What to check before buying a second hand car

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You’re considering buying a second hand car. Before you hand over your hard earned cash, here are three checks you should carry out to ensure you’re not getting more than you bargained for.

Rego check: It’s a good idea to check a vehicles registration details, including registration expiry date, Compulsory Third Party insurer and policy expiry date, whether the registration is suspended or cancelled, any registration restrictions any registration concessions (additional charges may apply upon transfer to a new owner).

Finance check: If you unwittingly buy a vehicle with money owing against it, you’ll inherit the debt or – when the finance company repossesses it to recoup its losses – lose your car completely.

Vehicle history check: You want your car to be safe. That’s the most important thing. So it’s important to know if the car you’re looking at has ever been written-off, flood damaged, stolen or had its odometer rolled back.

Top tip when buying a second hand car: Don’t just rely on the vehicle history check. Look at the car.

Check if the paint matches (colour and texture), look for paint overspray, look at how the body panels fit together, compare one side of the car to the other.

Check under the hood – the bolts that connect the hood to the hinges should be flawless; any scratches indicate work has been done. Also check for any damage to the car frame, as this indicates structural damage from an accident too.

For more on what to look for inside and outside of the car, and when on a test drive, download an NRMA Checklist here>

Buying a second hand car?
At www.carwant.com.au you can peruse cars already listed for sale. Of if you’re sick of the search, tell us what you’re after and how much you’re willing to pay and we’ll notify you when we find a match!

As well as being fast and free, this approach makes the delicate negotiation a little easier. Because buyers request second hand cars within a certain price range, sellers only offer second hand cars within that price range. For example they won’t try and sell you a $10k car when your price range is only $3 – $5k. Phew!

Private car sale inspection safety

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You’ve found a car you like. It’s the make, model, colour you want, it has the kms you expected, is within your price range and hopefully when you see it in person it lives up to all of your expectations. Here are our seven top safety tips for inspecting cars or, indeed, making them available for inspection.

1. Take someone with you. As lovely as the person you are going to meet probably sounds and probably is, the reality is – unless you’re buying from or selling to someone you already have a personal or professional relationship with – you don’t know the person you have arranged to meet.

2. Choose a sensible location for your meeting. As a prospective buyer, you want to meet in a public place, generally during the day, preferably busy and well lit area. As a seller, the aforementioned is probably true too. Most importantly don’t invite people to inspect or show the car at your home.

3. Arrange a safety inspection. If you’re serious about buying a car, to ensure you don’t get a lemon, arrange for a mechanic to have a look at it. Your mechanic may be able to assist, if not services like the NRMA can. This is especially important if the car is older and due for rego – the current owner may know it won’t pass a safety inspection and be trying to offload it. As a seller, having safety inspection papers can help speed up the sale.

4. Ask questions. Why are you selling the car? How regularly was the car serviced? Has it been involved in any accidents? Has it been involved in any floods? Has it had any major mechanical work? Has it had any parts replaced – including fan belts, brake pads, etc. – and when did that take place? Do they have the receipts for any recent work? When is the rego due? How old are the tyres? And anything else you need/want to know.

5. Only accept cash payments. This is more for sellers than buyers, but never sign over ownership of your car until you have cash in your hot little hand. Bank transfers can be cancelled and cheques can be bounce. Unless you are buying at a car dealership, cash should be the only currency you accept. If the buyer insists on cheques or bank transfers, wait until the funds are cleared and you’ve received confirmation from your bank before handing the keys over and signing final paperwork.

6. Make sure all paperwork is completed on site. The car will need to be signed over to the new owner. And remember that the new owner will generally require a licence in the same state as yours for car ownership to be transferred with ease. Double check that with the relevant authority in your state. For your records, in the age of smart phones, take photos of the paperwork just for you records.

7. Remember to insure your new car prior to driving away, just in case….

Buy and sell cars at www.carwant.com.au

10 Used Cars 0-100km/h Under 6 Seconds, Under $15K

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If acceleration is what you’re after in your next used car, these 10 hidden gems will get you to 100km/h in under 6 seconds without breaking the bank. Look around and you’re likely to find these super quick used cars for under $15K

If you’re looking for your next used car and want to find one of these super-quick cars, go to www.carwant.com.au and post a free request of the type of car you’re after, including the price range you want to spend.Movie A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

How to avoid car sale scams: for buyers and sellers

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How to identify a scam
  • Buyers – Scammers will pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads. Often if the price is too good to be true, it probably is. When you show interest the scammer will likely be unavailable -usually traveling or working abroad- but explain that the goods will be delivered by an agent upon receipt of payment. Heads up … you’ll never receive the goods.
  • Sellers – Often these ‘buyers’ are also conveniently unable to meet and are strangely trusting; willing to pay large sums without seeing the item they are paying for. They also may seem a little impractical – for example, an overseas buyer may be interested in purchasing your item despite it being commonly available in their home country and the fact that shipping costs would far outweigh the cost of the item. They may provide a fake receipt of payment. Or they may send a cheque that will bounce.
Before taking action
  • Buyers
    • Google the exact wording of the ad. You may find other people reporting the same or a similar scam.
    • Only pay for items you have personally inspected and never prior to inspection – deposits included!
  • Sellers
What to do if you discover a scam or are a victim of a scam 
  • Contact the relevant website and let them know the scammers profile
  • Spread the word among family and friends to raise awareness
  • Reports scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page
  • Get help here
Why www.carwant.com.au is safer
You can only be contacted by people who have registered a free account with www.carwant.com.au. And you can only be contacted when there is a match between wanted and for sale advertisements on www.carwant.com.au. This makes a helluva lot of work for a scammer – individually matching their wants and needs with yours to be able to generate an automatic notification through our system– which substantially reduces the risk of scams.

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Top five tips for preparing your car for sale

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Here are five things to consider when you’re preparing your car for sale that will help you sell your car faster and closer to asking price.

  1. Get the car detailed> 

When you’re preparing your car for sale, one of the last things you probably want to do is spend money on it, but…

Spending a couple of hundred bucks on having your car professionally detailed can add thousands to the sale price. First impressions count. Give your car showroom appeal, even if you’re meeting the prospective buyer in the driveway.

If you decide to clean the car yourself, you must be thorough. Remember, most buyers will look under the bonnet during an inspection, even if they aren’t quite sure what they are looking for. Dirtiness can indicate a poorly maintained car.

Also clean the door openings, blacken the tyres, empty the ashtray.

2. Service history>

Log books are great but if you don’t have them perhaps present the last couple of service receipts. This indicates you have properly cared for the car.

Also make the receipts for small mechanical repairs available to the prospective buyer. It makes you seem more credible as a seller and may even help legitimise your asking price.

3. Top up> Most people know how to check the oil, coolant and brake fluid levels, so fill these up to the line to indicate that you have regularly conducted general maintenance on your car. When you’re preparing your car for sale, it’s also a good idea to inflate the tyres to the correct pressure to ensure a smoother test drive.

4. Remove all loose items> Speaking of test drive… Things that shake, rattle and roll around during a test drive can be really distracting and create a bad impression. When you’re preparing your car for sale, remove all loose items. You don’t want it to sound like your car is falling apart!

5. Fix little things> Again, we understand that when you’re preparing your car for sale the last thing you want to do is spend more money on it. But replacing things like blown lights and old windscreen wipers is worthwhile to ensure your car doesn’t look run down, which can create doubt about the condition of the car in the minds of prospective buyers.

When you’re preparing your car for sale, remember:

  • If you’re selling a second hand car, people will usually be accepting of some small cosmetic blemishes and more concerned about the mechanics of the car.
  • For this reason, it can work well to time the sale of your car soon after it’s been serviced, or shortly after the registration has been renewed, especially if your car needs a pink slip.

Buyers, tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll notify you when it becomes available>

Sellers, advertise your car for free here>

2016 Kia K900 drive review: Great expectations

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Driving around in the Kia K900, I was thinking, “If this thing comes in at less than $80K, it’s a good deal.

“Holy mackerel! — look at that sticker! $68K!”

What do you get for that low, low price? Lots of power, effortless steering, a soft ride and a huge well-built interior.

The K900 is sort of old school in the sense that luxury and sport weren’t always seen on the same car. Kozak puts it nicely, “You helmed your big, comfortable family sedan during the week and zipped around in your dorky, underpowered but sporty MG on the weekends.”

Again, that’s not really a complaint, or at least not a big one as far as I’m concerned. The car has every kind of luxury feature as its competitors: LED headlights, nappa leather, gonzo stereo. It’s actually quite quick from a standstill, and out on the freeway it’s dead quiet, wafting along like an Olds 88. Sport mode makes the steering a little more responsive, quickens the shifts and improves throttle response. Still, in any mode, it’s old-school floaty. It’s one of the more relaxing cars I can recall. Personally I’d like things a bit tighter …

The big question is, are people willing to pay $66,400 for a Kia? Do upper-stratosphere buyers care about the badge? I think they do. This is a big, handsome, powerful, coddling car. Fit and finish is damned close to the Germans and Lexus, and it’s comfortable as all get out.

Do people care? Do K900s give the Germans heartburn? Or are we looking at a Korean Phaeton? The marketplace decides such things of course, though if Kia really wants to swim with the big fish it maybe should tighten up the ride — at least a little. That’s what I’d do if I ran the joint.

Walt Disney coined the poignant “do what you do and do it well.” Paraphrased, it can be taken to mean find your niche in the world and be the best you can possibly be rather than distracting yourself with grandiose and unrealistic goals.

Those sage words don’t stop brands from trying, of course, which is how I found myself behind the wheel of a Kia K900 stickering for $68,895.

Let’s parse this out: $70,000 luxury car? Sure, why not. Luxurious Kia? No issue there — you can get heated rear seats on a Forte. $70,000 Kia? Aha — that’s the disconnect right there.

I learned the hard way with my Optima review that Kia’s top U.S. brass have both an inflated sense of brand cachet and easily bruised egos, so I won’t bother to mince words: The K900 is simply too expensive to wear a Kia badge.

Though it won’t be perceived as such, I mean no disrespect. Kia makes remarkably good mass-market cars, and the brand has made unbelievable strides after peddling shitboxes for its first 10 years of existence here. That it suddenly feels the need to foist a $70,000 luxury car on an oversaturated market shows remarkable tone-deafness on the part of Korean bosses and the inability to learn from its predecesssors’ mistakes (see Phaeton, Volkswagen). As was the Phaeton, the K900 is a nice car, to the point of doing a convincing 550i impression when the road is straight and smooth and you dive into the 5-liter V8.

Remarkable ride isolation and an ultra-quiet interior begin to fool you into thinking, “Hey, maybe they’re on to something here.” Start asking for sporty handling, though, and things fall apart in a hurry. The K900 gets twitchy at freeway speeds, the steering is nonlinear and there’s a ton of brake dive. Still, I’m just a car reviewer, right? And one who’s made it clear he’s not in Kia’s good graces after inadequately fellating the brand’s best-seller. I could be both wrong and biased.

Could be, but I’m not: After January 2016 sales totaling 68 units, barely edging out the Cadillac ELR (a nameplate GM has already said will be euthanized when its current product cycle ends), the market is sending Kia a clear message about where the brand belongs — and where it doesn’t.

On Wheels: 2017 Kia Sportage is something to cheer about

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I don’t like worrying. Simply because I want a vehicle to look nice doesn’t mean I want everything and everyone to stay away from it, to avoid putting tiny scratches or fingerprints on it, or getting into it with dust on their feet.

The vehicle has to live, it has to share my joy of ownership, provide joy to all who use it. To do that, it cannot be precious. It must be unquestionably good, yes — high quality, even — but not the least bit precious.

It matters not that royalty or celebrity might have owned or driven it. All that means is that they had some common sense.

For me, the idea that I can get almost everything offered in a far more expensive vehicle at a somewhat affordable price — $34,895 — is something to cheer about.

And let’s be clear about this: It truly is something to cheer about, the 2017 — correct, 2017 — Kia Sportage SX Turbo AWD crossover-utility vehicle. Examples:

●Both interior and exterior craftsmanship substantially have been improved for 2017.

●There are two available gasoline engines: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 181 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque; a turbocharged (forced air) 2-liter four-cylinder rated at 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

I drove the turbo-2 SX Sportage.

Except, well, stupidly, I stopped paying attention to what I was doing. I got stopped by a polite, kind, professional, firm New Jersey state trooper while going 81 mph in a 50-mph zone. He could have given me a ticket. Instead, he had mercy on my gray hair (lots of it), and he responded favorably to my respect for him — “Yes, sir” and “No, sir,” that sort of thing.

Also, I did not argue. When you are moving 81 mph in a 50-mph zone, you shut the heck up, readily admit wrongdoing, apologize profusely and promise not to do it again.

I got stopped on Good Friday. In the Roman Catholic Church, this is the Year of Mercy. Maybe that officer was Catholic. All I know is that he certainly could have given me a hard time. Instead, he looked at me and said: “Sir, you know better than that. You could kill yourself or someone else. Slow down!”

Here’s how some people justify reserving Tesla’s Model 3, in their own words

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Tesla’s Model 3 is generating tremendous discussion about whether to reserve a spot in line, even with the knowledge that Elon Musk’s new electric car may not arrive for years. For many company loyalists, it’s a no-brainer for your budget and the environment. To skeptics, the Model 3 represents a dangerously risky bet that’s been amplified by a ceaseless hype train. The arguments are flying back and forth on Quora. In their own words, here’s why some people are dropping $1,000 on a car they haven’t even seen yet, and others are holding back.