DON’T DO THE DODGY

NZ Performance Car - - Nzpc Team -

het­her you’re buy­ing your first car or hus­tling your fifth money-mak­ing spe­cial of the month, tak­ing a seller’s word as gospel is a gam­ble at the best of times — and the same ex­tends to buy­ing com­po­nents, too: wheels, sus­pen­sion, mo­tors, and boxes. There’s of­ten some is­sue that you’re not go­ing to be able to de­tect un­til you’ve handed over the cash and taken own­er­ship.

Most of the time, we can rely on peo­ple be­ing gen­er­ally hon­est about what’s go­ing on with a car, and you can spot things that are ob­vi­ously amiss, such as find­ing that se­ri­ous case of rod knock on the ‘me­chan­i­cally sound’ daily-driver you’re view­ing, as I re­cently did.

But there are al­ways those cases when a seller omits cer­tain is­sues that may not present them­selves when test driv­ing. Hey, maybe they got done over by the same trick and they want out — I get it — and it’s not a new phe­nom­e­non, but that doesn’t make it any less shit­house to be do­ing.

I make a point of be­ing as ac­cu­rate and hon­est as pos­si­ble about any is­sues a car may have, telling a po­ten­tial buyer what I know, and mak­ing sure they un­der­stand be­fore they hand over those pe­sos. And, as I’ve re­cently gone through a cou­ple of cars my­self, it’s been handy for both par­ties to draft up a quick pur­chase/sale agree­ment that out­lines any is­sues and ex­pec­ta­tions those in­volved may have; that way, if you buy a dunger and it comes back to bite you in the arse, at least your arse is cov­ered.

Noth­ing kills the en­joy­ment of a car more than con­stantly need­ing to make re­pairs to the point that you’re spend­ing more money than it will ever see at re­sale time.

So, what I’m say­ing is that, if you’re look­ing to buy a car, make sure you do the right checks, or have some­one who knows what they’re look­ing at, go along with you if you aren’t con­fi­dent do­ing so. Re­search the com­mon is­sues — where the rust ap­pears, what bushes let go, what faults that en­gine may be known for, etc. — ask the seller lots of ques­tions, and don’t be afraid to be frank about things that seem off.

Like­wise, if you’re sell­ing a car, be straight up about what you’re sell­ing and be re­al­is­tic about the price, tak­ing into ac­count its con­di­tion. Most of us aren’t go­ing to be scared of buy­ing a car with a few mi­nor is­sues if it’s priced to suit. How­ever, ev­ery­one is go­ing to be pissed if you sell them a turd coated in glit­tery lies.

Do your home­work, and be hon­est.

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