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Friday, April 6, 2012
OK, if your answer was "your wife", well, I suppose it might be a close second, but, let's assume you don't "own" your wife. That said, then, truly, the answer is "your vehicle"! Yuppers, that 4-wheeled beauty in the driveway IS, for most of us, the second largest investment we own second only to our homes.
So, when it's time to buy or sell a vehicle, just how do you determine it's value? If you're thinking, look at the "sticker price" on the window, well, yes, that does have some meaning, but, if we evaluate the vehicle, what is it's "true" value?
Any good sales person or marketing pro will tell you, the value of "anything" you're trying to sell is simply, "what the market will bare". In other words, you can ask or put a price on anything, but, when push comes to shove, you're only going to be able to collect what someone else is willing to pay for it! So when purchasing a vehicle, we need to evaluate exactly what we're paying for!
Some vehicles hold their value more than others. For example, a Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and Volvo are higher end vehicles that will hold their value much longer than some others. This list is just an example and I've shortened it to keep it short and simple here, so pleaseeeeee, don't hang me out to dry if your favorite vehicle is not in that list! LOL The point I'm trying to make here, is that, some vehicles, for various reasons, are able to hold their value for a longer time. Therefore, suffice it to say, when you're purchasing a vehicle, it's very important to remember this and do your homework before you go out and invest your hard earned money! I used the word, invest, here for a very good reason. Buying a vehicle is, for all intents and purposes, an investment. Play your cards right here, and, when it comes time to sell that investment, you'll get the money you need to invest in another vehicle and keep your money working for you.
Condition is everything! A vehicle, like anything else, including us, gets older and things wear out. But, unlike people, an older vehicle can be just as reliable and road worthy as it's newer counterpart if it has been properly maintained! That little word, if, is the key to that sentence. When purhasing a vehicle, ask for proof of maintenance! Looks can be very deceiving when it comes to vehicles. But the proof is in the pudding! Look at the vehicle's maintenance record and you will have a wealth of information. A vehicle that has had it's oil changed and fluids checked and kept in top running condition will undoutedly be a better investment. It is also worth more than one that wasn't! My regualr readers are shaking their heads and muttering, "here she goes again" with the preventative maintenance argument. And, yes, you're right. But, in all seriousness, seeing is believing. A stack of receipts showing what's been done and what's been replaced not only shows you the obvious, but, also let's you know that the owner is serious about the vehicle and took the time and money to keep it up. This is great info to have.....knowing that you won't have to replace certain items that have already been replaced will give you the confidence of possibly knowing there won't be a significant repair bill in your immediate future.
Now, a few other things certainly rank high up there in the list. One of those is milage. A vehicle's milage is it's finger print of actual age. Low milage is good. No milage does not necessarily mean that the vehicle is better! How so? Cars are meant to be driven. Running an engine is what lubricates it's parts. A car that has little or no milage also has NOT been lubricated on a regular basis. Lack of lubrication means little or no protection of it's inner parts from corrosion or rust! Lubrication protects the inner workings from these nasty things so unless the car was started and run for some time this is a red flag!
Lastly, looking at the vehicle's interior and exterior will tell you a lot about the way the car was maintained also. Although, this visual representation is not always the best indicator of a vehicle's condition, it's certainly the first thing anyone sees. Here in Florida, the hot sun and moist weather conditions will quickly deteriorate the finish of any vehicle. Keeping the paint waxed and UV protected is essential here. Now, suffice it to say that just because someone didn't keep the car waxed doesn't mean they didn't take care of it mechanically. What it does tell you, is two things. One, the owner might have been a little on the "lazy" side...LOL But, more importantly, if you are big on looks, you're going to be investing some money to get the vehicle looking up to your standards. It's a good bargaining chip if nothing else! AND, certainly something to keep in mind if you're going to be selling a vehicle. Looks sell. Point made.
The interior of any vehicle is where you'll spend the most time. If it's a total disaster, you're not going to enjoy the ride! Here's another indicator of an owner who just didn't care. Not the worst thing in the world, but, something to keep in mind. If they didn't care enough to clean it out, what are the chances that they changed the oil? Hmmmm, no receipts to show?.....there's your answer! Don't worry, I'm not gonna repeat myself again....LOL. I know you got my point!
So, now that you know what you're looking for, go out there and find it! Auctions are a great place to find that special vehicle. Choose a good auction house that will give you a solid report of the vehicle's condition and you'r on your way to finding that "special" one! Iron Planet Motors is good place to start! These guys do ALL the work for you. Check them out by clicking on the link below. Not only will the give you a full vehicle report, they'll also help you out with transportation and financing. All in one convenient location.