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Whats important when buying a new small car

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What’s important when buying a new small car

Purchase cost
Its seems one could spend anything from $13,000 to $35,000 the higher end of the scale may not reflect anymore features than the mid range, the question is what can you efford on the day, and we are talking about a small car in the practical sense 
Warranty
Warranty is very important but there are many factors in the warranty, for example its no good if your vehicle is under warranty but you keep taking your vehicle back for the same problem, car makes almost factor this in so your question is how far is the service centre if you need to return your vehicle for service or warranty.
Its almost getting to the point where buyers should enter into a contract where if the vehicle is repeating a issue more than three times then the dealer should offer a free vehicle should be provided.
Most people just give up after a period of time never to purchase the same type of vehicle again

Service costs
When it comes to servicing this is something to research, but not from the sales person perhaps you want something in writing. You want to know how much will your new small car from 0 to 100,000kms over the next 5 years, you may also compare the service cost of an independent service centre, remember the warranty is not effected if genuine parts are used.

Features
Recently I have noticed that features are so fluffed up they tend to hide the real benefits. Features are the new way to confuse you when it comes to technology, never feel inadequate if you are told it has ABS, BA, EBD, CVT, VVT, no these are no degrees behind someone’s name they are becoming the standard in most small cars.
After going shopping for a new small car if you look at more then 4 vehicles at one time the changes are that you may forget some of the important items.
 
Safety Rating  
This factor has got so much invested interest, there are many ways to achieve a high safety rating but let me ask you the question.
Are you a good driver ?
Are you planning to smash your car into a pole and walk away?
Are you planning to drive in a dangerous manner ?
Are you planning to tailgate driving ?
If you think you are a poor or bad driver then perhaps the Safety rating is important for you

Road test
When shopping around its always a great idea to take two people with you so when you drive you will feel if the car has enough power with three people as opposed to one person, when driving you are looking for engine noise, response from the engine to get from 0 to 60kms

Insurance
Before you decide on a particular small car check with several insurance companies to make sure there are no hidden factors that might give reason for a high premium 

Trade-in value
In the trade its common knowledge that if you are able to dispose of your vehicle within 80,000kms with full service history stamped in your owners manual, within the three to 5 year mark then the chances are you should get a fair or good trade in this will depend upon the car make and model, this research important to understand should you consider turning cars over on a regular basis

Car looks
I have to add this item as I have sited some very ugly looking small cars of late and if you are planning to purchase an ugly looking car please consider other road users, family and neighbours, or build a garage to hide it away at night

Virtualmechanic checklist to buying a small vehicle

Make _____________

Model____________

Price_____________

Cost to service or is there fixed price service available

10,000 $___________

20,000 $___________

30,000 $___________

40,000 $___________

50,000 $___________

60,000 $___________

70,000 $___________

80,000 $___________

80,000 $___________

100,000 $___________

What is the total cost of an ignition key including programming to the vehicle
How many ignition keys come with the vehicle
Engine sizes________

Transmission Options_____Auto________Manual

Spare wheel___Full size_______Space Saver_________

Warranty period and what are the service conditions to maintain the warranty ?

ABS

Airbags
Traction control
More to come

By Darren Gow-Brown WWW.virtualmechanic.com.au

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