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2 weeks to go!!!! Heading to NZ at the start of June. Can anyone offer any advice on buying a car? Any potential pitfalls or things to be aware of?

Thanks in advance

Andy 馃槂
 

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2 weeks to go!!!! Heading to NZ at the start of June. Can anyone offer any advice on buying a car? Any potential pitfalls or things to be aware of?

Thanks in advance

Andy ?de03
Be aware that used cars are more expensive to buy here, but personally it doesn't bother me as the costs involved to keep a car on the road here are a lot cheaper so in my opinion you can pay more in the first place and recoup it back over the time you own the car.....it's all swings and roundabouts as they say!

My advice :-
Buy from a main dealer or used car dealer as you have some comeback for a short period (usually around 3 months) should something go wrong.
Itll be more expensive of course but worthy just for the peace of mind.
I'd leave the private second hand sales until you've been here a while and have gained some experience of them in nz - maybe with a colleague etc.

You can buy from auctions but make sure you understand the small print on the deal before making a commitment to buy. Some offer a Buy It Now price which includes some protection, much like buying from a dealer. Itll cost more but you have cover should you experience issues with the car. Standard auction sales don't have any protection.

The standard sales through the auctions and all second hand private car sales (where the seller isnt a dealer) are bought on the basis of "as is where is", meaning, the moment you agree the sale and hand over the money all responsibility for the vehicle passes to you, even if it falls apart when you drive away!

Do an online registration check. It's worth paying $20 for a report of all items held on the national database about the car. Itll give a brief view of the car you intend to buy, chassis and engine numbers which you can check when viewing the car, outstanding finance check, stolen or insurance write off checks etc. Also let's you know all previous warrant of fitness history and the recorded mileage at the time which can all be used to check the vehicle is what is stated about it by the seller.
You can also pay for an independent used car check for around $150/$200. You'll get the services of an approved mobile mechanic for an hour who'll give the car a thorough going over and advise you whether or not it's a good buy.

Even though you can do these checks and pay the money for peace of mind, you can still be caught out.
I bought my current car last December. Needed a diesel workhorse for a long regular commute and decided on an older cheaper car for half the price of an 18 month old car which still had a warranty. So for $9k I got a 2008 astra 1.9cdti with 45000kms on the clock. Did all the checks, hammered it on a test drive. Couldn't find a fault with anything. Paid the money and after 20 mins it broke down!!! Hadn't even got home.
Luckily the seller came with jump leads and a spare battery and got me home but he didn't have to. A new alternator later and the passing of $900 it was as good as new......for 3 months and then the battery failed, which if I'm honest I knew would happen as they go hand in hand with alternator failures so expected it would give up soon. That was another $350 and again it was as good as new.
Have the engine light on now which is an emissions fault but Holden main dealer has told me it'll be fine as the faulty part (egr valve) is stuck closed. Advised me the parts are extortionate here $1300 + fitting + GST $1500 total, but not to bother replacing as luckily the valve is stuck closed - clogged up with black gunk and this is the best position for it to fail as it's no detriment to the car. Just means the warning light will stay on. Plan is to buy a new one in the uk when I visit soon as the part is only 拢50 in England.

Another good piece of advice is to pay the extra on your insurance and get roadside assistance. Time for a mechanic to get to you and a tow wagon takes way less here and having used their services it's way worth it.
 

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Be aware that you can always buy a second hand car for much cheaper than the listed price. As long as you stand your ground and don't cave in. Often they will take your number and if you have shown an interest and they haven't heard from you for a few days, they will call you back and offer you the car at a discounted price.
 
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