Buying a Car With A Manual Transmission vs. An Automatic Transmission: Pros and Cons

Purchasing a car is a huge decision, and like with any important decision, you should do your homework and explore all of your possibilities. Aside from the car’s make and brand, body style, engine type, colour, and price range, you also need to choose the type of transmission that you prefer for your car—whether it’s going to be manual or automatic.

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

What Does The Term Transmission in Cars Mean?

You can think of transmission as a control board for transferring the rotational power from the engine—through gears—to the wheels of your car. At the same time, it regulates the speed at an optimum power band to prevent excessive power from damaging the engine.

The transmission allows the vehicle to shift gears, allowing power to be transferred from the engine to the drive axle in the most efficient way possible.

It does this by varying the gear ratio:
– In lower gears, this increases available power while reducing speed
– In contrast, higher gears diminish power while increasing speed.

This enables cars to more efficiently distribute power and speed in any given situation.

What’s The Difference Between an Automatic and a Manual Transmission Car?

The terms ‘manual’ and ‘automatic’ refer to a car’s transmission or gearbox, which is the system that transfers power from the engine to the wheels.

A manual car, as the name implies, needs the driver to shift between the gears manually in accordance with the vehicle’s speed and the amount of power required. In an automatic transmission, the car changes the gears for you.

After deciding on what you wanted for your future car, the big argument used to be whether you wanted a manual or an automatic. People who had to drive short distances or in stop-and-go traffic liked automatic transmissions, whereas those who travelled on open highways or wanted to get the most out of their car’s performance or fuel economy preferred manual transmissions.

Manual transmissions were traditionally the more affordable alternative since they were less expensive to manufacture and did not require the complex engineering that an automatic transmission did. Though automatics have caught up to manuals in terms of gears – and, thanks to new technology, can even outperform manuals in terms of efficiency and economy — they still have a long way to go in terms of efficiency and economy.

Let’s learn more about the difference between manual and automatic transmission cars, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each

Why Choose a Manual Transmission Car?

Manual transmissions have long been preferred by Australian drivers, whether it was to save money or because of the efficiency that manuals provided over older automatics. Enthusiasts who sought more influence over a car’s performance than just steering it down the road preferred manual transmissions.

Economy is also a factor. Because of their relative simplicity over automatics, manual transmissions have been able to have a higher amount of gears without becoming a problem for the rest of the car or for mechanics working on them. The classic selling point for manuals has been that they can achieve better fuel consumption and performance because they have more gears to make the most of the engine’s power.

One drawback of a manual is the skill required in learning to drive in one. Learning to change gears without stalling the car, especially from a stop, can be intimidating at first, but you’ll quickly establish a rhythm for releasing the clutch and accelerating, as well as bringing the car to a stop and changing gears down.

Pros of Manual Transmission Cars

1. Generally cheaper to maintain than the automatic type
People are increasingly preferring automated vehicles, and demand for manual transmission vehicles has decreased in recent years. As a result, a manual car would cost at least a thousand dollars less than its automated counterpart. Also, With all of the added machinery that goes into an automatic transmission, just keeping it functioning properly might wind up costing you a lot of money. Cars with manual transmissions require very little maintenance and are often less expensive to maintain and repair. With manual transmission cars, you save more on repair costs than with automatic transmission cars.

2. Better fuel efficiency than automatic cars
Overall/traditionally, manual transmissions are less complex, weigh less, and have more gears than automatics. The end result is that you’ll end up getting more kilometres out of the petrol you pump in than you would with an automatic. Manual transmissions have been known to save drivers between 5% and 15% on their fuel costs. This has changed with recent modern multi-speed automatics or Dual-clutch transmissions.

3. Better control with manual transmission car
Automatic transmissions are supposed to select the best gear for any given situation, but they often err on the side of caution, shifting to a higher gear and wasting engine power. At the same time, they are designed to adjust to conditions as they arise, preventing drivers from anticipating an impending situation or purposefully selecting a lower gear for an increase in power. Drivers with manual transmissions have more control over their cars.

Cons of Manual Transmission Cars

1. More Difficult to Learn
Because you must change the gears manually, learning manual takes longer

2. Heavy Traffic Driving
Due to repeated stopping/starting and manual gear changes, driving in heavy traffic can be challenging.

3. Fewer Car Models Produced
More and more car models are now being produced with only one version – the automatic version. Finding recent models that are available in both transmission types is becoming rarer and rarer. In the future, there will be fewer manual cars to choose from as more and more people prefer the simplicity and ease of driving the automatic.

Why Choose an Automatic Transmission Car?

Most drivers prefer automatic transmissions because they are more convenient. They’re simple to drive (apart from learning how to operate a car on the road), and they’re a good starting point to start for first-time drivers.

Automatic transmissions allow a smoother ride for inexperienced drivers. They don’t have to worry about changing gears at the right time and doing the perfect hill-start when they’re just beginning, which makes automatics good options for learners.

Pros of Automatic Transmission Cars

1. More Convenient to Use
Switching between gears in an automatic is easier to perform than in a manual car because you don’t need to simultaneously work at the clutch and the gear shift. The automatic transmission does most of the work for you. This may count significantly for someone who learns to drive for the first time. Shifting gears is easier to do and takes place faster with an automatic transmission. Automatic transmissions are much simpler and take drivers significantly less time to learn.

2. Keep Both Hands on The Wheel
New drivers can focus more on traffic rules, road signs, and navigating the streets with an automatic car. Keeping their eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel all the time becomes more achievable with an automatic than with a manual car. This is possible when driving an automatic transmission vehicle but is not possible with a manual transmission

3. Better for Hilly Terrains
If you’re a less experienced driver, you may find that navigating steep inclines in a manual transmission is difficult, especially if you’re attempting to do so from a dead stop. Automatic transmissions take care of this issue, enabling your car to operate efficiently no matter how steep the hill might be.

4. Reduced Risk of Stalling
While stalling is quite a common problem for manual cars, it’s not the same for automatics. It’s still possible for automatic cars to stall, of course, but they generally respond to adjustments promptly.

5. Easier to Use in Heavy Traffic
When you drive a manual transmission car, you spend more time starting, accelerating, decelerating and stopping. That’s fine when you’re driving long stretches with only a few cars sharing the highway with you. It’s a different story, though, when you’re bumper to bumper with other cars. With the automatic gear-shifting technology that automatic cars have, they’re more capable of responding intuitively to the slightest push and adjustment. Traffic lights and heavy traffic, then, become so much easier to deal with.

Cons of Automatic Transmission Cars

1. Cost More
Their off-the-showroom price will be higher. With all that technology and engineering needed to manufacture one, the high price tag should not be surprising. Older models also tend to consume more fuel than their manual equivalent, thus, they’re more expensive to run. This is fast changing, though, with recent breakthroughs that make automatic cars more fuel-efficient than they used to be.

2. More Complex and Expensive Maintenance
The more complicated parts and dynamics that take place in an automatic transmission system require that they be serviced for repairs and maintenance by professional mechanics. More complex parts mean more complex repairs. Necessarily, that entails more cost.

3. Not Qualified to Learn Manual
In some states of Australia, you’re required to take a manual licence test before legally being allowed to drive a manual car.

Basically, automatic transmissions are easier to use and more comfortable for the driver, while manual transmission vehicles are less expensive and more involved.

Of course, there are exceptions to any rule and the only way to be sure which one is right for you is to go for a test drive.

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!


The Advise You Need When Purchasing Your First Car


Buying your first car can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to do a little research and this guide will bring you through the process step by step.

Getting your first car, as well as the independence that comes with it, is a thrilling experience. You may drive whenever you want, organize a spontaneous road trip with your friends, and best of all, you’ll never have to wait for a bus, train, or tram again!

However, there are a few things you should know before buying your first car before driving off into the sunset. It pays to be aware of what to look out for and to be aware of all the accompanying expenditures.

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

Choosing The Right Car For You

When deciding what type of car to buy, it’s critical to be practical.

1. What is your financial situation?

For your first set of wheels, you’ll most likely go for a used car; however, if you have the financial means, a new car can provide benefits such as a full new car warranty, lower maintenance expenses, and the ability to customize the colour and features of your vehicle. Because you’re likely on a budget, avoid getting distracted by cars that aren’t part of your budget. Your budget must also take into account some of the easily forgotten costs such as transfer fee on purchase, insurance, annual registration, and maintenance costs including servicing, tyres, cleaning and of course petrol!

2. What will your car be used for most of the time?

You should also think about how you’ll use the vehicle. For example, if you spend most of your time zipping around the city, an SUV is generally not the greatest choice. As a general rule, the larger the engine, the more the initial and ongoing costs will be. In fact, in certain states, V8 or turbocharged engines are prohibited for young drivers. Smaller cars are often more cost-effective.

3. Do your research

You most likely have a specific brand and model in mind, so make sure you thoroughly explore all elements of owning this vehicle. Some cars may appear inexpensive to purchase, but they might be extremely expensive to maintain or even have special reliability difficulties. Consider if you want a manual or automatic (manuals are typically less expensive), safety features, the car’s mileage, and whether it has a complete service history. All of these factors can influence the purchase price.

When looking for your first car, the best place to start is usually online. You can study and compare vehicles from the comfort of your own home at Over 200,000 new and used automobiles, as well as the latest automotive news and reviews, are available on The editorial staff at test drives and reviews everything from compact vehicles to huge off-roaders all around the world, delivering honest assessments on each vehicle. Carsales reviews also include “green” and “safety” scores, as well as average fuel consumption — invaluable information for calculating operating costs!

4. Shopping around

It goes without saying that being well researched is vital to making the correct choice. It’s important that you don’t make any decisions if you are feeling pressured. Unlike a new pair of jeans, you can’t just take back a car if you change your mind. Most importantly don’t be afraid to ask questions. If somebody is asking a much cheaper price than everyone else, ask why. And keep in mind that if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.

When looking out a car, there are a few things to keep in mind:


A seller should be able to provide you with a history of any servicing or repair work performed. Inquire whether the vehicle has been in any serious accidents or if any important parts have been changed.


You can check the car’s credentials through your local government transportation authority, such as whether the registration is current, whether it has been reported stolen or written off, and whether there is a registered security interest showing money is still owed on the vehicle.


Consider how much it will cost to register the vehicle. If the registration is due soon after the sale, you may be able to haggle the price down.

Roadworthy Certificate

A vehicle should have a roadworthy certificate. Obtain a Roadworthy Certificate from the seller to show this, and double-check that the date is current.


Investing in an independent inspection is strongly suggested, and it can help you resolve any concerns you may have regarding the vehicle. Insurance companies, organizations such as the NRMA in New South Wales, the RACV in Victoria, the AANT in the Northern Territory, the RACQ in Queensland, the RAA in South Australia, the RACT in Tasmania, the RAC in Western Australia, or an independent mechanic in your area can conduct these inspections on your behalf.


A car’s engine may typically last between 200000 and 300000 kilometres before failing, therefore aim for the shortest distance travelled. The average person travels around 20000 kilometres each year. Examining the service manual is a fantastic approach to acquiring a feel for the vehicle.


The safety aspects of a car should be carefully evaluated. Is it equipped with airbags? If so, how many are there? What’s the status of the brakes? If you’re buying a used car, make sure you get an independent vehicle examination to rule out any problems.


Make sure to look over the car’s bodywork to make sure it’s in good shape. Keep an eye out for any rust or dents. This is critical if you want your vehicle to last and keep you safe in the event of a collision.

Test Drive

It goes without saying that you should always take a test drive in your potential new car. Consider the following before hitting the road:

– Ride Quality – Test the automobile on a variety of road surfaces. Test it on the types of roads you’re likely to encounter on a daily basis.
– Transmission – If driving a manual look for a smooth gear shift and clutch action. If testing an automatic, how are the upshifts and downshifts? There should be no abrupt jolts or lurches during these automated shifts.
– Handling – How well does the car react to changes in direction? Does it feel stable and controllable? Do you feel you could avoid an accident if you had to? Does the steering feel precise with no excessive motion?
– Braking – Really use the brakes. Make sure they show you in a straight, controlled manner. Brake softly and then aggressively to test the car’s reaction to sudden braking input. Remember to warn passengers before doing so and be sure to check for other cars around you.
– Noise – Listen for excessive engine, interior, tyre and wind noise with the windows up and down. If the car is equipped with a sunroof, open it and listen. Do this under normal driving conditions to ensure noise levels are suitable.
– Parking – Parallelly parks the car to check for blind spots or any difficulty identifying the corners of the car.

5. Purchasing the car

Once you’ve identified a car you’re interested in, you’ll probably go through one of the three choices below.

Purchasing a car from a dealer

Buying from a licensed dealer has many advantages. A dealer car is also more likely to be prepared for sale in a roadworthy condition and you will have ample opportunity to inspect and drive the car prior to making your decision. Dealers are also subject to significantly stricter rules than individual sellers, including statutory requirements to provide a warranty, depending on the age and mileage of the car. In most states, a “cooling off” period is allowed for and the dealer also guarantees title, which takes the risk out of buying a stolen car or one where finance monies are still owed. The disadvantage is that you will have to spend a bit extra on this piece of mind.

Some things to consider when buying from a dealer:

– Check the fine details of a statutory warranty and confirm what is, and isn’t covered.
– Once you’ve taken the car for a test drive and checked the car’s documentation, you can request a full mechanical inspection.

Purchasing from a private seller

Cars sold privately can be a bit cheaper, but you need to do the running around to ensure the car is legitimate. You also don’t get the benefit of a statutory warranty or a cooling-off period. You’ll have to check things like registration, whether the person selling you the car has the right to do so, and if the car has been written off by the authorities. It’s a good idea to go with somebody who knows their stuff.

Some things to consider when buying from a private seller:

– For registered cars, check the registration certificate to see that the owner’s name, license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), engine number and other details correspond with the seller’s driver’s license. You can confirm these details with your state’s road transport authority.
– Ask the seller about the car’s history. Has it been owned by anyone else? When was it first registered? Have they had anything modified or repaired?
– Take the car for a test drive, but be sure you take someone with you. The seller may ask you for a copy of your driver’s license so be prepared for this.
– Make sure the car has a current roadworthy certificate before you buy. Never offer to get it yourself; it is the seller’s responsibility.
– If, like most people, you don’t know much about cars, get a professional mechanical inspection. Private sellers will usually accept this if you agree to pay a small deposit. This should be fully refundable if you are not satisfied with the mechanical inspection report.
– To help you get the best price for your new car, it pays to be informed. Be sure to research the price of the car before you go to the inspection. The RedBook is a pricing authority that allows you to value new and used cars online. Check out for more information.
– Any money you pay should be accompanied by a receipt.

Purchasing from an Auction

An auction is another less expensive alternative however there are greater risks, so it’s not a place for the inexperienced. In some states, vehicles bought at auctions will have barely any paperwork. Also, keep in mind that it is highly unlikely you will be able to test-drive an auction car before the bidding process begins.

Some things to consider when buying at an auction:

– Turn up as early as possible so you can get a good look at the car and always go with someone who knows their stuff. Inspect as best you can, including starting the engine.
– Pick a budget and stick to it. This is especially important at auctions as people can get caught up in the heat of the moment in a bidding war.
– Stick to reputable auction houses. Remember that auction houses don’t know the history of the car so you may be exposed to buying a stolen car.
– Be wary of any warranties provided by auctions as they have a lot of exclusions.

Good luck with purchasing your first car and enjoy all of the memories that come with it!

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!


Inspecting The Tyres in a Used Car

Replacing a car is an exciting time for most car owners, and it is generally a large investment. A customer may have a number of queries, including the following:

“How far has it travelled?”
“Has it ever been used as a rental?”
“Did it suffer any damage or require any repairs?”

Many drivers buying a used car, on the other hand, may overlook checking the quality, pressure, and tread of the tyres, which could result in not only a significant cost in needing to replace them soon but also a higher cost if the tyres are unsafe.

There are numerous aspects to consider when buying a used car. Consider the vehicle’s and its tyres’ general condition. The condition of the tyres can reveal a lot about how well the car was maintained and operated. You may not want to consider it if the tyres don’t look good, or you may be able to use it as a bargaining tool if they do.

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

Check Tyres Before You Buy

When purchasing a used car, inspecting the tyres prior to purchase is the best way to reduce the danger of having to pay for the replacement of unroadworthy tyres. Regardless of the conditions, very few sellers would compensate buyers for tyres once the vehicle has been purchased and driven away.

Tyres are considered a maintenance component that will wear out, as well as one that is in direct touch with the road environment and hence prone to harm – it is impossible to prove their condition when purchased days or weeks ago.

If you inspect the tyres before buying a car, you’ll have a better chance of having their replacement cost reflected into the price before you’re accountable for them. The condition of the tyres might also reveal how well the car has been maintained.

The use of different tyres on each corner suggests that it was done on the cheap and without much thought for best practices, as ideally, you should never mix tyres on the same axle. If the tyre has a date stamp that is significantly older than the car, it could mean that part worn tyres were installed, which is also cause for concern.

You could wonder if there were any additional maintenance shortcuts taken by the previous owner in order to save money on tyres. In fact, as you approach the car for the first time, a look at the brand and type of tyres fitted can be a quick appraisal of the care taken by the previous owner, or whether they have ‘skimped’ on service/repairs, by fitting ‘el cheapo’ tyres. Just because they are new, doesn’t mean they are good. You can’t expect quality/safety/long life and performance from a $100 cheapy when a normal brand name tyre is $200-400. Safety/handling/performance are all usually compromised.

What Is The State of Your Tyres?

In Australia, the permissible tread limit is 1.5mm. If the tread depth on your tyres has worn down to 1.6mm, it’s time to replace them.

Did you know that low tread contributes to your car’s loss of traction on the road surface?. Appropriate tread depth is required for good braking, cornering, and overall safe driving.
There are many things you can plan for on your vacation, but one of them is the weather. Good water dispersion is also required for effective water dispersion, which reduces the risk of aquaplaning.

The good news is that inspecting your tyre tread is a straightforward procedure. You may check your tread wear in a few different ways:

– Tread Wear Indicator: In the tread of every tyre is a tread wear indicator. As the tread wears down, this becomes more evident. When the tread wear indicator shows that the tread is worn level, it’s time to replace the tyres.

– Tyre tread depth gauge: a tyre tread depth gauge can be purchased at your local auto parts store. It’s critical to check the tread at least three times. Measure the tyre’s outside and inner sides, as well as the centre, being careful not to position the gauge on the wear bar.

– To check the tread depth, all you need is a coin and a few minutes. The coin trick: Using a 10c coin, you can place the coin in the tyre tread groove. If the outside band on the coin is still obscured by the groove, then it’s still legal. You can also do the same trick with a 20c coin and if the platypus’ bill is obscured, then the tyre tread is deeper than 3mm.

Do Your Tyres Have Any Cracks, Gouges, or Bulging?

Regular visual checks of your car’s tyres can aid in the detection of cracks, gouges, and bulging. These issues might cause your tyres to slowly leak or blow out, both of which you want to prevent at all costs.

It is suggested that you have a tyre inspected by a specialist if you discover a crack in the sidewall. A crack in the sidewall of your tyre indicates that it is damaged. Cracks and gouges considerably increase your chances of a tyre blowout.

A bulge on the tyre’s outside surface indicates that the tyre’s outer surface is deteriorating and is usually the result of a sharp impact/curb/pothole etc and indicates interior damage. It is strongly advised that you get a tyre that is bulging evaluated by a specialist. A quick blowout might be caused by weak places.

Keep an eye out for brittle, discoloured, or cracked tyres, as this is a symptom of sun damage and will shorten the life of the tyres.

Do The Tyres Show Signs of Uneven Wear?

A variety of reasons might contribute to uneven tyre wear. Tyres that are under or overinflated, as well as a faulty alignment, might cause these problems.

Tyres degrade over time as a result of driving. They will eventually deteriorate to the point that they are unfit for use on the roads, thus inspecting the tread depths and wear patterns is critical.

In all directions, run your palm over the tyre. Any irregularities in tyre wear should actually pop out beneath the flat of your hand.

It’s a clue that the wheel alignment is wrong if you detect wear on the inner/outer edges of both front and back tyres. Any other lumps and bumps could indicate that tyres need to be replaced.

Once a tyre reaches the age of five, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on it and get it inspected by a specialist. Any tyre made more than 10 years ago should be replaced, regardless of tread condition or look.

Always remember to inspect the spare tyre as well; you never know when you’ll need it!

In certain cases, cars do not have spare tyres, as they allow for a sealant gel and compressor arrangement to reinflate a leaking tyre, or the car may be fitted with RUN FLAT type tyres (commonly labelled, RFT or RSC), which may be driven on under certain conditions. Note though that if a car is designed to use run flat tyres, and no spare or sealant/compressor system is available, you will need to factor in getting the car towed in case you suffer a flat tyre – check this.

How Do I Know If The Tyres Are in Good Condition?

You can visually inspect the tyres yourself, looking for any cuts, bulges, lumps, and bumps. Remove any stones or foreign objects from the tyres, since they may be hiding or impeding a more serious problem. If the tyre appears to be damaged, do not drive on it.

If you still want to buy the vehicle, have the tyre evaluated by a tyre professional as soon as possible.

If you discover a problem with the tyres on a used car but still want to buy it, it’s worth factoring the cost of replacing the tyres into the purchase price to assure you’ll be ready and equipped to do so.

More importantly, the safety of you and your passengers is crucial, therefore if you are ahead with the purchase and feel the tyres are nearing the end of their useful life, have them checked by a specialist as soon as possible. You should seek the advice of a specialist who can correctly pinpoint the problem

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!


Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

Privately purchasing might be intimidating, but it can also be rewarding if you ask the correct questions.

When buying a car privately, there’s a lot riding on getting it right. If you don’t understand the whole story before handing over your cash, credit card information, or a bank cheque, it can be a costly exercise.

However, it does not have to be a difficult or frightening process. A basic ‘audit’ of the car from its images in the ad can be the first step in the process of buying a car privately. Any obvious questions can then be directed to the vendor by phone or email.

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

Be Alert and Don’t Get Complacent

The process of purchasing a used car has been revolutionised by online portals. It’s a lot easier now than it was in the ancient days, and finding the car you want is a lot easier. However, this does not imply that you should treat the purchasing procedure as a stroll in the park.

The ad won’t tell you everything you need to know about the car you’re considering. You’ll need to keep an eye out for certain less-obvious hazards.

Has the car already been heavily damaged, and was it restored by one of those shady shops that cut corners to save money?. That’s the first in a sequence of questions you should ask the owner.

Inquiring directly with the owner is the best approach to obtain this type of information. It’s crucial to remember, though, that you might not obtain a completely honest response. However, it is preferable to ask than to let the seller off the hook completely.

Checking the photographs of the vehicle stated in the ad before you start asking questions is one method to prepare yourself for the vendor being economical with the facts. Request an opinion from a friend who knows a little about the car you’re considering buying based on a visual inspection of the vehicle. Ask your friendly expert to come along and assist you with your interrogation of the owner if they’re willing. They might notice something in the owner’s response that doesn’t seem quite right and calls for additional investigation.

Examine The Images of The Car

Before contacting a seller, look over the images to save time and avoid unwanted conversation. It also allows you to get right to the point and receive the information you need.

Be cautious that photographs can make a vehicle appear much better than it actually is. Despite this, they are nonetheless capable of providing you with a wealth of information. Expand the image to see the gaps surrounding the doors, boot, and bonnet in greater detail. Is it even possible? Is there a difference in colour between the panels? Are the doors, bonnet, and back hatch/boot lid flush with the rest of the panels?

What isn’t visible in the photographs may be more significant than what is. Are there any important photos missing? Is there a photo of both sides of the vehicle, as well as the front and back, in the advertisement? What’s to stop you? Why aren’t there any interior or engine shots? Is it possible for the vendor to provide further photos?

By comparing it to photographs of similar vehicles, you may figure out what the body and cabin elements for that vehicle should be. Are there any details, such as wheels, insignia, or other objects, that fit the vehicle’s description? If not, inquire about any discrepancies with the vendor. Examine the under-bonnet photographs and compare them to similar models. Are there any differences in important components? Has the car been altered in any way? Is it in accordance with the description?

Take a look at the cabin images. Is the upholstery, trim, and other interior elements correct for the model and year? Check against similar models once more. Is the vehicle in good condition? Is the condition of the vehicle compatible with other assertions made about it? What else are you going to find if an owner can’t be bothered to prepare the car for photos?.

Our Job is to Ask The Questions!

The vast majority of vehicle owners will tell you the truth about their vehicles to you, the customer. They simply want to sell the car and be completely honest about it. However, approaching any transaction with a merchant with a suspicious mind will not harm your interests.

Before you get serious about making a counteroffer, there are some tell-tale indicators you should take note of and file away for later consideration. During a property settlement dispute, we’ve already highlighted the potential that the seller is not authorised to sell his or her partner’s car.

It has also been mentioned that there is a lot of damage. A car that has been in a serious accident and is almost but not quite written off by the insurance company can be a money pit, a nightmare of inconvenience, and a source of laughs among your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to inquire about noticeable paint overspray under the bonnet, especially near the firewall between the engine and the cabin.

A secondhand car that is sold within months after purchase because a family member dislikes it is another red flag. This is a popular justification given by phony repairers, backyard traders, and others.

Has it been touted as a ‘low kilometre’ example of the model? It’s not uncommon for instrument clusters to be replaced, with the odometer indicating a substantially shorter mileage travelled. Sellers should be particularly questioned if they’re willing to guarantee that the car’s odometer reading is accurate. Especially if the service documents have vanished without a trace. Do they have any other records to back up this mileage (for example, service invoices)? In Australia’s wrecking yards, instrument clusters with 70000 to 95000 kilometres on the odometer are in high demand.

When it saves them and your time, honest vendors who have a real automobile to sell will usually support you in this procedure. You may fine-tune your communication with the seller and save time for both sides by working through these topics.

What You Must Hear From The Car Seller

– What are the specifics of the vehicle they’re selling?
– Do those particulars correspond to the ad?
– Is the vehicle equipped with the characteristics you require?
– Is the year the car was first registered the same as the year it was built?
– What is the total number of registrations?
– Is there a current Roadworthy Certificate (RWC) on the vehicle?
– How long has the car been in the seller’s possession?
– Is the seller the sole owner of the vehicle?
– Is it legal for the owner to sell it?
– Has the car been in the seller’s possession since it was new?
– Who was the previous owner of the vehicle?
– What’s the point of selling?
– What is the mileage on the odometer?
– What is the seller’s assessment of the vehicle’s state?
– Has it been involved in a collision?
– Which sections of the car were damaged in the event of a collision?
– What was the location of the repair?
– Is there a warranty on the repairs?
– Is there any outstanding finance, or is it a lease agreement?
– What kind of ownership documents, previous registration certificates, service histories, and significant repair information can they provide?
– Has the owner lately replaced any parts?
– Has it been tampered with in any way?
– Are they willing to bargain if the price appears to be too high?

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!


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How to Inspect the Engine When Purchasing a Used Car

The condition of the engine is critical when purchasing a used car because engine problems are costly to repair. Because it is difficult to evaluate the mechanical condition of the engine during a quick test drive, we recommend having a used car thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic before signing the contract. Here are some pointers to look for when inspecting a used car for signs of engine problems or a lack of maintenance.It is difficult to assess the mechanical condition of the engine during a quick test drive, which is why we recommend having a used car thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic before signing a contract.

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

Here are some pointers to look for when inspecting a used car for signs of engine problems or a lack of maintenance.

Examine service records

Although service records are not always available, it is helpful if the dealer or person selling the car can provide proof that the vehicle has been maintained on a regular basis. Look for oil changes and mileage records if you have access to the service records. It’s a plus if you can prove that oil changes were performed on a regular basis. Oil change intervals range from 5000km to 30000km depending on the manufacturer, but may also be based on time, 6 monthly or yearly, irrespective of km travelled.If the vehicle has been driven for a long period of time without an oil change, the engine may be worn on the inside. It’s also a good idea to know if the timing belt (if the car has one) has been changed, as well as what other maintenance has been performed.

Examine what’s under the Bonnet

Before you start looking under the bonnet, make sure the engine is turned off, the transmission is in “Park,” and the parking brake is engaged. Leaks, the smell of burnt oil or antifreeze, signs of poor quality repairs or lack of maintenance, and ‘racing’ modifications are all things to look for. Before showing a used car to a potential buyer, dealers frequently clean the engine bay. This means that just because everything is clean and shiny doesn’t mean the engine is in good shape. Let’s look at some examples:

Burnt oil smell under the bonnet

Repairing oil leaks isn’t always inexpensive. As the mileage increases, the piston rings and cylinders wear out, allowing more blow-by gases to enter the crankcase. This raises the pressure within the crankcase. As a result, the oil is forced out via various seals and gaskets, as well as the PCV (crankcase ventilation) system. This problem is more common in turbocharged engines. A well-maintained engine is unlikely to have any leaks.

Visible oil leaks

Oil leaks may not be visible from beneath the bonnet, but here’s a tip: look from beneath. Use your phone to take a photo or video. Examine the engine and transmission’s lower parts. Everything must be completely dry.

Leaks of coolant and other fluids

If a vehicle runs perfectly, but there is a coolant leak from the radiator, then this vehicle requires a new radiator at the very least. But a cracked radiator can be a sign of more serious issues. It is best to avoid buying used cars with this type of problem.

Low oil level, contaminated oil

Checking the oil condition on the dipstick can reveal a lot. The engine must be turned off in order to check the oil. Set the parking brake, but be cautious because some engine parts may be hot. The owner’s manual in the car contains instructions for checking the engine oil. If the oil level is low, it indicates that the engine is consuming oil or that it has been a long time since the last oil change. When the engine’s oil supply is depleted, it wears out faster.

Check under the oil cap while the engine is turned off

Remove the oil filler cap while the parking brake is applied and the engine is turned off. Take care, it may be hot; use a towel or rag. Examine it with a flashlight. Some engines have visible internal components. If you aren’t sure about performing this test, it is best to hand it over to your mechanic.

Keep an eye out for performance mods

If a vehicle has been modified for performance, proceed with caution. Modifications, when done correctly, can improve the performance of a vehicle. Poorly done engine mods, on the other hand, can cause a slew of issues, especially if parts that were originally on the vehicle are no longer available. If the vehicle has been modified, it has most likely been raced or otherwise abused.

Is there a timing belt on the engine?

Some vehicles use a timing chain rather than a timing belt. Timing belts in most cars need to be replaced between 90000km and 18000km, but also sometimes time factors come in and maybe 4-8years irrespective of km. A timing belt replacement costs between $800 -$1800 in a 4-cylinder engine and $2000 to $3500 or more in a 6 cylinder engine. If the car you want to buy has a timing belt, find out if it has been replaced. When a timing belt is replaced, some mechanics apply a sticker to the engine. A timing belt is hidden under the covers and cannot be seen under the bonnet. Your mechanic will need to remove one or two covers to inspect its condition, which is not always easy. Checking the service records to see if a timing belt has been replaced is a more realistic option.

Many hidden problems can be revealed by a cold start

Starting the engine cold is the best way to detect hidden engine problems. It might be a good idea to arrive at the dealer a little earlier than your appointment time to accomplish this. You will also know if the battery is in good condition, because if the battery is old, it may need to be boosted in order for the car to start. When starting the engine, keep an eye out for engine noises and smoke. Look for another vehicle if the engine rattles or makes other loud noises, or if there is blue smoke coming from the exhaust. The blue-grey smoke from the exhaust of the car in the photo, for example, was visible. It also smelled like burning oil. Blue smoke indicates that the engine is burning oil.

Test drive

When you start the car, all of the warning lights on the dashboard should turn off. If the engine symbol (Check Engine) light or Service Engine Soon light remains illuminated, the engine computer has detected a fault.It could be a minor issue, but it could also be a costly one. There is no way to know how serious the problem is unless the vehicle is properly diagnosed.

During the test drive, keep an eye out for engine noises, vibration, a lack of power, or any other issues with driveability. When the engine is started, it should run smoothly, with no shaking or hesitation. There is a problem if you notice the engine hesitating or stumbling when accelerating. Idle speed should also be consistent. Test drive the vehicle for as long as possible; problems may not be apparent after a quick drive around the block. It is advantageous to be able to test drive in all modes: acceleration, deceleration, stop-and-go traffic, and highway cruising.

Keep an eye out for the engine temperature displayed on the dash. After the engine has warmed up, the temperature gauge should remain in the middle of the scale.
Even if everything appears to be in order, we strongly advise having the used car thoroughly inspected by an independent mechanic before purchasing.

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!



The Checklist You Need When Inspecting Used Cars

When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, a Used Car Inspection Checklist is an excellent choice. To avoid purchasing a used car that will leave you stranded, we recommend thoroughly inspecting it on your own and/or requesting a professional used car inspection.

Follow these 9 steps to ensure you cover all of your bases and find a vehicle that is worth your money.

When Conducting a Used Car Inspection, Use These steps to check a car.

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

1. Examine the mileage

According to available data, most people drive a car 15000km per year on average. Any more than that will result in the vehicle having higher-than-average mileage for its model year and should warrant a discount compared to its less-driven peers. REDBOOK and CARSALES are two resources you can use to determine the market value of a used vehicle.

2. Examine the vehicle’s history report

Examine the vehicle’s history to see if there has been any previous damage. The seller may have the history report available for viewing. If not, you can purchase and download it online or request it from an inspection company.

The report is a good place to start, but sometimes it only includes information that has been reported. Previous owners may not have reported certain maintenance or claims/damages made to the vehicle. Through our vehicle inspection process, we have additional methods of learning about the car’s current condition.

3. Check for rust and discolouration of the paint

A close examination of the paint job can reveal information about the past. The Colour and quality uniformity of panels should be compared. If the colour or condition of the panels does not match, the vehicle was most likely involved in an accident and some panels were replaced.

Rust – If you notice rust on the vehicle’s bodywork, it could be an aesthetic issue, but it could also indicate deeper issues that are costly to repair. Frame rust, for example, can compromise the vehicle’s integrity and shorten its lifespan. If you notice rust on the vehicle’s body, look under the bonnet and undercarriage for more evidence.

4. Tyre Inspection – Look for signs of wear

A coin tread depth test is a quick way to check the tread on a tyre. Insert a coin into the tread and inspect it – repeat for each tyre. Please don’t forget to bring a spare. If the grip wears out, the tyres may need to be replaced soon, at an additional cost to you. If the tyre wear is uneven, there could be an alignment problem.

5. Undercarriage & leaks on the ground

While you’re looking at the tyres, check the ground and undercarriage for any signs of leakage. Leak repairs can be costly, but they may provide a price break/point of negotiation.

6. Check and Examine

– Examine the oil levels and condition/colour.
Remove the dipstick and clean it. Insert the dipstick once more, then remove it. A light oil colour usually indicates a recent service, whereas a dark or muddy colour indicates that it hasn’t been changed in a while. Plus a stained dipstick indicates less than frequent changes. Add the cost of the service to the price.

– Under the bonnet, look for signs of rust or corrosion.
These indicators provide a good indication of the vehicle’s previous treatment, current condition, and life expectancy.

– Examine belts for signs of wear.
If any of the belts are frayed or torn, they should be replaced as soon as possible.

– Examine the transmission fluid.
Make certain that the levels are high. The fluid should be clear and reddish in colour.

– Fluid for braking.
The amount of fluid left in your reservoir can be used to predict how worn your brakes are. Low brake fluid levels indicate that the brakes require repair. Also if dark/dirty, it indicates it hasn’t been replaced frequently and may have a high moisture content.

– Examine the antifreeze.
Check for oil contamination and that the colour is clear.

– Examine the battery.
Examine the area for leaks, damaged cables, poor contacts, or corrosion.

7. Lights: Headlight, Taillights and Signal Lights

Ensure brake lights, turn signals, headlights, and taillights are all in working order. Headlight lenses should not be hazy. Also, check for all interior lights are working too.

8. Driving Test

Keep an ear out for any unusual sounds or vibrations. Is the engine sounding normal when you start it? Perform any necessary warnings or checks. Do the engine lights (indicating DTC Error Codes) illuminate? When you press the throttle, observe the performance. Is the steering wheel vibrating or leaning to one side?.
Examine how the vehicle handles on various road surfaces. Brakes can give you a good indication of how worn they are or if they pull to one side. Don’t forget to look for the parking brake. If it’s a manual transmission, feel the gear shift to see if it’s smooth.

9. Professional Inspection

If you are unsure about any of the items on this inspection checklist, consult a professional. It’s also a good idea to have it checked out by a mechanic. Any issues that the mechanic discovers can be used as bargaining chips if you decide to make an offer. When compared to the cost of purchasing a problem-ridden vehicle, the professional inspection fee is a small price to pay. Check the comprehensiveness, OBD scan tool, and peer comparison when choosing a service.


Download below for the printable version

Used Car Inspection Checklist PDF


If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!


10 Signs to Look Out for Used Cars that Had Been in Accidents

There’s more to choosing a secondhand car than meet the eyes. Buyers won’t discover until way too late that the used car they purchase had actually been in an accident. This can cause long-lasting damage, and eventually cost you more money for inevitable future repairs. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry. Here are some of the vital signs you need to be cautious of when purchasing a secondhand car.

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

1. Paintwork

As flawless a car’s paintwork under the lighting of the used car showroom can be, it often helps to scrutinise it in a well-lit environment, such as out in the sun. This is where you can inspect the paintwork for any inconsistency.

You’ll be able to notice some slight shade difference, a variance of the shine, or even completely mismatched colours between the various different body panels. Whatever it is, it all points to a car that had its bodywork repaired. It’s better to check with your secondhand car dealers.

2. Replaced Parts

It’s rather common to replace only the damaged parts after an accident, as car parts are typically costly. The good news for you is that there would be obvious signs for you to look out for. On a heavily worn and aged car, a brand new part is like a gigantic warning sign flashing right in your face. Particularly when it comes to airbag covers, head and tailights—these are the things that most likely be damaged in a fender bender.

It’s worthy to note that in some cases, mismatched or third-party parts are often used in a bid to lower repair costs. So always verify with the seller on such irregularities.

3. Panel Gaps

You may notice by now that the most important thing to look out for is inconsistency. Check the gap between the fender and the door when closed. The rule of thumb is you shouldn’t be able to stick your finger between them. The gaps should be minimal and consistent throughout the bodywork. Serious accidents often cause many parts misaligned, and getting them back in place is not a simple task.

4. Alignment

Test driving a used car is about determining potential issues. If the car pulls to a side and is not able to drive straight, this is a sign that its alignment may be off. A big no is when you notice a car that has a bent chassis that is impossible to be properly aligned. Demand for a realignment to be done, if possible, and ensure that the issue has been rectified.

5. Uneven Tyre Wear

Even if the test drive shows the car tracks straight, be wary of uneven tyre wear. It could be the outcome of a botched suspension alignment setting. Uneven tyre wear may even indicate something a lot more serious, such as a problematic chassis, aligned to hide the issue. If the faulty chassis is constantly working against the wheel, the tyres would be subjected to abnormally high forces, which results in the uneven wear you’ve noticed.

6. Welding Marks

Look out for cutaway sections of a car’s parts that were stitched together. This is because most cars have parts that were welded together. Make sure the boot floor should be a single piece, and definitely not joint across the spare tyre well. Be wary on irregular welding marks (compared to other welds on the car), as well. Generally speaking, cars demonstrating such features are avoided since there is no way to know for sure if they have been professionally fixed. In other words, it’s almost impossible to know how well it would hold up in the event of another accident.

7. Unpainted Surfaces or Rust

Repair works on structural parts of a car usually require some welding. One thing about welding is that in order for it to be done properly, paint needs to be removed. These removed parts are usually made of steel, which will rust over time if left unpainted. Repair works on inconspicuous areas like in the engine bay are usually the prime suspects for unpainted surfaces and rust.

8. Fresh Undercoat

More common in countries experiencing winter, cars are undercoated to prevent rust. It’s also to slow down the rate of wear and tear. Local cars are undercoated as well, either as an option by the dealer or done by a third party. However, be cautious if you are viewing an unassuming used car with a fresh shiny undercoat. That might be an attempt to hide repair work that was done to the car.

9. Visible Creased Panels

One impact of a collision is creased malleable steel sheets. This shouldn’t be too hard to spot as they make up most of a car. A proper repair job would ensure that the body of the car is straightened as much as possible. A shoddy repair job, on the other hand, might leave concealed areas such as the boot floor or sections in the engine bay still visibly creased.

10. Mismatching or Missing Screws and Fasteners

The screws holding fenders in place may seem like insignificant hardware, but misplaced screws could indicate that the fenders were removed at some point for repair work to be done. While working on cars, it is rather common for workshops to misplace and replace such screws. So when inspecting used cars, these screws should be of the same type and of similar condition. The same goes for other parts as well, like the bolts holding the bonnet to the hinges or fasteners, which keep the fender’s splash guards on.

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!


Determine a Car’s Age

These days, the car company and its dealer network will make no secret of selling ‘old-plated’ cars. They’ll also run expensive advertising campaigns to market ‘last year’s cars to consumers.

But as much as plate clearances have become a big business opportunity and a boon for buyers, it begs a couple of questions.

Are you, for example, purchasing an ‘old’ car rather than a new one? And how will purchasing an old-plate car affect its resale value when the time comes to sell or trade-in?

To answer these, consider how we determine the age of a car.

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

Build Plate

The build plate denotes the end of the car’s production. The build plate is traditionally located somewhere in the engine bay and is riveted to a structural member of the body. It could be the firewall, but it could also be one of the strut towers or the leading edge of the bonnet.

In recent years, the build plate has become more commonly a powder-coated label bonded to the car’s body. It usually conveys information specific to the vehicle, such as the Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, which is stamped into the plate.

The VIN is a 17-character identifier that contains a wealth of data. Other information on the plate that is not specific to the vehicle may appear, such as engine type, transmission type, trim code, option code, and colour code.

The build plate on your car has a date on it (month and year). This is the ‘year’ of the vehicle that a valuer will use to determine market value at the time of trade-in. If the build date shows that the car was built in November 2017, it will be valued as a 2017 model – even if you bought it in February 2018 and did not register it until that month.

Compliance Plate

After the car is unloaded from a ship in an Australian port, it is placed in bond and a compliance plate is installed. The compliance plate, like the build plate, has traditionally been located in the engine bay, but it can also be located on a strong structural member, such as a B-pillar, and hidden by the driver’s door when closed.

The compliance plate, like the build plate, was once an aluminium plate riveted to the car, but these days it’s just as likely to be a powder-coated label bonded to the car.

The compliance plate, as the name implies, serves as proof that the vehicle complies with Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and is eligible for registration on Australian roads. It is required by law to include an approval number from the regulatory body, the federal Department of Infrastructure, which is in charge of transport in Australia.

The compliance plate must also include the category (usually MA for light vehicles), the manufacturer’s name, model line, series/generation, and VIN. GVM (gross vehicle mass in kilograms) and seating capacity are two other data points on the compliance plate.


The Motor Vehicle Standards Act of 1989 is repealed on July 1, 2021, and the Road Vehicles Standards Act of 2018 takes its place. The RVS is described as “the biggest legislative overhaul of road vehicle regulation in over 30 years” by the Department of Infrastructure, the federal government department in charge of transport in Australia.

Furthermore, the RVS framework “establishes nationally consistent standards appropriate for the twenty-first century,” according to the department.

One of the most notable features of RVS is the inclusion of a ‘Register of Approved Vehicles’ (RAV), which is a “publicly searchable database of vehicles that have met the requirements of the RVS legislation and been approved for sale in the Australian market.”

This change in the way cars are approved for the local market eliminates the need for physical compliance plates for vehicles listed on the RAV.

The Year of The First Registration

A full year may have passed by the time a car rolls off the assembly line and has registration plates affixed to it.

Shipping a car, even from a country close to Australia (in the Asia-Pacific region), could take up to a month. If it’s coming from North America or Europe, it could take six weeks or more – and that could be extended if someone parks a container ship at an angle across the Suez Canal.

It takes some time for the car to be delivered from the docks to a bond store. If it arrives near the end of the year, it will be delayed during the Christmas/New Year holiday season.

Following that, it must go through the compliance process. Every step of that process can add weeks or months to the process – for example, if a global pandemic slows supply – and then the vehicle must be transported to a retailer, where it must be prepared for sale.

It could remain in dealer inventory for months longer, waiting for the ideal buyer who wants that exact combination of colour, trim materials, and options.

It may take another week for the vehicle to be registered and delivered after the buyer signs the contract of sale and makes a deposit.

If you buy up until around April or May of one year, there’s a good chance the car you’re buying was built the previous year.

Why Are Model Years, and Not Calendar Years?

In the northern hemisphere, it has long been customary to launch a new model year in the fourth quarter of the previous year. As a result, a 2020 model could be introduced in October or November of 2019.

There are numerous reasons given for this, some of which sound like urban legends. One reason for this is that the introduction of new model years occurs near the end of the third quarter, which coincides with the traditional dates for major auto shows in Frankfurt and Paris.

However, that alone does not explain it. It is not uncommon in the United States for some new model years to be introduced as much as nine months before the start of the respective calendar year.

Furthermore, some manufacturers are introducing running changes to their model lines with such frequency that model years must be divided into quarters.

At the time of publication, Ford was taking orders for the 2021.75 model year Ranger, while the 2021.25 model year was still on the market and being delivered to customers.

There is often no plate or documentation to show the buyer which model year of vehicle they are purchasing, but trainspotters will be able to identify them by minor styling details or minor specification changes.

In short, how a manufacturer chooses to label its vehicle in terms of model years can be very misleading and is frequently irrelevant to whether the car is worth more for being a later model year unless the specification is significantly different – as in the case of a BMW ‘Life Cycle Impulse’ (LCI) update.

Generation Codes

Almost everyone who is familiar with the local automotive industry can envision an FJ Holden. The year 1953 comes to mind right away. Perhaps the XD Falcon will bring back memories of 1979 for Ford fans.

Local manufacturers used codes rather than model years to distinguish new designs or facelifts from previous models back in the day.

However, the Europeans distinguish different generations of model families with Baumeister codes for Mercedes-Benz – W126, W140, W220, and so on for S-Class – and the Entwicklungsnummer (development number) for BMW – E34, E39, E60, and so on for 5 Series.

Among Asian brands, Toyota is particularly well known for its katashiki (model) codes – ACV30 for Camry, TA22 for Celica, UZJ200 for LandCruiser, and so on.

Outside of the manufacturer’s own R&D facilities, these codes are essentially just shorthand expressions for the benefit of enthusiasts.

A ‘VF II’ Commodore is vastly different from a ‘ZB’ Commodore.

What will a car with an old license plate cost me when I trade it in?

So you’ve discovered that your vehicle isn’t a 2018 model after all. You purchased it that year, but the compliance plate clearly shows that it was not only manufactured the previous year but was also present in this country before the end of 2017.

When it comes time to trade in your car for a new one, you will pay for it.

Private buyers aren’t going to care that your car was only registered and driven on local roads for the first time in 2018. It’s plated 2017, so they’ll use that as a bargaining chip to knock a couple of hundred dollars off the price.

That is, of course, the issue to consider. When selling a car, the price difference between a car built one year and a car first registered the following year may not have much bearing on the final transaction price you can negotiate with the dealer or a private buyer.

In any case, if you purchased the car during a plated clearance, you likely saved more on the purchase price than you are losing on the trade-in value.

So don’t worry about it, especially if you intend to keep the car for a long time. By the car’s tenth birthday, any difference in resale value between the year of manufacture and the first year of registration will most likely be insignificant.

And, in the end, the car’s condition will influence resale just as much as its plated year… if not more.

If your old-plated car has travelled a few kilometres, has been serviced on a regular basis, and is in excellent condition, its ‘birth’ year preceding its year of first registration will have little, if any, impact on its value to a dealer or buyer.

In reality, an older car in excellent condition and very “authentic” will be worth more than a newer car of the same specification if the latter has had a rougher life.

If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!