Posts Tagged ‘used car sales’
Auto Trader is a professional publisher of new and used cars for sale in South Africa.
Auto Trader is proud of their 17-year history, and of their staff, who work very hard to ensure that we Auto Trader remains indisputably the leading media market space for buyers and sellers across all types of vehicles!
Auto Trader has the widest selection of the following motor vehicle available for sale:
• Used cars
• And leisure
Users can also take advantage of the quick search facility provided on the Auto Trader website, which enables them to find just the motor vehicle they are searching for.
Throughout its 17-year history, Auto Trader has remained the leading media marketing space where people can buy and sell their vehicles. But its beginnings were small and when the first South African Auto Trader edition launched in Aprill 1992, it had only 24 pages. The publication soon branched out and by September, there was a KwaZulu-Natal edition too; by February 1993, the Cape Town and Boland editions were in print as well.
The publication broke through the 100-page barrier in 1993 and in the same year, an 8-page full gloss colour section was introduced. In 1996, it also became available in Namibia and Botswana and saw the Private Photo Agent Service expand to the Eastern Cape – the goal of achieving a nationwide photo service was being realised. The Internet era dawned and in October 1998, the Auto Trader website was launched.
Auto Trader was now on a steep growth path: in 2001, the publication exceeded 400 pages and in 2002, 500 issues were celebrated. By 2003, the publication was now longer saddle stitch bound and changed to the perfect bound format to cater for a page count of well over 600. Today, Auto Trader maintains an average of 860 pages per week across five titles, advertising more than 30,000 vehicles per week.
The Auto Trader website has become a very powerful tool and the prospective buyer or seller can get all the information they require on the website, if they do not feel like thumbing through a print publication. Its main purpose is of course to advertise vehicles and the website’s search functionality is still among the best available today for quickly and easily searching the vehicle of your choice. Upon opening the Auto Trader website, the quick search functionality is displayed on the left, where you can select your vehicle brand and model and set minimum and maximum price levels.
However, you can grain your search much more finely by clicking on the Advanced Search link. Here, you are afforded true flexibility and if you take a little time to set up your search criteria, it becomes very easy to filter through all the thousands of vehicles and determine if your dream car is available. This function is especially useful if you know exactly what you are looking for.
You can select the make, model and price limits as per the quick search functionality, but other search criteria are offered too, like limiting the years of the vehicles you are searching. For example, if you bank does not allow you to finance a car older than five years, you can limit the years to show cars five years old and younger. In similar vein, you can set a mileage limit, but beware that some advertisements are not fully detailed and if their mileages have not been filled in, these ads may not display; however, this is possibly just as well, since the seller not willing to divulge his vehicle’s mileage on his advertisement possibly has good reason to do so!
Banks also do not finance private sales, so if you want to browse vehicles on sale at dealers only, select Trade at the Seller Type drop-down menu. You can also search in any combination of provinces or all of them at once. Lastly, you can enter a search term in the provided box, especially if you are looking for specific model within a range, like CLX or Turbo. Once you hit Search, your results are displayed according to your chosen criteria.
One useful feature that is often overlooked is that your search results can be sorted according to any of the columns, i.e.
- Province or
Once your search results are displayed, you can click on the vehicle description or on the More Info link. To maintain your current page and search further on it, select Open in New Window or simply add the vehicle to your List; a separate page will open with the cars in your List. You can also mail this list to yourself or anyone else.
Cars advertised by private sellers are usually cheaper than dealer vehicles, but this is not always the case, so make sure what the market value is for the vehicle you wish to purchase. Unless you know cars very well an know what to look out for, buying a car from a private seller can also be very risky; you have to go to extra lengths (preferably with the help of an expert) to make sure…
- …the car is not stolen
- …does not have an outstanding finance amount
- …is not a Code 3 (rebuilt) vehicle
- …the car has been properly maintained
These are not the only pitfalls either so, as always, let the buyer beware! Buying from a dealership is usually less risky, but then only if the dealership belongs to a national network or franchise that has to conform to a common ethics code and is accountable to a governing body. To this end, well-known dealer groups like…
- Williams Hunt
…and the like are far safer to buy from and they may often offer a warranty as well. This list will include the used car showroom floors or all the vehicle manufacturers too. In fact, we would go as far as to say that it is more dangerous to buy from a shady backyard dealer than it is buying from a private seller. Dishonest dealers know far more tricks to hide defects. If you are looking for a dealer, you can find a list on Auto Trader’s website under the Products and Services heading.
Under the same heading, you can determine a realistic value for your vehicle too, or for the one you plan on purchasing. This functionality does not give you the actual Trade and Retail prices of these cars, but it does give an indication of the average trade price of the vehicle you have enquired about and can display the list of advertisements of these cars. While you would still have to enquire at a dealer what the actual Trade and Retail values are, this can give an indication if a vehicle’s price is blatantly out of line.
A very handy finance calculator is also offered on the Auto Trader website. On it, you can complete all your variables, from purchase price and deposit to residual, interest rate, value of extras and repayment period to arrive at a realistic monthly instalment. Remember that insurance has to be added onto that amount to get to your full monthly obligation and it is imperative to get several competitive insurance quotes, as these can vary wildly. It is usually far cheaper to insure your vehicle along with your home and other assets at the same insurer than getting stand-alone insurance on it.
In terms of vehicle finance, the Auto Trader website also provides links to popular finance houses; in addition, links to the websites of all the vehicle manufacturers are also provided. Auto Trader’s website is a veritable portal for car-related websites. In addition to all these links, there are also very useful and informative sections that you can read on what to look out for when buying a used vehicle from a dealer, an auction or a private seller.
Besides the examples of reputable dealers we have listed above, other useful requirements of good dealers include membership of a trade association like the RMI (Retail Motor Industry Organisation of South Africa) or IDA (Independent Dealer Association). Buying from a reputable dealer may not be the cheapest, but affords you the maximum protection of the law.
Buying from an auction may save you a lot of money, but it can also cost you dearly. Be sure to do your homework and it is important to view the vehicle in daylight and take it for a test drive. Sometimes, only a good panelbeater would be able to tell you if the vehicle had been involved in a serious accident. Only buy from reputable auctioneers like Burchmores or the well-known finance houses that are trying to dispose of repossessed vehicles.
Buying privately is still the highest risk and there are many pitfalls, so do not take this route unless you are an expert or know one to take along. An HPI check is essential to ensure that the vehicle’s VIN, engine number, colour, mileage and year of registration still correspond to the original information as captured by the original finance institution. It will also show if there is any outstanding incumbrance on the vehicle. Furthermore, you would require a practised eye or a panelbeater to check the body. A Code 3 car (one that has been built up) may be unsafe, illegal or impossible to finance or insure.
If you are satisfied with the private purchase, be very careful when doing the transaction! Do not accept cheques and insist on a bank deposit. Accompany the buyer to the bank while they are in possession of the cash and only hand over the keys once you have the deposit slip in your hand. Internet banking payments is also reliable, and keep an eye on the proceedings. The buyer should tick the box that clears the transferred amount at once at a fee, if he/she is at a different bank.
Auto Trader also suggest you keep this handy checklist with you when viewing a vehicle, to ensure you have not missed anything:
- Scratches, dents, ripples and evidence of crash damage
- Rust, especially on the edges of doors, wheel arches and at fixed pane window edges
- Evidence of overspray under door handles or on trim
- State of shock absorbers
- State of glass
- Even panel alignment
Under the bonnet:
- Clear, clean engine oil – should not be dirty, sludgy or with evidence of foaming
- Cooling system – radiator cap should not have oily deposit and anti-freeze should be present
- Hoses and belts should be free of wear and cracks
- Look for rust and corrosion
- The engine should be clean-burning with no smoke from the exhaust – smoke on startup should quickly subside
- The wear on seats, carpets and pedal rubbers should reflect the mileage
- Damp carpets may indicate leaks and rust
- Tampering with dashboard fasteners and screws may indicate clocking
- Accessories should all work, e.g. power windows and air conditioning
Wheels and tyres:
- There should be plenty of tread depth left
- There should be no sidewall damage, indicated by gashes and bubbles
- Uneven wear may indicate faulty alignment or damaged suspension
- Spare wheel should be present and in good nick
The test drive:
- Engine should warm thoroughly and temperature gauge should settle and stay put
- Check responsiveness of steering – there should be no “clonks” and vehicle should not pull strongly to one side
- Check effectiveness of brakes upon sudden application – should not pull to one side under braking either
- Check for noises like screeches, squeaks and rattles
Contact Auto Trader today.
011 686 0900
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