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Beware of expensive cars sold cheap


When buying a car, consider fuel, repair and maintenance.

Many a youngsters dream of owning a flashy luxury car goes up in flames when faced with the reality of exorbitant car prices. They often turn to secondhand dealers to make that dream come true. 

Going for the cheapest option may turn out to be an expensive investment, warns Les McMaster, chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA). 

"There's no such thing as a cheap, luxury car. Although it may seem as if secondhand luxury cars are an offer you can't refuse, it's not quite as simple." 

High-end cars have high-end parts and often have costly scheduled maintenance procedures. These vehicles were not designed to have affordable service schedules. Visiting anything but the brands own service and repair workshops for even routine maintenance, is often not an option. 

"Even a simple repair on a mid-range vehicle is much easier to absorb financially than the massive billable hours and expensive replacement parts when fixing a high-end car. Let's face it, if critical car parts break, you generally have no choice but to pay up.

Another key cost of ownership is the issue of fuel economy. "Unfortunately luxury cars are designed for high performance driving and are consequently often heavy on fuel. While the price of fuel isnt of concern to those able to purchase a new luxury vehicle, it has a big impact on someone who should be shopping for a vehicle in a lower price range." 

McMaster offers the following tips when considering buying a car:

  • Decide on your budget, considering fuel, repair, maintenance and insurance costs. And stick to it.
  • Look for a model that has a good reputation for reliability and won't lose its value too quickly. Your best bet is a three-year-old used car, as a new car loses most of its value during the first two years.
  • Be sure to check the car's history records. This will help eliminate vehicles with potential problems.

"The key is to be informed and make sure you've considered all the variables. Buying a well-maintained, used car in good condition for a reasonable price is a good option."

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