Economical used cars may seem to be a myth, but there are hundreds of these gems around South Africa, you just need to know where to find them. So here are a few tips when looking for these used, yet economical cars, as the difference between a polished rip off and a good value used car is like that between chalk and cheese.
The first determinant of economical used cars is usually the same as that of a new vehicle, that of course being the brand. Don’t be naïve enough to think that the name badge on a car has the same influence on its product as that of a clothing brand. A car’s brand can tell you a lot more than how fashionable it is. The biggest element of brand in cars is that of size and hence availability of spares and good service centres. Major brands like Volkswagen, Toyota, Ford and BMW, among a few others, have sales and service centres all over the country, making essential spares much more easily available than those of a second hand Seat or Hummer for example. There are also some brands that don’t stock spares locally, calling a dealership and asking them for a cam-shaft or other engine part may be a useful exercise before making your purchase, if the dealers says: “No problem sir/madam, we’ll have your part in five weeks” that should be a strong enough warning not to buy that car, as they’re probably importing your parts from France or India. Also remember that popular cars are usually popular for a reason, that being because they’re built better and are more reliable.
How about a car that runs on nothing but water as fuel?! Check out this interesting video below about how one man in the USA has been experimenting with getting his prototype 1994 Ford Escort to run on water.
Water Fuel Car Video:
Along with buying well-known and well-serviced brands, think about the following: Check the service history, make sure it looks genuine and has been stamped regularly throughout the car’s life. Look carefully for dents, dodgy paint jobs or recently replaced parts that aren’t explained, if a car has been in an accident and the dealer doesn’t tell you, you can be sure you’re not getting what you’re paying for in many areas. If you think you can assess the condition of a car well, or have a good local mechanic who can do so for you don’t be scared to buy privately, as you’ll find better prices and more flexible sellers. Remember to always take a test drive first when looking for economical used cars.