Is a New Or Used Car Extended Warranty Worth It?

The debate goes on about whether or not we should purchase an extended vehicle warranty for our cars. The only way to figure out if it’s worth buying an extended vehicle warranty is to do comparisons of quotes. You can find lots of extended warranty companies online, so you’re options are quite extensive. Now, when it comes to buying an extended warranty through a dealership — it’s definitely not worth it. There, you’ll end up spending up to $2,000 more than you have to. A lot of great deals are out there on extended warranties — some even pay just $200 for full benefits. Looking around will allow you to find something that fits within your budget and that you feel is worth purchasing.

The first comparison to make is between the dealership and the actual extended warranty company. Would you rather pay $2,000 for a warranty or $200? Of course you picked $200, so it only makes sense to do your search online instead of dealing with dealership extended warranties. Even the most minor of repairs could run you hundreds of dollars; this will make you see that having a warranty could be very beneficial. Mechanics these days run between $50 to $100 per hour. Even repairing your air conditioner could end up costing you more than a 36 month warranty that covers your entire car.

What you’ll pay for your extended vehicle warranty all depends on where you purchase it from. Of course, if you’re buying it from a dealership, you can expect to pay a whole lot more. Luckily, there are a lot of legit extended vehicle warranties out there that you can get great deals from; and they’re all waiting for you to find them, so that they can give you a quote. When you begin searching the internet for extended warranties, compare the quotes and coverage offered to see which of them is the best to go with.

Classic Cars – A Guide to Buying Online

Buying a Classic Car requires thought, research and some planning. Classic cars are usually bought by enthusiasts to use and enjoy. It is not easy to make a profit from buying and selling classic cars.

Make a project plan and do your best to stick to it

You may see a tempting classic car restoration project listed in a newspaper or classic car magazine or on the Internet that may only be one or two thousand to buy and could be worth ten times as much once it is restored.

Practically though, have you the skills to carry out the restoration of the chassis, engine, interior, and the exterior ? If you need to find a specialist company to undertake some or all the work your ten times buy price may just come down to zero or very little profit indeed. Indeed in many cases the cost of restoration when added together will exceed the market value of the car. If you plan to keep the car and enjoy using it then this is perhaps an acceptable price to pay but do not expect to be able to sell the car at a profit particularly in today’s “credit crunch” economy.

Before you start looking – do you have enough storage space ? Do you have enough working area (remember once stripped down, the bits can take up an awful lot of space). No old car likes to be kept out in the open, not even with a plastic sheet to protect it from the rain, frost and snow and even the worst masochist won’t like working out in the open when it is blowing a gale! Lying on a cold concrete garage floor is bad enough but working outside in all elements usually puts a restoration project on hold permanently ! 

Where to look for your classic car.

Look in the your local newspaper, classic car magazines, the Internet or even just take a stroll down your street. There is no shortage of old cars to buy. But what if you are looking for something special? Well, let’s face it, these days the easiest place to look is on the Internet.

Go to Classic Lots (link below) and you will find thousands of classic cars from a rusty Mini for £100 to a Ferrari for £500,000. This excellent site also includes all the classic cars available on Ebay.

Once you have identified the car that you want, read between the lines and look at the background of the pictures.You can learn a lot from what is not said as well as the way a description is written.

I am always cautious when it says “selling it for a friend” and yet there is no contact number for the friend so you can make personal contact. When the subject of mileage is omitted from the specification box and the description… why?

Keeping in touch with reality is essential. IF IN DOUBT – CHECK IT OUT!!!! Answer those niggling questions. In the pictures you can see what looks like oil on the ground. Is it from the car you are buying? Is that mud or rust?

Ask yourself four questions. Why do I want the car? How much can I really afford? How far do I want to travel to view or collect it? and then the most important question of all… Do I really know enough about these cars to commit X thousands of pounds on a piece of pretty (or perhaps rusty metal)?

So, buying a classic car on an online auction? Well, I would advise you to adopt the following rules before commencing such an undertaking, and before you make a bid !

Remember if you are the highest bidder (assuming if there is a reserve that it has been met ) and you win the auction then you have entered a legal contract to buy that vehicle (providing the seller has described the vehicle correctly).

Do not expect to go to collect the car and having viewed it to be able to haggle over the price or to walk away. Buyer beware, and if at all possible always view the car in person before you place your bids. If do not feel confident in being able to asses the condition of your prospective purchase take along someone who has the skills to give you an honest opinion of the condition of the vehicle. You may also wish to consider using the AA or RAC who both provide professional pre-purchase inspections – if the seller seems reluctant to allow this inspection walk away !

Viewing the car before bidding

If you have decided to go and see the car then arrange a viewing and if for any reason you can’t make it, let the seller know, it’s only courteous not to waste their time just as you don’t want them wasting your time.

Things to take: a jack, perhaps some axle stands for safety, a torch, gloves and at the very least, a list of points you want to look at.

When you get there take a quick look around. Has the car been kept outside or has it been garaged, this can give you a good indication of the condition you can expect of the body and or chassis. Are there other rotting hulks just lying around, maybe the seller just buys any old junk they can find and try selling it on, not much chance of the car you have come to see having had a service any time recently.

Take a walk around the car and look for the tell tale signs of sagging which could indicate suspension problems or perhaps chassis problems. Do the doors and panels line up correctly, another indication of chassis problems or perhaps the car has had a bump at some time. Is it even one car or was it once two? Any repairs? Have they been completed well or have the repairs been bodged? Do the tyres match? What condition are they in? Check for rot in the body or in fibre glass cars/panels, look for stress cracks. Check the areas which are most prone to rot ie. arches, sills, doors, boot and bonnet. There are many different types of panels that can be used to effect repairs on a car and because of this the quality of repairs can vary.

Check inside the car. Windows, front and rear screen, are any of them leaking? Is the headlining damaged or dirty? Lift the carpets where you can, check for water and any rot, maybe even holes in the floor? Check the floorpan and joints, don’t forget inside the boot, the floor and spare wheel area. If you are happy so far with the body etc. try the engine (you did check all around the engine compartment didn’t you?). Will the engine start from cold? If the engine is already warm perhaps the seller is trying to hide something, maybe cold starting problems, maybe he had to get a jump start or a tow just to get it going? Listen for any knocks, look for smoke. If you see blue smoke on startup that quickly clears it could mean the valves are tired and leaking oil into the combustion chambers. If the smoke does not clear that could indicate a very tired engine, something that will have to be added to the budget, not only for investigation but for the repairs.

Clouds of steam on startup could indicate a blown head gasket or even a cracked cylinder head. Remove the radiator cap and look for “goo”. It is cross contamination and a good giveaway of cylinder head problems. Black smoke, probably just an over rich mixture but could just as easily be a worn carburetter.

Knocking. Well, it could be for a number of reasons, light tapping on the top of the engine could be a worn camshaft or a small end on its way out. Knocking from underneath could be a big end bearing breathing its last. An expensive repair. A rumbling noise could be a main crank shaft bearing on its way out, yet another expensive repair. Check the various hydraulic fluids and water levels. Look for any stains around the compartment and on the engine. Does the radiator smell of anti-freeze? Is there any oil lying around? Not a good sign. Keep the engine running for a while, some problems won’t show up until the engine is warm. If the car is driveable, take it for a spin. How does it “feel” on the road, does it “pull” to the right or left? Is the clutch “spongy” or firm? Does braking throw the car into oncoming traffic? (eek!) Wiggle the steering wheel, any clunks? When you accelerate does the car lurch in any particular direction?

OK so far so good. Now, the car may be 20 or 30 years old so it is not going to have all original parts. Brake shoes, clutch, spark plugs, points etc.. if they are the original parts, they are not going to be working very well by now! But seriously, if you are looking at an older car, does it have any of the original panels? Is the interior original? These points can add value to the car but the seller may try to pass off parts which were made last year in China as “original parts”.

Check the paper work. Does it have all of the required paperwork with it? Check the logbook, a very good place to start and don’t be fobbed of with “We have just moved house and can’t find it at the moment, I will post it on to you..”. Never buy a vehicle without a logbook unless you know exactly what you are doing. It is also useful to have any old MOT certificates and any receipts are good as well.  

Valuing classic cars.

How much to pay? Well, the actual value of a classic car will vary considerably. It depends on condition, make, model, year and of course, what is it worth to you? Just how much would you pay to have that special car sitting on your drive at home?

Be realistic! Just because you can isn’t a good enough reason to buy a chassis of a 1926 Rolls Royce if you have no idea where to get the rest of the car and no idea of what to do with the parts if you can get them. Providing you followed the advice above on checking the car over, you should have a good idea of whether you are bidding for a car you can drive away or one that will take months before it even has wheels.

If you read the magazines, talked to the owners club and browsed the Internet to get a good idea of what your aimed for car is selling for, then you should have a price in mind that you will pay for the car depending on its condition.

Most classic car insurance policies include an agreed value based on the market value of the car. At the end of the day, it is up to you and your budget. If you feel happy with what you have paid for your car then that is all that matters.

The basic rules for Internet Auctions.

Identify what you want – and have some idea how much you want to pay. Set a budget

only you know what you can afford to spend, or borrow. Use classic car magazine price guides and real adverts to see what your classic will cost to buy. Ideally hold back 10 percent to cover any unexpected problems. Calculate running costs by looking at mpg figures. Get insurance quotes: classic cars can be covered on cost-effective limited-mileage policies and are often surprisingly cheap to insure. Remember also that pre 1972 vehicles also have no road fund licence to pay. Talk to owners about how costly your classic will be to run.

Join the owners club. A huge resource of expertise can be found in owners clubs. Not only will they have some of the best looked-after cars but they have huge amounts of knowledge on the subject of buying and running your chosen classic. They often have cheap insurance and parts schemes, too.

Get an anorak ! No really – buy some books on your chosen classic, read magazines and become a classic-car bore. Research on the Internet and visit Classic Car Shows to talk to owners. You can never know too much.

Select a range of examples available… and do not let the cash burn a hole in your pocket. There are thousands of cars for sale every day so be patient, if it is not there today, it will be soon.

Check the sellers location – are you prepared to travel to inspect and then collect the car if you win the auction. Do you need to consider the cost of having your new pride and joy collected by a car transport service or could you hire a trailer and collect it yourself ?

Check out the seller. Read all the feedback for the last three months, negative feedback should ring alarm bells Ring him/her and get to know about your seller. Why is it being sold etc. Things like “Why are you selling the car?”, “Does it come with any spare parts?”, “How long have you had it?”, “Is there any rot?”, “Does it have any history?” MOT’s, receipts etc. can be helpful for the rebuild. If you know any specifics about the car you are enquiring about then ask any of the questions you feel you need answers for. It could save you a long drive and time away if you have the necessary information before you leave.

If a vehicle has less than 3 months MOT ask the seller if they would be willing to send the car for a fresh MOT – to correct an MOT failure could be expensive.

In the event of a car being sold as an MOT failure, ask the seller to specify the list of failures, then give your local garage a ring and ask them to give you a quote for the work that needs to be carried out. this will give you some idea of the costs involved in getting the vehicle through its MOT It will save you time and money in the long run, no point in bidding on a vehicle that is going to be to costly to put back on the road.

Keep copies of all emails sent and received between you and the seller. they will come in handy if a dispute or conflict arises over the description of the item or any promises the seller makes you.

Check if the seller is a private individual or a dealer – there are many people who buy junk from car auctions and then simply try to pass them off as their own vehicles for a quick profit.

If the seller is a trader passing themselves off as a private seller and they are willing to lie about their status what else are they willing to lie about!!

If the vehicle is being sold by a private seller, ask them how long they owned the vehicle for? is the logbook registered in their name and at their home address? if it is a genuine private sale, then the answers to the above questions should be yes!! if the answer is no to any of the above walk away.

A few examples of the excuses usually given by traders posing as private sellers for not having the vehicle registered in their name “I bought the car for wife/husband or family member and they don’t like it” “insurance to high” (people will usually always get an insurance quote before buying a car)”wife/husband did not like the car” “too big or too fast” or “they failed their driving test” “I bought the car as a stop gap”

ring any bells? I am sure you have heard at least one of the above and I have heard them all.

Remember it is a Legal Requirement to register a vehicle in your name regardless of how long you intend on keeping the car.

A reputable trader should and will disclose the fact that they are a trader, remember if you buy through the trade they may have certain obligations to rectify any problems with the car.

In the event that you have bought the car without prior inspection, before you go to collect the car, print out the item page and take it with you. If the seller has mis- described the item in anyway, you will have proof in your hands to argue your case.

If buying from a private seller, always meet the seller at their home address which should match the address the car is registered at. If there is a problem at least you will have an address to go back to. Do not agree to “meet on the Tesco car park as it will be easier than finding my house “

When you go to collect the vehicle if you are unsure about the vehicle or the seller walk away. Never part with your hard earned money until you are satisfied.

Once you have handed your money over, you will not be able to get it back! If you have not viewed the car do not pay prior to collection, if you do you will have little choice but to take the car away or lose all your money.

What’s the worst that can happen if you walk away? the seller will give you negative feedback. its better to have one negative feedback than a car which is going to cause you lots of problems and cost you time and money. You can always argue your case with the online auction site and you may get the feedback comment removed.

As a winning bidder you have a legal obligation to complete the transaction,however the seller has a greater obligation to be honest about themselves and the item they are selling. If the seller has misdescribed the vehicle and you do not complete the transaction they are very unlikely to take legal action against you for not completing the deal. Remember however if you simply change your mind and walk away without good reason the seller may take steps to recover the money from you.

The basic rules apply even if you are buying from a trader or private seller if something sounds to good to be true then it usually is !!!

I hope that you have found this guide helpful and that using this advice when purchasing a classic car online will help you to avoid the pitfalls and hopefully you will end up with a classic car to use and enjoy over the coming years.

The 3 Most Overlooked Factors to Consider When Buying a Car That Could Save You Money

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

– Asking price

– How does it drive? (noises, whines, clunks)

– How many miles/km has it travelled?

– Interior condition (rips, tears, marks, scuffs)

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

In this article I will cover 3 of the most commonly overlooked factors when buying a car so that you don’t get caught out next time you’re looking to buy. Here they are:

TYRES

The size of the tyres fitted to the vehicle you intend to buy, as well as their type, can affect a number of things going forwards, including:

Ride quality: Lower profile tyres can be harsher to drive on, due to there being less rubber in the sidewall to absorb shocks and bumps in the road.

Road noise: Once again, lower profile tyres can be noisier on the road, as wheel as large four wheel drive tyres (All terrain and Mud terrain tyres), which can be super noisy compared to regular passenger car tyres. This may surprise and annoy you if you’re used to a quiet ride.

Ongoing costs: The size and type of the tyres on the vehicle you intend to buy can have a massive impact on the costs going forward, in both the cost to replace the tyres, as well as 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 regular road tyres, sometimes surprisingly so. This is definitely something to be aware of if you are 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 car you’re looking at buying, and call around at least 3 tyre shops to get quotes on replacing them. This is one of the most common causes of surprise extra 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 looking at, 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 could be, to name just a few:

– Continuously variable transmission (CVT)

– Regular automatic

– Dual clutch automatic

– Manual transmission

All of these (and the other types found in vehicles now) require different oil types, filter types, different servicing techniques and different service intervals, which will, you guessed it, have an effect on the costs associated with maintenance as well as if something drastic happens and you need to replace the whole transmission.

As with the tyres, I recommend taking note of the type of transmission that’s fitted to the vehicle, and calling around at least 3 shops to get quotes on transmission services. Don’t get caught by surprise with the cost, as some of these can be big dollars!

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

Modern vehicles have gotten a lot better, however automatics generally use more fuel than their manual counterparts. 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 car you’re looking at can also have a drastic effect on the ongoing costs associated with it, in much the same way the transmission can.

How many cylinders does it have? Is it turbocharged, supercharged, twin charged, naturally aspirated? Is it petrol, LPG, diesel, hybrid, straight electric?

This all has an impact on the servicing costs, for example the more cylinders an engine has, the more parts it will take, ie an 8 cylinder engine will take 8 spark plugs, 4 cylinder will take 4. This may seem silly, but when you’re talking up to $30 per spark plug or more in some cases, it can drive costs up fast.

In addition to this, the engine oil required, both the type, as well as how many litres the engine holds, will change based on these factors also. It’s not uncommon for some diesel engines to hold up to 10 litres of engine oil, as well as needing higher quality oil which, yep, costs more.

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

And how about fuel costs?

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

As with the other two points, take note of the size, type and capacity of the engine in the vehicle you intend on buying. I would always suggest calling around for some quotes on servicing of any car you’re considering purchasing.

It would pay to get quotes for some of the more routine/common maintenance items too, if the car isn’t still under logbook servicing, such as spark plug replacement, fuel and air filter replacements. Some 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 buying a car. Hopefully you’ve learned something new, and remember to keep this in mind the next time you are shopping for a car!

Share this with anyone you think it could help!