Second-hand cars like Volkswagens offer incredible value for money – but you have to know what to look for. VWs can make fantastic used cars but, like anything preowned, a lot depends on how the car was treated before it came into your hands.
If you want to know what to look for, you’ve come to the right place. Not only does the team at BM Tech spend every working hour inspecting and repairing premium automobiles, but we also specialise in Volkswagens. We love everything about these cars: styling, handling, comfort and build-quality. So, if you want to take advantage of all these attributes on a budget, here’s what to keep in mind.
7 things to consider when buying a second hand Volkswagen
- Set a budget and stick to it. Set a price that not only takes into account the initial purchase fee, but maintenance, fuel, insurance and registration costs. This will give you the best indication of what you can realistically afford. Then, search for cars in your price bracket that have the fewest owners and fewest kilometres.
- What’s its history? You want to see that the car has had regular servicing. VWs can be reliable – if they’re treated as they need to be. If the previous owner left it a long time between drinks, then the engine will have been under stress from thinned-out oil for much of its life, leading to worn engine parts.
- Know what to ask. Here’s some questions you might want to put to the owner:
- How long have they owned the Volkswagen?
- Why are they selling it?
- Has the car ever been seriously damaged?
- What do I need to know that the photos aren’t telling me?
- Do they have the original service book?
- Will this car pass a roadworthy test?
Obviously, some of these questions are hard to fact-check, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. They also give the impression that you know what you’re doing, which always help when it comes to negotiation. Speaking of which…
- Negotiate the price. The asking price is rarely set in stone. To see if there’s any wriggle room, use the cost of fixing any issues uncovered by the pre-purchase inspection (more on that below) to begin negotiations. Also bring up any faults you uncovered during the test drive. If there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the car, well, seeking a lower price won’t hurt. Worst case? You end up paying the original asking price.
- Pre-purchase inspection. We know Volkswagens better than most, and we’ve used our extensive knowledge and experience to create a thorough pre-purchase inspection that covers 250 points. That’s right – 250. We perform the same checklist at our service centre every day, so you know it’s something we trust. Not only can we uncover any existing issues, but we’ll also be able to tell you about anything that may arise given the make and model.
- Drive it. The simplest and most obvious test. If you want to know what sort of condition the Volkswagen is in, take it for a spin and be attentive to any potential issues. Check for any noises or vibrations when turning, check the handbrake works, shift through all gears, and turn the radio off so you can listen for any strange sounds. And always check the air conditioner and heating – we live in Melbourne, after all!
- Paperwork. VicRoads doesn’t provide evidence of title, so that’s your responsibility. Always make sure you get a receipt from the owner with our name and address, the seller’s name, address and signature, plus the car’s details (VIN, rego, make and model).
Make sure your second hand Volkswagen has been in good hands
Second hand Volkswagens have the potential to be great-value buys, but you need to know their history. Our tips will help you narrow the field, and our pre-purchase inspection can uncover issues (including potential ones) that may have gone unnoticed. Good luck, and if you want an extra set of (expert) eyes, don’t hesitate to give us a call.