Buying a car is a lot like concluding a business deal and as such, should be treated that way.
When buying a car, whether new or used, it’s best to ask as many questions as possible to familiarise yourself with what you might have to deal with later on. That being said, regardless of how well a particular question is masked, there are certain things salesmen would never ever divulge. That’s because they don’t want to dash their hopes of you buying their product.
Even if there are glaring problems with a certain vehicle, most will try to steer clear of informing you of them lest you change your mind and walk out the door. So, here are a number of questions you shouldn’t ask sales people and instead get your information form the Internet or from actual owners.
Even if it’s in the brochure, when driving in real world conditions, it’s very rare that any vehicle is able to achieve the claimed fuel consumption figure as per the manufacturer’s tests. Most of these tests are conducted in a controlled environment and under favourable conditions. Depending on the model, sometimes, real world fuel consumption figures differ greatly from that of the manufacturer’s claims.
How safe is it?
The usual answer is - it is extremely safe. While that might be true for certain cars, to be absolutely sure, check with the relevant crash safety testing organisations such as the ASEAN NCAP. Vehicles that offer the best occupant protection are awarded a maximum of 5 Stars.
What are the servicing costs like?
Even if maintenance costs are a little higher than that of rival makes, they aren’t going to tell you that. As such, do your research online or contact someone who has owned such a vehicle and he/she will tell you how much servicing it will actually cost. Also, they will be able to notify you of service centres that offer the best service possible.
Will it have good resale value?
Again, this is something they wish you wouldn’t ask, especially if the vehicle in question isn’t Japanese. If the vehicle has just been launched, it will be very difficult to estimate how much it will cost a few years from now. If it is a used car however, the simplest thing to do is to open up a classifieds magazine, such as Motor Trader, and look up similar models of vehicles from the same manufacturer. That will give you some indication as to how much it will cost later on, should you choose to sell it. Else, you can ask a seasoned vehicle appraiser and he will be able to give you a good estimate.
For the latest news, reviews and features visit the Motor Trader website at www.motortrader.com.my.