Signs of an Honest Used Car Dealership You Should Know

Buying a car takes trust. It’s a huge investment, and it takes a little extra time and effort to get it right. When you’re on the hunt for the perfect car, knowing where to start may not be easy. But, finding a dealership you can trust is much easier if you know what to look for. Not all dealerships are made equal – some put their customers first, and others put themselves first. 

Still, it’s important to know that you’ve found an honest dealership that actually wants to help you out. The first way to do this, is to trust your gut. Here are some signs of an honest used car dealership you should know:

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through 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.


Finds Honest Salespeople Who Listen

In commission-based businesses, a bigger sale means more money in their pockets (a situation that can take the focus away from the customer’s needs). If a salesperson is consistently ignoring your requests, showing you cars out of your budget, or talking at you rather than to you, you’re not in the right place. Instead, look for sales staff who care about your opinions, show you the types of cars you want to see, and are willing to treat you with respect.

Beware of Red Flags When Buying a Used Car

This is more subjective, but it’s extremely important to trust your instincts. Also, look out for any warning signs or red flags. A dealership should make you feel comfortable, and the salesman should be helpful. A good way to determine this is if you’ve talked to them over the phone. If they are willing to negotiate with you via telephone, then they genuinely want to help you. If they try to pressure you into coming in and talking to them face-to-face, however, that’s a red flag. Chances are, they want to try and use high-pressure sales tactics in order to force you to buy the car, and they can’t do that over the phone.

However, not all dealers who want you to come in and talk face-to-face want to pressure you into buying a car. There could be a good reason they want you to come in. Listen to the tone, do they sound frustrated? Are they being pushy? These are warning signs over the phone and when at the dealership, so it’s best to just walk away.

How Long Have They Been in Business?

You can see the sign of an honest used car dealership from how long they’ve been in business. If they just popped up, that doesn’t mean they are a bad dealership. They might just have not gotten their name out there enough. But, if you want to be sure, then check how long the dealership has been in business. If they have been in business for a long time, then chances are they are doing something right.

Find a Dealership That Gives Reliable Information

Too often, an untrustworthy dealer will tell customers lies about cars in hopes of making a sale. To some salespeople, a lie that gets a customer into negotiations with a manager is a lie worth telling. This can happen in a number of different ways, including deceiving customers about available features, pricing, or vehicle availability. A good dealership will always provide reliable information, even if that means telling a customer no, or that a sale isn’t possible.

How Many Positive Reviews Does The Dealership Have?

The internet is a wonderful resource – especially when it comes to local business reviews. If people aren’t happy, the internet is the number one place they’ll express themselves, which gives you the opportunity to explore how others view the dealerships in your area. Before choosing one to visit, take some time to read feedback from your community, both negative and positive. Look on sites like DealerRater and Google Reviews to check for information on reliability, helpfulness, pricing, and more. A dealer with many negative reviews may not be worth your time.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection in Melbourne to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

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

sources: millerautoplaza.com, depaulachevrolet.com

Common Mistakes People Make at a Used Car Dealership

If you plan to buy a used car, walking into a used car dealership with salesmen trying to sway you into a sale can feel like a daunting experience. Unfortunately for new buyers, it can be all to common to make mistakes such as not requesting a test drive of the car or holding out with high expectations on what has been a good buy, only to miss out on the car altogether. However, buying a car doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you may have experienced in the past. In this article, we will look at some common mistakes people make at a used car dealership and some tips to avoid them. By eliminating them, you should be able to find the best car for your needs and your budget without too much stress.

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through 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. You Do Not Know What Car You Need

Buying a car is not like buying a new pair of shoes. There are in fact a number of questions to ask yourself – how much you can afford, reliability of the brand, known issues or defects with that particular model, size of the car and functional requirements just to name a few.

Sometimes for a brand-new car buyer, the showroom is not the first place to start. By conducting online research and comparing costs, specs and offers, you will be able to make an informed choice about a make and model of vehicle which will suit your needs. There are plenty of review sites and car shopping portals where you can gather plenty of information about the used car you may be thinking of buying.

#2. You Set High Expectations

Setting high expectations is one common mistake that new buyers make which can lead them to never achieving their goal of buying a used car. It is important to first understand the market value of the cars you have in mind is so that negotiations at the dealership can lead to an agreement. A smart dealer will be reasonable and look to sell their stock at a price that is competitive in the market. However, they will not be giving the car away, so some simple give and take will save you a lot of time in negotiation.

Simply do your research, set some boundaries and be aware of the reality of the costing of the car you wish to purchase. This is when you can hire a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne like German Precision to help you.

#3. You Do Not Take A Test Drive

When you decide to buy a car, do not trust the salesman’s words only. They are professionals who are interested in selling cars to make a commission. If they do not give you the opportunity to take the car for a spin, walk away. Returning a car should be straightforward, but unfortunately, all too many times can be difficult and paying for a car that feels right to drive is an important first test that should not be ignored. Gather as much information as possible and test drive a number of cars until you find the perfect one for you. Make sure that the drive truly tests the car rather than just a couple of turnings since you may pick up its problems after a decent test drive.

#4. Buying A Car You Do Not Need

Buying something that you do not need is another frequent mistake people make at the dealership. When you finally sit down to close the deal and sign the papers, be prepared to say “No” a lot since it is the time when the dealer tries to sell accessories or extended warranties that are either unnecessary or more expensive than expected. Make sure that you are not charged extra for things you have already negotiated with your salesman.

#5. You Discuss Your Trade-In Too Early

Many buyers find it convenient and appealing when driving their used car in and their new one away. If the dealership offers to discuss your trade-in, you should do more research on the value of your used car first to avoid making a potential loss. Alternatively, you can choose to sell your car separately so you may make more of a profit.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection in Melbourne to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

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

source: mrwheels.com.au

Buying a Used Car? Look for These Red Flags!

Buying a used car is a great way to save money and take advantage of depreciation but there are inherently more risks involved when a car has belonged to multiple owners.

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through 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.


Incomplete Paperwork

Specific paperwork is required to make your vehicle transaction legal. It serves as an agreement between buyer and seller. The correct paperwork ensures that the vehicle you are purchasing is legally registered and in fair condition. This includes a comprehensive service and repair history report.

Whether purchasing from a Dealer or in the private market you should expect to inspect from the seller, the service books and history of the car. A logbook that contains a full-service history with accompanying records and shows the most recent services is like gold when seeking to purchase a car.

Vehicle registration papers identifying the current registered owner or previous owner if purchasing from a dealer to ensure there is the correct legal title. Obtaining a PPSR Report will also identify if the car has been previously stolen, is an Economic Repairable Write-off or still has finance owing on it from the previous owners. Missing paperwork indicates that there may be some issues with the vehicle’s function or road history, so if the paperwork is incomplete, reconsider the deal.

Excessive Rust

Almost anything on a car can be fixed or replaced. The question is, should it be? When it comes to excessive rust, the answer is often no. While rusted out body panels can be replaced, it’s expensive and time-consuming. Rust on the frame means that the frame—the very bedrock of the car—is rotting away. Replacing a car’s frame, even if you just replace part of it, is expensive and runs the risk of weakening the car overall. While some rust is to be expected on a used car, look out for excessive rust with bits of metal flaking off, and avoid cars with rust in key areas. Let’s put it this way: some rust on the floor pan is OK, but if Fred Flintstone could drive the car, you’re better off walking away.

Warning Lights

We’ve all driven around for a week or two with the check engine light on in our car. After all, if the car is running it’s easy to overlook a light on the dashboard. And, sometimes those lights do come on because of a bad sensor or because we didn’t tighten the gas cap enough.

Still, if you’re looking to buy a used car that has a dashboard that looks like a Christmas tree, that’s enough of a red flag that you should reconsider. Sure, the lights could be on for a minor reason (again, that tricky gas cap), but they also could be on because of a bigger problem. If you really love the car, a trusty inspection from a professional inspector like German Precision can tell you if those lights are something to be concerned about.

New or Mismatched Paint

A freshly-painted accent wall in your living room is a good idea. On a car, however, you want all the paint colours to match, and fresh paint isn’t always a selling point. Like new or mismatched carpet, new or mismatched paint is an indicator that repairs have been made, which could mean that the car was in an accident. While some accident damage can be repaired, other accident damage can make owning that car a headache and a seller that’s trying to camouflage accident damage is not someone who you want to deal with.

Take a close look at any used car with fresh paint or paint that isn’t quite the same on all the body panels of the car.

Unlicensed Dealer

If you choose to purchase your next vehicle through a dealer, research the company and ask for proof of licence. Licence credentials ensure that you are purchasing from a dealer that is legally approved to sell you a vehicle. If a dealer is unable to provide you with proof of their licence, do not purchase a vehicle from them.

An Anti-Inspection Seller

Getting a prospective new car checked out by an independent mechanic is just good sense. While you’ll spend money ($250 or so) on the inspection, avoiding a used car lemon is more than worth it. Any upstanding used car seller should consent to have the car inspected by someone you choose. If the seller refuses to let you have the car inspected or insists you use their mechanic find someone else to buy from. Having a car inspected is a routine part of buying a used car, so sellers who refuse it may not be on the level. That’s a deal you can feel good about walking away from.

Smelly Interior Masked by Car Perfume

If a car’s interior is overly perfumed, the seller may be trying to hide mould or mildew smells. The vehicle may not be watertight if there are mould smells inside the car.

There are three common places where mildew smell can originate from:
• Dashboard — where water can build up as part of running your air-conditioning
• Body Leaking — in cracks from weatherstrips around doors and windows
• Leaking Drainage — such as those found in A/C and sunroofs

Alternatively, the previous owner may have been a smoker and caused odour damage to the interior upholstery.

Rectifying smells and damaged wet mouldy carpets and interiors is an expensive exercise.

In general, an excessive amount of air freshener in a used vehicle may be a reason to walk away from the deal.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

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

sources: mynextcarbuyingadvocacy.com.au, autoversed.com

Don’t Only Trust Roadworthy Certificates When Buying a Used Car

You plan to buy a used car from a private seller. The car looks good to your untrained eyes, and after seeing the Roadworthy Certificate provided, you decide that this is your perfect car. Turns out, you can get that certification for $100. And that doesn’t guarantee that your ‘new’ used car is in top condition. Then you will end up paying more for reparations after learning the hard truth: your car is not roadworthy.

Make sure your armed with this information before you go and look at a vehicle, don’t learn this after the fact!

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through 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.


A roadworthy certificate proves your vehicle has passed a roadworthy test completed by an authorised roadworthy inspector. The roadworthy test is comprised of various criteria points that the vehicle must pass to qualify for a roadworthy certificate. These areas include:

• Tyres
• Brakes
• Steering
• Suspension
• Body (for rust or damage)
• Windscreen
• Lights

For example: A roadworthy inspector will check to make sure the tread level on the vehicle tyres are at an acceptable level and the brakes are correctly sized for the vehicle. If the vehicle does not pass these requirements, it will not receive a roadworthy certificate.

The roadworthy test is designed to make sure your vehicle is suitable for the roads as per the guidelines set out by the Department of Transport. However, it doesn’t test if your vehicle is healthy. For example, a roadworthy doesn’t include an inspection of your oil, motor or gearbox. For a comprehensive report of your vehicle’s health, you should book in for a full vehicle inspection.

What if the vehicle doesn’t pass the test?

If any item fails to meet the test standard, the tester will issue you with a rejection report. You are then given a period of seven days to get the items repaired and submit them for the second inspection. However, if the seven days elapse, then the test would be carried out all over again.

How much does a roadworthy inspection cost?

The cost of the inspection is not fixed as it generally depends on the age, model and condition of the vehicle being tested. Charges for the inspection will still be required if the vehicle does not pass the roadworthy test. The roadworthy certificate will be issued for the cost of the inspection if it passes the roadworthy test.

How long is the certificate valid?

A roadworthy is considered ‘current’ and valid for a period of 30 days from the date of issue before you present it at VicRoads (e.g. when you visit them to transfer or re-register a vehicle).

Note: This is NOT a guarantee that a vehicle with a roadworthy certificate will necessarily continue to remain in a roadworthy condition for 30 days from the date the certificate was issued.

Why you shouldn’t trust Roadworthy Certificates

The way it plays out is that a buyer will be interested in a car, typically in a private sale or a car yard, more often than not in a private sale. They’ll go look at the car and everything looks okay to their untrained eye, and then they will proceed to buy it. Straight after their purchase, they will take it to their mechanic to get it serviced and checked out.

Which is not okay. If you’re looking at buying a house you don’t buy a house and then get a building and pest inspection report AFTER to make sure that everything is the way it’s supposed to be, you get it done first.

A roadworthy inspection can be issued on a vehicle that is still working but has a blown head gasket. A roadworthy can be issued on a vehicle that has a gearbox which is still operating but is about to seize because it hasn’t been serviced ion 100,000k’s. A roadworthy certificate gives you no idea of the condition of the motor, the oil if it’s been serviced it is literally a piece of paper saying that the brakes aren’t undersized, that there’s no cracks in the windscreen and about 20 other things. You cannot rely on that when you’re spending your hard-earned money.

If you’re thinking of buying a used vehicle (especially a private sale because you have no come back) you must go and get a PRE PURCHASE CAR INSPECTION first to ensure there are no surprises after the fact. You can use these to negotiate the price but more importantly, you can have the peace of mind of any repairs that may be required.

Never trust a vehicle with your money based on the fact that it has a roadworthy certificate. For $250ish you can get a pre-purchase car inspection done on most vehicles which will give you peace of mind.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

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

source: autoking.com.au, australianmechanical.com.au, vicroads.vic.gov.au

When it comes to buying a used or second-hand car, it should come with a “Buyers Beware” pamphlet to make sure your car is not a lemon.

There are often some clear tell-tale signals and some not-so-clear signs that your potential new car isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

According to this study, about two-thirds of lemon cars will start to have problems within about a month of you buying it.

Buying a used car can save you a ton of money in the short term, but in the long run, you might be paying more in maintenance fees for repairing the car.

Here are some signs to tell that the car that you want is actually a lemon:

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Best Questions to Ask Before You Buy That Used Car

When buying a used car privately, paperwork is all-important. The same is true when buying a used car from a dealer, and it can also be stressful. But if you go into it prepared and make sure you ask the right questions—of yourself and the dealer—it will be a lot easier. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions wherever you choose to buy, either. Although there’s no obligation for sellers to volunteer information about a car they’re selling, any questions you ask must be answered truthfully—otherwise, the vendor is breaking the law.

General Questions to Ask Yourself

1. How much can I afford to spend? Make sure you know your budget before you go looking. Also, this will help you decide if you need to look into financing or not.

2. How big of a car do I need? This will help you narrow it down based on things like how big your family is, if you will need to haul a lot of stuff, or if you will be driving it in narrow streets.

3. How will I use this car? Depending on your needs, you may need a specific kind or type of car.

4. Can I take it on a test drive? Always make sure you try the car before you buy it. Get some of our best tips on how to get the most out of your test drive here.

5. What fees will I pay in addition to the price? You will never pay just the listed price. There may be dealership fees, taxes, etc.

6. Dealer or private? A car dealer is generally the safest place to buy a used car, as there’s a degree of legal protection implied by its status as a business. A car dealer has an obligation to properly prepare a car before the sale, including verifying that its recorded mileage is correct.

7. Should I buy new or used? If you can afford a brand new car, it’s nice to treat yourself. However, buying a used car that’s only a year or two old will save you a lot on depreciation. Buying a car can easily become a very emotional decision, so be sure to keep a clear head and seek the advice of someone that you trust when you narrow down your car.

Questions to Ask the Seller/Dealer

1. Why are you selling the car? The seller could answer this question in a few ways. They might be ready for an upgrade or perhaps the car’s size doesn’t suit their lifestyle anymore. It’s good to know the reasons behind this change because you might run into the same issues down the line.

2. How long have you owned the car? If they recently purchased the vehicle and they are already selling it, take note as this could mean they ran into problems with the car.

3. Has it been in any accidents? In some cases, accidents are reported on a vehicle history report—but don’t assume these reports catch everything. If the car was in an accident, find out how it was damaged and how it was fixed.

4. What features don’t work the way they’re supposed to? Older used cars nearly always have something wrong with them. It might not be a deal-breaker—for example, if it’s a malfunctioning CD player. But other defects can come as annoying surprises, such as weak air conditioning, blown speakers or missing pixels in displays.

5. Is there any reason you wouldn’t drive the car coast-to-coast tomorrow? This is a fun question and sometimes throws the seller off balance. But if the answer is a resounding “No, there’s nothing wrong with the car,” that’s a nice vote of confidence.

6. What is the ownership history? “If the seller doesn’t really have many details about the car or only owned it a short time, that’s a warning sign,” Holthoff says. “I’m looking for a seller who really cared for the car for several years or more.” When searching for good used cars, he recommends using keywords like “original owner” or “service records” or even “garaged.”

7. How did you arrive at this price? If you’ve asked all the above questions, and you’re getting serious about buying the car, find out how the seller priced it. Many people simply pick a figure out of the air. If the seller says he or she used a pricing guide, you can double-check to see if the price is accurate.

8. Do you have the title in hand? If there’s a loan on the car from the bank, the seller might not have the title. Or they may not know where it is. These are problems that can be worked around, but it’s best to buy from someone who actually has the title of the car easily accessible.

9. Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection? It’s important that you take the car to a professional pre-purchase car inspector so you can get an expert’s opinion on what’s happening with the car under the hood. If the seller hesitates then this could be a red flag that there’s something they don’t want you to know.

As you can imagine, these questions will come in handy. Are you getting a good deal or buying someone else’s issues?

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly.

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

sources: requestyourcar.com, canstarblue.com.au, carbuyer.co.uk, nerdwallet.com

Top 4 Car Maintenance Tips for Summer

Aah, summer. A great time to hit the beach and strut your stuff in shorts and thongs.It’s the perfect time of year to take advantage of the season’s longer days by taking a drive along the coast, or through the city. Relax as you cruise along, listen to your favourite tunes and check out the nightlife.

However, before you can enjoy the perks of Australia’s gorgeous summer weather, you’ll need to make sure your car is in good shape. After all, you don’t want your summer plans interrupted by a breakdown, do you?

You can prevent costly car repairs by following these simple summer car maintenance tips!

Cooling System

The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

CAUTION! – Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot – boiling coolant under pressure could cause serious burns.

Tyres

Your safety rides on your tyres – literally. They are the only parts of your vehicle that are actually in contact with the road, so it makes sense to keep them in their best possible condition.

Under or over-inflation of your tyres is dangerous and can lead to excessive tread wear. Check your tyres monthly to ensure correct tyre inflation and adjust the pressure according to the placard on the driver’s door jamb.

Make sure there is at least 3mm of the tyre tread remaining (have a mechanic check if you’re not sure). If under 3mm of tread left, your tyres need to be replaced. Also, ensure your spare tyre is properly inflated and in good repair in the event of a flat.

Fix the Check Engine Light

The most common problem you’re likely to experience is an illuminated Check Engine light.

It tells you your car’s not healthy in one way or another, yet doesn’t provide the exact mechanical issue.

Avoid the urge to ignore your Check Engine light. While the problem could be as minor as a loose fuel cap, it could be a major problem that could cost thousands to repair if not addressed quickly, or worse still, leave you stranded.

Brakes

Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

BONUS: Get a Complete Vehicle Inspection

Before you head out on a summer trip, organise an overall vehicle inspection. Get your battery and charging system tested, have all the fluids, brakes and lubrication points checked, and have the steering and suspension components looked over.

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to check all the mechanical and electrical systems to ensure they are operating properly.

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

sources: autoguru.com.au, ase.com, exchange.aaa.com

Understanding Pre-purchase Mechanical Inspection

The point of the pre-purchase inspection is to confirm you’re not getting a dud. It’s to confirm the car is going to run, today and into the future. Your inspector will investigate the engine, radiator, battery, exhaust, tyres and body.

They’ll check for oil and coolant leaks, battery issues and poorly done modifications. You need an expert eye on this because even the shiniest car can come with hidden problems under the hood, and usually, they’re expensive to fix.

Here’s what you should run your eye over before you test-drive a car. This is not a substitute a professional mechanical inspection and you should always seek expert advice.

Think of this list as early warning signs – a red flag. If any of these issues present themselves, skip the professional inspection and move on to the next car.

Oil indicators

Oil can tell you a lot about the engine, so check it. If you pull the dipstick out and the oil residue doesn’t reach the ‘full’ marker, or it looks thick and black, this is a sign that the car has not been maintained well. If you look under the oil cap and find gritty carbon deposits there too, you can be sure there has been some engine neglect.

Leaks

Look underneath the car. Look at the radiator. Look at the hoses. Are there any signs of leakage? Cracking? Corrosion? If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance you’ll run into some of those hidden problems we mentioned about.

Filters

Look for excess dust, filter condition and clean and or replace filters as necessary. Check airbox seal is intact and closes correctly and all airbox latches and mounting point. Check all intercooler piping for damage & hose clamps. Do a visual check of primary and secondary fuel filters, if the secondary fuel filter isn’t fitted, recommend getting fitted pre-trip.

Windows

Check windshield and all windows and exterior light lenses, both in terms of cleanliness and visibility. Check windshield wipers and washers are operational.

Smoke from the exhaust

Turn the car on. Have someone rev it a few times. Is there smoke from the exhaust? Can you smell anything in the smoke? Either would be bad. Usually, a smoky exhaust indicates an oil-burning engine, which tells you there is a problem to be found.

Who can do my pre-purchase inspection?

All you need for a good vehicle inspection is a qualified inspector like German Precision.

When buying something big like a new car, have it professionally inspected. A pre-purchase car inspection would cost you $250 to $350, and it’s worth every penny.

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

sources: justautosmechanical.com.au, carsguide.com.au

How to Test Drive a Used Car

Once you have compiled a shortlist of cars that meet all your needs and wants, it’s time to go test driving. 

Whether you’re buying a new or used car, one of the most important steps in the process is, of course, the test drive. But sometimes a quick spin around the block just doesn’t cut it. With the salesperson or seller at your side and a speed limit of 50km/h, can you really make a solid decision on whether this is the car for you?

A short test drive near the dealership is a good start, but an extended test drive is better, allowing you to live with the car for a few hours or longer. At a minimum, make sure the test drive includes everything from parking and low-speed maneuvering to urban, arterial and, if possible, motorway driving.

Before you drive off, it’s important to know what you might be liable to pay in the event you’re involved in a collision during a test drive, such as an insurance excess. Before you sign a test drive agreement, make sure you read it to ensure you’re comfortable with all the conditions.

In a new car, the test drive will help you determine whether you like the driving feel and comfort of the car and whether it’s a practical fit for your needs.

A used car test drive is a bit different in that you’re also looking for mechanical faults or other issues that may have arisen as a result of wear and tear or poor maintenance.

Before the test drive

Strangely enough, the driving part of the test drive is only a small part of the experience. So as tempting as it might be to jump right into the driver’s seat and get out on the road take your time and do these things first.

Give the car the once over
Familiarise yourself with everything about the car.

• Open the boot and check how easy it is to get at the spare wheel (or if it has one)
• Open all the doors and climb into the back
• Fold down the rear seats (if possible)
• Check all storage compartments (make sure there’s enough)
• Try out the infotainment/audio system

While you’re doing all of this, you’ll notice how well each part functions. This will give you a general idea of the build quality of the car. It will also help you find any of those little things that might annoy you once the car is yours. If it annoys you on the test drive, then you can bet it will drive you nuts after a few months.

Sit in it for a little while
Now don’t get too excited, you’re not driving yet. You’ll want to make sure that you feel comfortable in the car and the best way to do this is to just sit there without the distraction of driving. Make sure the seat adjusts to fit your height and that you have pretty good visibility.

If you have kids, it might be a good idea to bring them along and have them sit in the back and tell you if it’s comfortable enough. They’ll want to be able to open and close the doors and get their seatbelts on easily.

Consider the test drive route
Ideally, you’ll want to take the car beyond the local neighbourhood and out onto the open road. Talk to the dealer/seller about where you’d like to go or if they know of a good route locally.

You simply can’t get a good feel for a car in a quick two-minute spin so taking it for a long drive is absolutely essential. It’s also not a bad idea to ask if you can take the car out once more at night. Night driving is a completely different experience, and you may notice some things about the car that you couldn’t have during the day.

Do you have a garage? Then ask the dealer/seller if you can drop by your house to make sure the car fits.

During the drive

Once you’re behind the wheel, you’ll need to pay close attention to these things:

1. Steering – Check the steering for excessive free play, pulling to one side or vibration, which could point to suspension or alignment problems.

2. Brakes – Ensure the car stops smoothly, strongly and in a straight line when the brake pedal is pressed. The pedal should not sink to the floor or feel spongy, and the steering wheel should not wobble or vibrate.

3. Exhaust – Check for noticeable exhaust smoke with the engine running at idle and under load during acceleration. Black, blue or white smoke each indicate different engine problems.

4. Engine – The car should run smoothly during accelerating, decelerating and when driving steadily. The water temperature gauge should remain in the safe range (or the temperature light should stay off). Rattling or knocking sounds might suggest incorrect tuning or engine wear.

5. Transmission – Check gear changes are smooth and decisive. On front-wheel drive vehicles, a knocking noise when turning indicates worn constant-velocity joints (CV joints).

6. Knocks and rattles – Listen for knocks and rattles as you drive, particularly over bumps and while turning, which could point to loose suspension or body components.

After the drive

At the end of the test drive, it’s okay if you’re not sure whether you want to buy the particular vehicle or model – you’re not under any obligation to buy it.

Once you’re back and parked, the dealer/seller will do all that they can to get you sitting down and talking about finalising that deal. They understand that if you just had a pleasant test drive, then it’s going to be pretty easy to push you into a decision. Don’t do it. Take time to reflect on your experience and to talk with whoever came with you on the test drive.

Even if you’ve fallen in love, it pays to take time to consider the options and try a few cars before you decide. Keeping emotion out of the process will help you negotiate more effectively, too.

This is a massive decision that you’re about to make so don’t allow someone to push you into making your choice on the spot. Go home, think about your experience, the extras available, and most importantly, the financial aspect. If it takes you a week to decide, then at least you’ll know you didn’t rush your decision.

Get it inspected by a professional

If you’re unsure, hire a professional like German Precision to help you.

When buying something big like a new car, have it professionally inspected. A pre-purchase car inspection would cost you $250 to $350, and it’s worth every penny.

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

sources: strattonfinance.com.au, mynrma.com.au

Selling Your Car? Then You Need To Do These 9 Things First!

If you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade your wheels, you’ll likely need to get rid of your current ride.

Whether you’re buying new or used, putting some effort into preparing your old car for sale is vital and could make all the difference when it comes to how much money ends up in your pocket – to put towards that new purchase.

There are plenty of ways to sell your car (we’d recommend online classifieds) but no matter which course you choose, making sure your car is well presented will go a long way towards getting you the best possible price or deal.

To help, we’ve put together a selection of tips that will boost your chances at getting the right outcome.

1. Clean it up

Let’s start with the obvious. It sounds so simple, and it is – yet so many forget to tidy up before taking photos or letting someone view the car. Empty out any personal items and remove any rubbish. Don’t forget to check under the seats and clear out the boot.

A messy car looks uncared for and is unlikely to impress potential buyers. Ensuring there are no loose items will also prevent any unnecessary rattling noises that could deter interested parties. If your car is in pretty good nick, then giving it a thorough clean inside and out yourself, could be enough. Don’t forget the engine bay.

2. Detailing, and a cut & polish

If your car is looking a little worse for wear, then a more intensive clean may be required. Minor scratches, scuff marks and baked on bird-poo can be vamoosed with a cut and polish, while a detailed service will leave the inside and outside looking its best.

This can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on the level of attention needed, so you’ll need to weigh up whether or not spending the extra money will make the car more appealing to potential buyers without over-capitalising.

3. Minor repairs

Check the tyres are at the very least in a fair condition. Uneven wear, bald patches or low tread depth will certainly be noticed, it’s a massive deterrent for buyers and you’ll be handing them a bargaining point.

Uneven wear could point to bigger issues with balance or suspension, which would also raise red flags. And, let’s not forget, worn tyres aren’t roadworthy – so you shouldn’t have let them get to that point. Again, tyres are expensive, so if they are technically roadworthy but a little shabby, you’ll need to weigh up your options.

Windscreen wiper blades and loose or broken fixtures inside could be quick and cheap to fix, so take the time to check everything over thoroughly and repair or replace what you can within a reasonable budget.

It’s also a good idea to check the fluids under the bonnet and make sure they are clean and topped up. If your car is unregistered or unroadworthy, find out what is needed but don’t get it done until the sale is secured. Use it as a negotiation point when settling on a price with your buyer.

4. Check the paperwork

Different states and territories have different requirements when it comes to the paperwork you need to have in order before you can advertise your car for sale. Do your research and find out the regulations that are relevant to you – each state or territory has comprehensive information available online. For example, if the car is registered in Queensland, you’ll need to get and display a safety certificate.

Ask your service centre for a statement of service history. It should be free and, like a logbook, it’s a great way to prove that the car has been maintained regularly and correctly.

There are a few other things to ensure are in order – if finance is owing, know the final total payout figure inclusive of interest and fees, and if the car is still under warranty, find out how long is left and if it’s transferrable. The more documentation you have to prove the vehicle has been well looked after, the more at ease the buyer will feel.

The potential buyer might also ask for a range of information including proof that you own the car – for example, a receipt or driver’s licence details that can be used to conduct a search to confirm, registration number and certificate of registration, engine number, VIN (vehicle information number) or chassis number. In New South Wales, they’ll also want to see a current pink slip (safety certificate).

5. Know what it’s worth

Getting an idea of what your car could sell for is easier than it sounds. There are numerous online tools that can give you a valuation, including redbook.com.au or mycarprice.com.au that is run by glassguide.com.au and costs less than $20.

Or, you can shop around to see what cars of the same year, make and model, with similar kilometres and in similar condition are going for.

Keep in mind, you won’t get anywhere near the valuation if you decide to go with the trade-in option. Dealers need to be able to make their own profit when they resell it, after all.

6. Take quality photos

A picture is worth a thousand words, so put some effort into taking a great shot of your car. These days, mobile phone cameras are very good and you don’t need to be an expert photographer to pull it off.

Find a nice location, too. Although the beach background looks good, it could suggest to buyers the car has been exposed to moisture and salt. Instead, try a quiet street, near a park, or a rooftop carpark.

Also keep in mind that natural light is better early in the morning, in the evening or when it is overcast. Harsh sunlight creates glare and shadows.

7. Write an honest and descriptive listing

When you write the spiel to accompany your listing, be accurate in your descriptions and honest about any serious work that needs to be done.

Highlight the positives but don’t try and oversell your beloved pre-loved vehicle. Be honest but not brutally blunt about its shortcomings.

The upholstery could be well-loved, rather than faded and worn. People will read between the lines, and there’s no need to make it sound like a lemon if it’s mechanically sound.

A characterful, well looked after second-hand car is more realistic and attractive to buyers than something that sounds too good to be true – unless, of course, it has been impeccably maintained, in which case shout it from the rooftops and be prepared to prove it.

8. Ditch the stank

Finally, pop an air-freshener in the car before you let anyone near it. It may not smell funky to you because you’re used to it, but if it’s stinky it will make a bad first impression and, again, convey that you haven’t taken care of it.

Leaving food or messy spills to fester is disgusting and will leave a lingering stench for a long time, as will smelly gym gear that’s left to bake in the sun.

Few air-fresheners could handle all of that, though, and prevention is better than cure. So, while you’re going through the process, keep it clean and mop up messes as soon as they happen, and you might avoid ending up with a nasty smelling car that will turn people off instantly.

9. Protect yourself

Lastly, be sure to protect yourself against anyone with less than honest intentions. Ask to take a photo of their licence, and immediately email or message the photo to yourself or a friend.

Join the potential buyer on the test drive of your car and, if you’re worried about your safety, bring a friend along or ask a friend to follow behind. Likewise, arrange to meet away from your home if you’re worried about an unscheduled visit before or after the arranged meeting time.

It might be the worst-case scenario, but you can never be too safe. Be careful, be smart.

Good luck!

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

source: caradvice