What Is The Best Used Car To Buy?
If you are like most used car buyers looking for a good deal then you are looking to spend as little as possible to get you rolling https://iauto.lv/. If spending as little as possible is your main focus in buying a used car then you should be shopping with a strict set of criteria that any car must meet in order for you to consider buying it.
There are a number of factors that affect the cost of owning a car both short term as well as long term. Here are a list of factors to consider when looking to spend as little money as possible when buying a used car:
1) the car must not be too expensive to buy
2) the car must be in good mechanical overall condition
3) parts for repairs must be readily available and affordable
4) the car must meet reasonable expectations of longevity
5) the car must be economical on fuel costs
6) the car must be economical on insurance costs
These are general guidelines that are based on the cost to buy, maintain, repair, insure and drive the car. A car that meets these requirements will have the greatest likelihood of costing the least both up front, but also in the long run when you factor in the ongoing costs of driving the car.
What is the best type of car for a small budget?
If you are shopping within a tight budget but require a car that will be consistently reliable for the foreseeable future then you really should be shopping for a four cylinder car that is front wheel drive and has four doors. Additionally you do not want the vehicle to be newer than 5 years old and no older than 12-15 years old.
The age of the car you are buying will be one of the most important factors in determining the value of the car https://doncasterapps.co.uk/. In addition to being an attribute of the condition of the car itself, the vehicle year will also affect the insurance quotes that you will get on the car, the availability and cost of replacement parts, as well as the resale value in the future should you want to sell the car.
Buying a brand new car
Buying a brand new car is a rewarding experience to be sure but seldom a wise investment since a new car will devalue instantly as soon as you assume ownership of the car. This measurable loss in equity is a result of the car no longer being brand new and thereby losing its most valued attribute. For any person looking to buy a car on a budget a brand new car will almost always be a bad decision. If you are intent on buying a new or nearly new car, the value of your buying dollar will go much further on a car that is even six months or one year old.
Buying used cars 1-5 years old
Used cars in the category are a substantially better investment than cars that are brand new. The large depreciation of the car when it transitioned from being a new car to a used car has been experienced by the current or previous owner. A car in this age range will be less likely to experience mechanical failures than cars moderately older, which is important as replacement parts are more expensive and less available than cars which are a few years older. Additionally the insurance premiums you are quoted for newer cars is substantially higher than a car which is a few years older. This is a very important factor for any used car shopper which falls into a moderate to high risk category due to age, experience or previous claims on their insurance history.
Buying used cars 5-10 years old
Used cars in the age range of five to ten years old represent the best likelihood for a good long term car investment for a thrifty shopper. The insurance rates on these vehicles will be much lower than newer vehicles and replacement parts should be readily available and cost effective to buy. The purchase price of used cars in this age range are low and the possibility of finding an undervalued car to buy for cheap is high if you shop around enough. There is a sharp drop off in price as cars age from the five year to the ten year point. A used car that is more than ten years old will be priced according to its condition more than its age.
Buying used cars more than 10 years old
Once a car is more than a decade old it will be priced for sale according to its condition and vehicle reputation alone. It can be expected that used cars of this age will require regular maintenance and ongoing repairs for the remainder of its life. Some older cars will sill run trouble free for years while others will need repairs on a regular basis just to keep them on the road.
A used car buyer shopping in this age range must be comfortable with performing vehicle repairs and maintenance themselves or have a dedicated monthly budget to allow for ongoing repairs.
Additionally a used car in this age range can develop a problem which will be very expensive to repair such as an engine or transmission failure so the importance of being able to buy a used car that is in good condition is even more important. Rust and rot can also become a pressing issue for cars in this age range, especially in colder climate areas where road salts are used to keep the roads cleared in winter. A ten year old car that has not been maintained or rust proofed located in a cold climate could easily be rotted beyond repair on the frame or sub frame. Vehicles in this age range are likely to be the least reliable and are recommended only for those who are capable with DIY repairs on an ongoing basis and carrying a basic tool and emergency kit is a must at all times.
As you can see there is more to consider than simply the price tag when it comes time to buy a used car. There is no such thing as the best used car, only the best used car for your needs and your budget
In my last article, I explained the difference between a car's 'passive safety' (the ability to protect you in the event of an accident) and its 'active safety' (the ability to help you avoid having an accident in the first place).
Both are equally important although active safety tends to be less understood and thus often overlooked. The profile of passive safety in modern cars has been raised by programs such as EuroNCAP, but obviously not having an accident at all is preferable even to a very small accident.
Modern cars have a whole range of advanced electronic systems which help a driver to maintain control of the car in an emergency situation and reduce the chance of having a crash. Even the most basic new car will come with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and usually some form of Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP, or sometimes referred to as VDC, PASM or other acronyms depending on the manufacturer).
ABS prevents the brakes locking when you jump on the pedal, so that you can still steer rather than sliding straight ahead. ESP is a very clever system which recognises where you are trying to steer and whether or not the car is actually going that way. If the car's direction doesn't match where you are trying to steer it, ESP can brake individual wheels on the car and even cut throttle if necessary to help the car go where you are pointing it. It is very helpful in slippery conditions where the car wants to slide straight on instead of turning (understeer) or spin around backwards (oversteer). If it is all working well, you don't even notice anything is happening.
Many modern cars have a whole host of electronic systems in addition to the two examples above which can help make the car 'safer' to drive. These systems can make the car more predictable in its behavior, slow it down slightly to allow tyres to maintain grip, even apply different levels of braking to each wheel to keep the car balanced. All of these things make it easier for the driver to maintain control of the car, and therefore less likely to have an accident.
Some very advanced technology is available in luxury cars which takes this even further. Blind spot monitors use cameras to keep an eye on your blind spot and warn you if you are about to move over in front of another car, or helps to stop the car drift out of its lane. Some cars can 'recognise' speed limit signs and flash you a reminder. Night vision technology is available to identify pedestrians outside of your headlights' range. There are advanced cruise control systems which not only maintain your speed, but can speed up or slow down to follow the car in front and even brake the car from 150mph to a complete stop if necessary.
Last year I drove an Audi A8 in Germany, on autobahns and around towns as part of an Audi training program. Over a 20-ish mile drive route in a convoy of cars, I went from 60mph to 150mph (unrestricted autobahn, not through city streets) to a complete stop to 140mph and back to a complete stop, overtaking other cars, following other cars, got stuck behind a truck for a while, trundled through a village and eventually pulled into a car park and stopped. At no point for more than 20 miles did I touch either the brake or the accelerator. Yet the car had behaved itself perfectly, faithfully following the car in front without ever getting too close. For the first half of the journey, my foot was hovering right over the brake pedal just in case, but the car's systems were clever enough to 'read' the traffic conditions and respond accordingly. Once I got over the surreal feeling of a car accelerating to over 150mph (250km/h in the metric world) and stopping from that speed with no pedal input from me, it was actually a very comfortable drive and made the trip more relaxing. The system used two radar units, a camera, the parking sensors, the satnav system and a powerful computer system to gather and process a huge amount of information and make split-second decisions all along the way.
But active safety isn't just about electronics. Any aspect of a car's design or engineering which helps a driver avoid an accident is an active safety feature. The thickness and placement of windscreen pillars, for example, has an important effect on a driver's ability to see oncoming traffics at roundabouts. A lighter car will respond more nimbly to changes of direction (say, swerving to avoid a dog on the road) than a heavy car. Modern tyres are much better at dispersing water in heavy rain, making it less likely that you will slide off the road. More sophisticated suspension systems help cars stay better balanced on the road, even at high speeds or when towing heavy loads.
Ultimately, an 'actively safe' car will be one which is easy to drive, predictable in its behavior and gives the driver confidence when action needs to be taken. Predictable behavior is safe, so that a driver knows exactly how a car is going to respond and will instinctively steer and/or brake when a problem presents itself. A car that behaves unpredictably leads to a driver acting hesitantly and not taking enough action to avoid an accident.
When test driving a car that you are looking to buy, it is important to consider how comfortable you find the car, and how easy it is to see ahead, behind and to the sides. Every person is different, to the position of seat, pillars and mirrors will affect everyone differently, and that will affect how you are able to respond to an emergency situation. Make sure you give the brakes a good shove (make sure there's nothing behind you and that the other people in the car know what you're about to do!) so you can get a feeling for how the pedal feels. Check your blind spots, check your mirrors, check how well you can see traffic - especially bikes - at roundabouts and so on. If you are looking at a used car, check the tyres to see how new they are and whether they are a reputable brand or a brand you've never heard of.
In the third and final part of this feature on car safety, I will be talking about what you can do to make your current car safer.
Stuart Masson is The Car Expert, a London-based independent and impartial expert for anyone looking to buy a new or used car. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for nearly thirty years, and has spent the last seven years working in the automotive retail industry, both in Australia and in London. Stuart has combined his extensive knowledge of all things car-related with his own experience of selling cars and delivering high levels of customer satisfaction to bring a unique and personal consultation service to the car buyers of London. The Car Expert offers specific and tailored advice for anyone looking for a new or used car in London.
Car auctions in Japan are a great way for car importers around the world to source good quality, low mileage cars and other used vehicles at great prices.
However, in order to make the most of the opportunities these Japanese car auctions give you as a car dealer, you have to make sure that you understand the car inspection reports. As a well-informed buyer, you can make sure you sift out the gold and avoid costly mistakes.
In this article, we will look together at who makes these auction inspection reports and what you can find in them.
If you are at at serious about buying cars from car auctions in Japan, you need to read on.
Quick Primer: What are these Japanese Car Auctions?
There are about 86 different auction locations in Japan. A typical day will see anything from about 7,000 to over 40,000 used cars and other vehicles sold at these auctions all around the country.
A good Japanese car exporter will give his customers access to all these auctions through an online system. You may be a continent or two away from Japan, and yet sit down in front of your computer and tap right into this huge selection of RHD and LHD cars right away.
Enter a bid at the click of a mouse, and let the car exporter in Japan handle the rest. A few weeks later the car will be arriving at the port for you to pick up.
Used Car Inspections at Japanese Car Auctions
Car auctions in Japan employ seasoned mechanics to inspect all the vehicles they sell. These inspectors work on site in the case of most auctions, or off site at car dealerships in the exceptional case of Aucnet.
The auction inspection covers every aspect of the car, from mechanical areas and chassis, to the exterior and interior condition. The car auction inspectors are thorough in their approach, with the only caveats being that they do not drive the car at any more than parking lot speeds, and obviously they cannot dismantle the vehicle to check out really hard-to-reach places.
The Auction Inspector's Report
The car auction inspector write his notes on the o-kushon hyo (auction sheet). He will use a combination of scoring systems, written descriptions and a diagram of the exterior to give readers a good idea of the condition of the used car.
Overall Auction Grade
Car auctions in Japan assign an overall grade to each of the cars entered in the weekly auction.
I do not recommend that you rely solely on this grade when you consider whether to enter a bid or not. You will need to check the other detailed information that the inspector has written on the auction sheet as well.
(A good Japanese car exporter will be able to give you a professional translation of these details.)
That said, the overall auction grade has a role to play in helping you narrow down the field of potential bidding candidates. Here is a quick summary of the different grades:
Grades 7, 8, 9 or S - These refer to brand new cars with only delivery mileage.
Grade 6 - This grade can sometimes be equivalent to the grades above, but cars with this auction grade will usually have a little more than just delivery mileage.
Grade 5 - These are vehicles in superb condition, very close to brand new standard, but with several thousand kilometers on the odometer.
Grade 4.5 - A car in excellent condition, but with up to a few tens of thousands of kilometers on the clock.
Grade 4 - A good, solid car usually having less than 100,000 km on the clock.
Grade 3.5 - A higher mileage vehicle or one which will need some work to clean up.
Grade 3 - Either a very high mileage car or one which is generally rough.
Grade 2 - Very rough vehicles usually with corrosion holes being the reason for this low grade.
Grade 1 - Usually a heavily modified car which has had a different engine or transmission fitted, or which has an aftermarket turbo charger. Other possibilities are used cars with flood or fire extinguisher damage.
Grade R, RA, A and 0 (zero) - These are cars that have had some kind of accident repairs. At one end of the scale the repairs will be a single panel replaced due a minor parking ding, whereas at the other extreme there are vehicles that must have rolled in an accident which have had almost every panel replaced.
Ungraded vehicles - These are sold as-is by the auction with no or almost no information about their condition. As such they are very risky and can result in escalating additional costs if they cannot drive or move.
Some of these grades are more common than others. For example, grade 3.5 and 4 used cars will make up about 50% of any given day's auction, whereas there will only be a handful of grade 1 cars on the same day.
Interior and Exterior Grades
Japanese car auction inspectors assign letters to indicate the interior and (sometimes) exterior condition of the car. Again, these are very broad designations, just like the overall auction grading, and it is really important to read the details of the inspectors' comments to get a full picture of the condition.
Essentially, "B" is considered "average condition, considering the age and mileage of the car". So an interior grading of "A" means that the interior is above average, and if it is "C" then it is below average.
The "Car Map"
This is a diagram of the exterior of the car, and is usually found at the bottom right corner of the auction sheet.
The auction inspector will mark this with a combination of letters and numbers to indicate damage to the outside of the vehicle.
Here are some basic designations:
A = scratch
U = dent
S = rust (from the Japanese word sabi)
C = corrosion
W = unevenness in the panel (usually caused by panel beating)
These letters are also usually followed by a number to indicate the severity. So "1" is the least severe, and "4" is the most severe. In practice, the Japanese are so fastidious about these things that something like "A1", which means the smallest scratch, is really barely visible to the eye.
Japanese Car Auction Inspectors' Comments
In addition to the above, the inspector also will write comments about the used car as he reviews it. Obviously, the higher grade the car is, the less likely it is to have extra information written about it. So a grade 3 car will have many more comments than a grade 5 car.
The exception to this can be cars that have a large number of modifications and aftermarket parts fitted that the inspector then lists on the auction sheet.
Although it may seem that the overall grade, the interior and exterior grades and the car map give you enough information in order to place a bid, I strongly advise buyers to make sure that they get these comments professionally translated before they make the final decision to bid.
A grade 5 or above car may hold no surprises, but with anything below that it is possible that the inspector has written something which could influence your decision to go ahead with a bid or not. This is why it is very important to look for a Japanese car exporter who offers professional-quality translations of auction sheets.
Car auctions in Japan offer a great selection of used cars to source at good prices, and the auction inspection regime means that you can get a good, detailed picture of the condition of any vehicle prior to bidding.
Although it may seem daunting to be buying used cars from halfway around the world, these Japanese car auction inspection reports make the process of finding good vehicles easier and more reliable.
About the Expert Author
Stephen Munday has 12 years experience living and working in Japan, including 5 years buying from car auctions in Japan for customers around the world. His company, Integrity Exports, was set up with the goal of making buying from Japanese car auctions a stress-free and smooth experience.