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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Buying your First Car… a few hints and Tips for Beginners

(1) Choose your Make and Model, and while colour is a factor in anyone’s choice it should not be the overriding one. When you have got used to Driving and have a bigger budget; then you can afford to be choosy.
(2) Check out the Buy &Sell Mag.or,an excellent Irish portal with many Motoring links, for prices of your chosen model and year and also your local Classified ads .It will give you a guide as to what you could be paying.
(3) If you buy privately, you may get a very good deal but it’s Caveat Emptor time and you should take along a friend who is experienced in these matters. We often go along with Pupils to vet and check out a car they like the look of. It does take time to evaluate a car and could be as much as an hour or so. It’s an expensive mistake if you don’t check everything out, and too late once the money has changed hands.
(4) If you are buying from a Garage that is not a main dealer of the Model you have set your heart on , the in depth checks are just as important, maybe even more so. Dealers are very quick to take the money but much less inclined to look after you if you don’t show them who’s Boss!
(5) While the legislation covering Purchasers rights are fairly well known it’s better to walk away from a car if everything is not absolutely A1.
(6) What to look for :-
(a) General Condition.
(b) Mileage
(c) Tyres including Spare. Tyres should be at least just half worn. While Tyres are not that expensive you should not have to go to the bother of replacing them just after buying the Car. This could be a bargaining stance for you.
(d) All Electrics working .Particularly Electric Windows if fitted. It’s an expensive job to get electric windows repaired. A Drivers side Electric window not functioning will result in the Car being turned down if you are on your Driving Test Appointment.
(e) Heavy soiling of seats together with worn pedal rubbers could indicate a higher mileage than is showing on the clock.
(f) Check the number of previous owners and if possible get the phone number of the previous owner to have a brief chat on the recent history of the car. If the vehicle has been giving no trouble, an owner is usually well disposed to giving you the low down.
(g) Car manual and service record should be in the glove box. This will give you very valuable information on the car’s history and the problems previous owners encountered.
(h) As part of the above, the date the Timing Belt was last changed is very important. If the timing belt goes awol you will be looking for a new engine!
A good look around the engine compartment will also tell quite a tale. This would be a good chance for the complete beginner to get used to all the bits of equipment that now form part of the New Technical Checks on the Irish Driving Test.

Now is the time for a TEST DRIVE, firstly with your advisor in the Driving Seat and then your goodself.
This is not the complete Definitive Guide to Peace of Mind but covers a good many points that a beginner will inevitably overlook.

(c) Astral Driving School.Limerick 2000-2005


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