Many of you, my fellow drivers, are snapping up eight to nine-year-old cars to tide you over whilst you wait for COE prices to fall. And I can understand why.After all, there are many reasons to eye a pre-loved car. Top amongst those reasons, of course, is price. Apart from not having to take a big hit from depreciation the moment you sign for your new car, you’re also saving loads up front due to not having to buy Certificates of Entitlement at their current sky-high prices.
At the same time, the rules for car loans enacted in 2013 also require you to pay down payment upfront of 40 or 50 percent for any new car’s purchase price and settle any car loan within five years.
That means, for a new bread and butter car like the Toyota Vios, you’re looking at a minimum of $43,000 cash to be paid upfront even before you get to drive it.
With used cars, you’re looking at much more generous payment terms and prices. Beyond what you’ll save, there are some other reasons to buy a used car with confidence, such as:
1. Quality Assured options
Buying a pre-owned car doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put up with all the foibles of used-car ownership, such as hidden flaws and unreliable performance, or what vintage car enthusiasts call ‘character’.
In fact, if you purchase pre-loved stock from a brand’s authorized dealer, you get the added assurance that your car has been pre-inspected and refurbished to the authorized dealer’s “as-new” standard.
Many used cars have also been given renewed leases of life, with some replacements of wear and tear parts timed to last the rest of their COE cycles. If you buy from a brand’s authorized dealer, you might also get bundled promotions to help sweeten the deal, so you may get more than what you bargained for.
2. More choices & bargains
Speaking of bargains, there are much more choices – and chances – for bargains to be struck. Just take buying directly from the original owner, for example. By cutting out the middleman, ie. a used-car sales company, you’ll potentially save thousands of dollars.
For a used car with a list price of $40,000, saving three to four thousand works out to 10% of the asking price – a sum not to be sneezed at.
Use our Guide to Used Car Issues to Consider to help gain the edge in negotiations with a used-car seller.
3. Established track records
Every car sells in millions worldwide. What that means is an established record of problems to look out for, and accordingly, a reputation for reliability that you can count on. Outside of a new car’s warranty, picking the right marque, model and model year is one of the few ways available to you to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
So get on the internet and perform some due diligence. Ask around – friends, relatives, colleagues and on forums, to discover the most typical issues that arise for the car you like, and take note of the likely issues you and other owners will face as the car nears the end of its 1st decade.
4. Lower, more flexible insurance
Unlike a new car, which often comes with a mandatory 1st year of insurance tied into the purchase price, you’ll have the freedom to choose your own vehicle insurer.
Some insurers have recognized the growing demand for used vehicles, and are offering perks for switching to them, such as HL Car Insurance – who has full comprehensive coverage, with 25% discount and free car servicing packages in addition.
HL Car Insurance’s perks include the option to sign up under All Workshop or Authorised Workshop plans. You will enjoy lower premiums with 50% off your excess if you select their authorized car workshop for repairs.
What’s more, the benefits include 24/7 emergency towing and referral for minor roadside repair. Receive a complimentary Car Maintenance Package when you sign up for HL Car Insurance (with a 30% NCD) as a first time customer, to give your car a good pampering session!
5. Lemon Law Liability
The Lemon Law was enacted to protect consumers against defective goods, to ensure you get your money’s worth when you purchase a product. Luckily for us all, this extends to used cars as well.
That means, should you require a repair, refund or replacement, there’s a legal framework in place to help you get it. This works in two stages. First, there is a timeframe for you to report defective items – within six months of the sale. Then, the seller must prove that the defect did not exist at the time of delivery in order to refute the claim. If he can’t, you can then request repair or parts replacement for the reported problem during this time.
If the fault is not fixable, if the problem persists even after repair, or if the repair is not satisfactory, you can request for a price reduction while keeping the product, or even return it for a full refund.
This law covers a wide range of vehicle defects, from cosmetic flaws to mechanical issues, as long as the defect occurs within a six month period from the date of delivery.
And in case a replacement is finally given, the COE and ARF of your car can be transferred to the replacement vehicle, as long as that’s within the initial stipulated period of six months.
So go ahead, buy that used car with confidence. You now have every reason to.
This article is brought to you by One Shift.