to an enclosed storage area. These cars are typically less than 4,52 metres long and less than 1,63 metres in height. Some examples include the Mazda 3 5-door and Volkswagen Golf. A hatchback is good for putting large items in and pulling them out easily. A coupe is any car with only two full-size passenger doors and that does not have an upright lift gate, for example, the Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz CL-class. Another version of the coupe called the premium coupe also offers a full slate of luxury features, for example, the BMW M3, Audi R8, Porsche Cayman and Maserati GranTurismo.


      A saloon is a type of automobile that has four doors-but it may also have two doors-and a standard boot, such as the Honda Civic and Hyundai Sonata. There are different types of saloons; for example, there is the family saloon, which is a standard saloon that is about a little longer than 4,7 metres but less than 4,95 metres, such as the Kia Optima and Nissan Altima. The sports saloon category focuses on driving dynamics, and includes such cars as the BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Large saloons are longer than 4,9 metres and this category includes the Pontiac G8 and Ford Taurus.

      Sports Car, Convertible and Supercar

      A sports car is any two-seat or two-plus-two coupe or convertible intended to deliver above average speed, acceleration and handling. Examples include the Chevrolet Corvette, Mazda RX-8 and Porsche Boxster. A convertible, which falls in the sports car category because of its capability to deliver thrilling performance, is any car with a top that can be folded back or removed entirely. Examples of these retractable roof vehicles include the Audi TT Roadster, BMW Z4 and Mazda MX-5 Miata. A supercar may not be as well-known as a convertible; it is a low-volume exotic automobile that delivers superior performance and comes with a high price tag. Examples include the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, Ferrari F430 and Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.


      A hybrid vehicle is any vehicle that relies on a dual power source for operation-sometimes simultaneously-for instance, a petrol engine and an electric motor. The Toyota Prius is a common example.

      Whether you need a vehicle to accommodate just a few passengers or you need something that can carry your ski equipment, there is a type for you. The key is to know the differences. Consider getting a bakkie if you routinely carry tall or extra-large objects that would not fit in a typical boot, and you want to carry such items and not worry about getting the interior dirty. If you are environmentally conscious and those issues are most important to you, then get a hybrid vehicle. If you are an automotive enthusiast who cherishes speed, then higher performance cars such as Corvettes may meet your needs.

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