June 16

How to Buy a Good Used Car

Auto Repair


Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Generation, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, the 16 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing this morning Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well Mark.

Mark: So it’s a bit colder and wetter in Vancouver more like we’re used to. We’re going to talk about buying a used car, a good used car. So how and why would I buy a used car?

Bernie: Well there’s a lot of good reasons to buy a used car and I think especially nowadays cars are built so well contrary to what some people have you know, they think that the good old days are better. Modern cars are built so well, if you were to buy a car let’s say even a couple years old you may as well be buying a brand new car at a hugely reduced price so there’s a lot of financial value in buying a used car.

Mark: So is price really the only reason to buy a used car?

Bernie: I think so, I mean for any given model of car that you take, a used car is always cheaper and sometimes substantially so if you give it a few years. Depreciation is a huge issue with cars when you buy them and the moment you drive them off the lot you lose a lot of money right away so there’s a lot of good value in used cars, I’ll just share some stuff, share something with you here, just some quick research I’ve done. Here’s some price comparison, so for $20,000 just a few of the brand new cars you can buy would be a Chevy Cruise, a Kia Elantra, Toyota Corolla a Honda Civic and there’s a lot of others that I haven’t mentioned here Mazda, there’s Volkswagen, there’s a lot of offerings for $20,000 but if you spent your $20,000 on a used car you can get something a little larger like say a 2012 Honda CRV, extremely reliable car, will last a long time or a 2012 BMW 328i Xdrive with a navigation system, a lot fancier of a car or again for $20,000 you can buy 2011 Subaru WRX with only 51,000 kilometers, nice sporty fast car, you can drive around in style and you know, so those are some of the options that are available in that, in that. Now if you were to spend $40,000 you know, you can buy, you know a brand-new fully loaded Subaru Outback or Forrester, slew of other you know sort of lower end European luxury cars. There’s a lot of Japanese really good Japanese cars for 40,000 bucks but you know you can also buy a 2012 Audi S5, V8 Quattro or uh or something more practical like a 2013 Toyota Highlander, I mean not a very old vehicle, you know and a little larger or a luxurious 2010 Range Rover supercharged. Those are, those are some of the options and if you want to spend less money like in the $10,000 will buy you a great used car, even $5,000 bucks if you do your homework you can probably buy a good used car as well.

Mark: So aren’t there a lot of pitfalls or potential pitfalls with buying some of these fancier vehicles and wouldn’t maintenance start to become a financial burden?

Bernie: Absolutely and the fancier the car you buy generally the more problems you’re going to have with it and you know, sometimes the repairs can be astronomically more expensive I mean for example if you were to take a $40,000 vehicle and you chose either the Highlander or the Range Rover, the Highlanders going to give you almost no problems for many, many, many years, you know very cheap to maintain. The Range Rover on the other hand is going to have problems, I mean if I was going to buy one of those I realistically probably consider spending you know, budgeting three to five thousand dollars a year on repairs and maintenance. So if you know that kind of thing and you really want the Range Rover I mean you’re going to save a lot of money over a new one and have a great car.

Mark: All right so what do I do to protect myself and make sure I’m not buying a car or vehicle that’s not going to be, I’m not inheriting a lot of somebody else’s problems?

Bernie: Well there’s a few things; so first of all you do your research, you set a budget, how much do you want to spend on the car and then you, you’ve got to factor in maintenance costs as well, you can’t just go, oh the car’s 10,000 bucks and it’s a BMW, great, I’m going to buy it. Just remember there’s a reason why the car that was worth $50,000 a few years ago is only worth $10,000 now because there’s repairs and things that are going to need to be done, so you really have to look at the big picture. You look at reliability reports for cars and you talk to people, you call, you call people like us at our shop here in Vancouver, you know you’re looking at a car, call us, we can give you some advice, let you know what kind of car is good if what you’re looking at is a worthwhile thing to buy or you can consult your mechanic that you trust. There’s lots of resources out there, but do your homework, that’s the most important thing. There are other things that we can do beyond that but the first step, do your research, do your homework.

Mark: Well having been through this experience what about making sure, I meant to but didn’t darn it, was to bring the vehicle into you to get a vehicle inspection prior to buying it, isn’t that a good idea?

Bernie: You know I think that’s the most important consideration and when I think of over the years of people who have bought you know, made bad used car choices I think they could have all been avoided, I mean every one of them could have been avoided by either calling someone like us, like a trusted mechanic someone they deal with or ourselves, you know to ask you know, I’m thinking about buying this car, what do you think and then if you know if the advice you get is yeah that seems like a good car, then get it inspected, don’t just assume you know, we charge about $150 plus taxes to do an inspection on a car, it’s, it’s cheap, I mean there are cars that I have seen over the years that aren’t even worth owning for free so it’s a $150 even if you spend it three times, it seems like a lot of money but it’s well worth it to get the right car because it’s like a marriage, you want to marry the right person otherwise it’s going to cost you a lot in the end. I was going to say too I mean just from experience, just talking about reliability of vehicles and in doing research I mean it’s also important to choose the right car and not to get emotionally attached, we can talk about that further in our next, next hangout but you know really important to make the right car choices.

Mark: So this is all great, kind of overview info, are we going to dig into this a little bit more coming up?

Bernie: We are absolutely, you know I was just going to say to summarize, you know what we’ve talked about, you know it’s great, great to buy used cars because you can save a lot of money, you can get a better and fancier car than you might be able to afford but the key is to do your research, do your homework, make sure you know what you’re buying, you know, don’t make a bad decision, don’t make an emotional decision, consult somebody, yeah and so our next episode were going to look at you know, types of cars to avoid and the steps you can take to make sure you buy a good used car.

Mark: So we’ve been talking to Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. They do an amazing job of looking after your vehicle, vehicle maintenance and service and repairs in Marpole in Vancouver. Give them a call to book your appointment, they’re busy 604-327-7112 or check out their website; packed with all kinds of information pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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