How to Buy a Good Used Car – Where to Buy Cars
Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Generation; we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive, 16 time, maybe more winners of best auto repair in Vancouver. How’re you doing today Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well Mark.
Mark: So, um, we’re going to talk about the last kind of section of buying a good used car; where’s a good place to buy a car?
Bernie: Well as I see it there are three options to buying a good used car, actually buying any used car whether it’s good or bad, one is a private sale, second from a dealership, and the third is from an auction.
Mark: Alright, so what are the advantages of a private sale?
Bernie: So for private sale, I usually think price is one of the advantages, not always, you have to do your homework as I mentioned in previous hangouts but price is definitely generally better and also you get to meet the owner of the car, you get to know how did this person take care of the car, you can talk to them about, you know, see if they have maintenance receipts, um, often you can buy a car from the original owner, if it’s an older car you can see how they maintained the car and it gives you an opportunity to decide, hey do I want to buy this car based on the person who’s even owned it, so that something that you don’t get when you buy from a dealer or auction house, is to get to know who’s owned the car and how they’ve taken care of it. So that to me is an advantage of the private sale, much more personal.
Mark: Yeah, I remember looking for a car and we went, quick story, and we went and the guy jumped in this car, started it, floored it, literally floored it right cold, blam and o.k. guys take it for a test drive, and it’s like, no thanks.
Bernie: Yeah, that’s an excellent example of you know, where you see the personality, the person who owned the car and you go I don’t think so, you can just tell the cars going to have problems. So that’s a very good, very good example.
Mark: So what about buying from a dealer? What’s the advantages from buying from a dealer?
Bernie: So dealers, there’s a few, there’s a wide range of dealerships. There are your branded dealerships like your GM, your Subaru, your Volvo dealership and generally these dealerships only sell what I call good cars, they’re usually late model cars, probably not much more than 5 years old, they’ve still got some, they’re still higher priced, they’ve got some good value, they probably took them in a trade in and they make sure they sell cars that are fairly decent. Your next category of dealership is your independent dealership; now these range anywhere from you know, you’re extremely sketchy auto sales person that’s made a reputation, made the car sales business horrible up to some very high quality used, independent used car dealerships. It’s really worth doing your homework before you buy a car again from these kind of people, find out where the dealership is, I mean if you like the car that you’re looking at, you know suss out the dealership and you’ll get an idea whether they sell good quality cars or not. So advantage of dealers, I mean you know, some of the lower end dealers will sell any piece of crap and try to make it look good, but the higher end independent dealers will again sell pretty good cars because their reputation’s on the line, they don’t want to sell you a piece of junk. What else, oh yeah, dealerships will often offer in-house financing, especially the larger dealerships so that’s, that’s another advantage, I mean of course you can finance pretty well any car but you know, it’s kind of a one stop shop, you can buy the car and finance it and take care of the whole transaction in one shot.
Mark: Alright, the final category, excuse me, is auctions, what, what are the downfalls or advantages of using an auction?
Bernie: Well, I think auctions are risky, this is where you really need to do your homework, this is really where you need to know what’s a good type of car, you don’t want to walk into an auction going, well I’ll just put a bid on any car, that’s a bad mistake, I’ve seen people who’ve bought cars at auctions that wouldn’t be worth owning for free. So you need to do your research, if you know exactly, hey I want to buy this you know, 2000 or say, I don’t 2009
BMW X5 and you know the price range, you know what looks good, you know what doesn’t, what the price range is for mileage you can look over the car although you can’t really take it out on a road test, you don’t really know the history of the car but can probably get a pretty good idea but again, it’s about knowing the car, doing your research, then you might have the opportunity to get a good deal. The thing about auctions is a lot of times people get caught up in the hype of the auction, they end up bidding way more money for a car that isn’t worth it, so you’ve got to know what you’re doing for auctions. I would say it’s probably your final option and the thing about the cars, it really becomes a commodity in an auction house, is just a machine that’s sitting there and who knows how it’s really been taken care of or who’s done what to it, there’s not really a lot of, you know, I’ve got to say a good independent car dealer or even a you know, a branded dealership usually does an inspection on a car and goes over it, so an auction house won’t even go that far, but there are some guarantees in place but it’s a little dicey. So I’d say that would be my very last choice for buying a good used car.
Mark: Yeah, it’s probably something where if you’re willing to do a lot of the research and you really know cars, although you don’t even get much of a chance, lifting the hood isn’t going to tell you a lot about how the car’s going to run or just starting it and seeing if it’ll, you don’t still know if the brakes or steering are any good but it’s, there’s a lot that can go wrong even with a low mileage car as you’ve pointed out, you know, 50,000 kilometer vehicles and the motors are done.
Bernie: Absolutely, we’ve got a, you know we’ve seen a couple where you know, just recently worked on some cars where you know, we’d done some work on the engines and I know they don’t have a lot of life left in them and you know, some could be some of these things in auction and it could actually pass your sort of immediate test, oh that car’s not bad, it might actually work for a while and blow up in a year so, I mean how of a used car is that? So um, yeah, that’s so, as I say auctions are definitely, I mean a lot of dealerships buy from auctions but you know, they’re experienced pros and they don’t always make the right choice either. If you’re buying a used car you usually have one shot at it and most people don’t want to buy a couple. Oh, I’ll get rid of that one, it’s a lot of work. You want to make your choice and do it right the first time.
Mark: Any final thoughts?
Bernie: Yeah, I mean, I guess a lot depends on how much money you have to spend as well, I mean if you’re looking only to buy a $3,000 used car you’re pretty much going to be in the market of buying for a private sale is really the way to go, you don’t want to go to some car lot and buy a $3,000 car, I mean it’s I don’t know it’s just, to me it’s just too risky, they pawn off too much junk but if you’re looking, you know if you have a budget for a 2 or 3 year old car I mean you’re pretty much, pretty much going to be buying that from a dealership of some sort whether it’s a good independent dealership or a, or a brand, a branded dealership and often those cars have a bit of warranty left on them as well. So, it depends on what you’re buying and it’s almost as important when you buy a used car to be realistic, if you’re buying a 3 year old used car, not much is going to go wrong with it but if you’re buying a 12 year old car, well it’s old, you know and stuff is going to happen no matter what, so you know, don’t buy a 12 year old car expecting it to be like a new car.
Mark: Right so if you’re looking to buy a new car and you need an inspection before you purchase the believe me, learned the hard way, you must get an inspection before you put your money down; these are the guys to call Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks Mark.