When Buying a Car

Auto, Vehicle, Steering Wheel, Seat

We can all think of things to consider when purchasing a car, whether it be new or used. Things like:

– Asking price
(noises, whines, clunks)
– How many miles/km has it travelled?
– Interior condition (rips, tears, marks, scuffs)

However, what about the things we often DON’T consider? Some of which may have a great impact on the actual cost to maintain, and operate the vehicle we intend to purchase? These can really creep up on you, and leave you with buyers’ remorse very quickly, if you’re not ready for them.

In this article I will cover 3 of the most commonly overlooked factors when purchasing a car so you don’t get caught out next time you’re thinking of buying.

TYRES

The size of the tyres fitted to the vehicle you intend to buy, along with their type, can affect a number of items going forwards, including:

Road noise: Once more, lower profile tyres can be noisier on the street, as wheel as big four wheel drive tyres (All terrain and Mud terrain tyres), which is super noisy in comparison to regular passenger car tyres. This may surprise and annoy you when you are used to a quiet ride.

Ongoing costs: The size and type of the automobile on the vehicle you intend to purchase can have a massive effect on the costs going forward, in both the cost to replace the tyres, in addition to fuel costs.

Something fitted with a large four wheel drive tyre with more rolling resistance will cost you more, as the car will chew through a lot more fuel than normal road tyres, sometimes surprisingly so. This is certainly something to be aware of if you’re considering a four wheel drive or SUV.

When it comes to replacement costs, always make sure you note down the size of the tyres fitted to the vehicle you’re looking at buying, and call around at least 3 tyre shops to get estimates on replacing them. This is among the most frequent causes of surprise additional costs I see every day, and people normally aren’t ready for it, or aren’t expecting it.

TRANSMISSION TYPE

This is another commonly overlooked factor when it comes to buying a vehicle. When considering the type of transmission in the car you’re considering, keep the following in mind:

The servicing costs of different transmissions vary greatly. Which transmission type is in the car you’re looking at? It may be, to name just a few:

– Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
– Regular Automated
– Double clutch automatic
– Manual transmission

All these (and another types found in vehicles today ) require different oil types, filter types, different servicing techniques and different service periods, which will, you guessed it, have an influence on the costs associated with upkeep as well as if something drastic happens and you need to replace the entire transmission.

As with the tyres, I recommend taking note of the type of transmission that is fitted to the vehicle, and calling about at least 3 stores to get estimates on transmission services. Do not get caught by surprise with the price, as some of these may be big dollars!

Another factor that’s normally overlooked when it comes to transmission type, is how much fuel will it cause the car to use?

This is a relatively minor thing, but something to consider, nonetheless.

ENGINE SIZE/TYPE/CAPACITY

The Size, Type, and Capacity of the engine fitted to the vehicle you’re considering can also have a drastic effect on the continuing costs associated with it, in much the same way the transmission can.

Exactly how many electrons does it have? Is it turbocharged, supercharged, twin charged, naturally aspirated? Is it gas, LPG, diesel, hybrid, straight electric?

This all has an impact on the servicing costs, as an instance the more cylinders an engine has, the more parts it will take, ie a 8 cylinder engine will require 8 spark plugs, 4 cylinder will take 4. This may seem absurd, but when you are talking around $30 per spark plug or more in some cases, it can drive costs up quickly.

In addition to this, the motor oil required, both the type, in addition to how many litres the motor holds, will change based on these factors too. It’s not uncommon for some diesel engines to maintain up to ten litres of motor oil, in addition to needing higher quality oil which, yep, costs more.

This is exactly the same with a lot of forced induction motors (turbocharged, supercharged, etc), which typically require a higher quality oil to prevent engine damage.

And how about fuel costs?

Larger capacity engines with more cylinders, require more fuel to operate, therefore your prices increase. The type of fuel needed will change also, as some engines need the higher octane premium fuels to run without risk of collapse, and with the costs of fuel sky rocketing world wide, this is definitely something to take into account.

As with the other two points, pay attention to the size, type and capacity of the engine in the vehicle you intend on purchasing. I’d always suggest calling around for some quotes on servicing of any car you’re contemplating purchasing.

It would pay to have estimates for some of the routine/common maintenance items too, if the car is not still under logbook servicing, such as spark plug replacement, fuel and air filter replacements. A few of the costs on these can vary quite considerably.

So there you have it, 3 of the most commonly overlooked factors when it comes to purchasing a car. Hopefully you’ve learned something new, and remember to keep this in mind the next time you’re shopping for a car!

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