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What to know when buying an Audi second hand

As part of the ‘big three’ German luxury automakers, Audis are premium vehicles. They have the build quality, technology, comfort, handling and styling to sit comfortably alongside BMWs and Mercedes, but for a more affordable price. Of course, this ‘affordable price’ still puts them out of reach for a great many of us, so when we find an Audi second hand in good condition, it’s a prospect hard to walk past.

Like all used cars, however, Audi second hand vehicles can come with their own issues. They are potentially fantastic buys, but a lot depends on how the car was treated by its previous owner.

If you want to know how to spot a used Audi in good condition, you’ve come to the right place. We live and breathe premium German vehicles, and have a lot of experience dealing with Audi cars. In order to get the benefit of all their attributes on a budget, here are seven things to look out for.

7 considerations when buying an Audi second hand

  1. Stick to your budget. Always have a price in mind that not only takes into account the initial purchase fee, but insurance, maintenance, fuel and registration costs; it’s the best way of determining what you can really afford. Then search for Audis second hand in that price bracket with the fewest owners and fewest kilometres.
  2. Know the history. The most important aspect of a car’s history is its maintenance schedule. Has it been on familiar terms with a good mechanic? Audis can be reliable if given the chance. If left a long time between services, the oil will be thin and core engine components more worn than necessary.
  3. Take it for a drive. Sounds obvious, but you make sure you know what to look out for. Check for any odd noises or vibrations when steering, check the handbrake works, make sure to shift through all the gears, and do it all with the radio off so you can hear anything suspicious. And remember, you live in Melbourne – so make sure the air conditioner and heating work.
  4. Get the paperwork. Make sure you drive away with a receipt from the owner with your name and address, their name, address and signature, plus the car’s VIN, rego, make and model. VicRoads does not provide proof of title; that’s your responsibility.
  5. Negotiate. No price is set in stone, particularly with used cars. Start with any issues that have been uncovered during the pre-purchase inspection (more on that below). If you notice anything during a test drive, bring that up too. If there’s nothing faulty, asking still doesn’t hurt. In the end, the worst that could happen is you pay the original asking price.
  6. Get a pre-purchase inspection. We know Audis inside and out. Based on this experience, we’ve created a 250-point pre-purchase inspection. It’s the same inspection we run every day at our service centre, so you know it’s something we trust. Not only does it uncover existing issues, but alerts us (and you) to anything potential snags given the make and model.
  7. Ask the right questions. Put these questions to the owner:
  • How long have you owned the car?
  • Are you the original owner?
  • Why are you selling it?
  • What, if any, serious damage has there been?
  • What aren’t the photos telling me?
  • Where is the original service book?
  • Will it pass a roadworthy test?

Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, even if it can be difficult to fact-check the answers. At the very least, it demonstrates that you know what to look for, which puts you in a stronger position when negotiating.

Know what you’re buying

An Audi second hand has the potential to be a fantastic vehicle that serves you well for years, but you need to know about its past life. Our pre-purchase inspection will uncover issues of concern, as well as any issues that may arise. And if you want an extra set of (expert) eyes, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Nothing pleases us more when people make use of our experience and knowledge.

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