When you consider buying anything doing thorough research is very important. So, when buying a car, it is worth looking at these areas before you go ahead and purchase it and even if you are not spending very much. Over the years, the car industry has produced millions of cars that are now classed as used so there is plenty of choice out there. Below we will highlight 5 key areas that you should think about when buying a runaround:


Let’s face it, the ownership of a car will eventually lead to some sort of repair. Tauranga transmission repairs, engine repairs, body repairs, in if fact any form of automotive repairs, in Christchurch or elsewhere, could be needed in your car’s lifetime. That said some auto repairs on the North Shore are not always scary and can be attempted yourself which could save you some time and money. Another area of car repairs that needs to be considered is the make of car that you purchase. Certain makes will cost more in parts than others so check out used prices before you commit. It is also worth checking with your local car garage to see if they have any advice they can offer. Some vehicles may have a reputation for being expensive to fix or may have difficult or expensive parts to source.

Warrant of Fitness

The warrant of fitness in Christchurch or anywhere in New Zealand is the official document that the vehicle will need to have before it can be used on the road. The warrant of fitness is a legal requirement, so make sure that you check your vehicle has this before you buy it. The warrant of fitness is issued after the test has been completed.

The areas that the test looks at are:

  • Tyre condition (including tread depth) – the tyres are also checked for damage and condition.
  • Brake operation they must be fully operational and show signs of excessive brake pad wear.
  • Structural condition –  the vehicle is checked for rust or other damage; certain aspects of damage is not allowed.
  • Lights – are checked to make sure all bulbs working and that your headlights aligned correctly
  • Glazing – your windscreen needs to safe and offer clear visibility.
  • Windscreen washers and wipers –  checked to see if they work and if they clear the windscreen
  • Doors – need to be secure and must be able to be shut and opened properly.
  • Safety belts – must be in full working order. No damage to buckles or belts and they must work properly.
  • Airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control – must be in full working order with no warning lights on.
  • Speedometer – must be present and in full working order.
  • Steering and suspension – needs to be in good condition and have no faults.
  • Exhaust – there must be no leaks and the exhaust must not be too loud or smoky.

What Type of Car

Different types of cars can offer different problems. If you are just in the market for a run around, then it is worth avoiding, for example, German luxury cars as they have expensive parts and can often be very costly to fix.

Mass produced vehicles tend to be cheaper to buy and fix. The running cost of cheaper cars is often lower because the engines are smaller, so they use less fuel. As the engines are smaller and the value is lower, cheaper mass-produced cars are also cheaper to insure.

When looking for a cheap car it maybe worth checking with local firms, like Christchurch car removal firms as they may have some collected cars that they can sell on.

The size of car can also determine the price, some small popular cars hold their value better than larger cars. So, if you don’t mind having a slightly larger car, you could save money.

How long Will It Last?

The time a car will last is never an easy question to answer as there are so many areas than affect how long it will last. The mileage is sometimes a good indication of how much life a car has left. The higher the mileage, the shorter the life. However, some high mileage vehicles that have been properly serviced may buckle this trend.

If a vehicle has not been properly serviced over the years, the mileage is irrelevant. Take for example air conditioning, this is often an area of a vehicle that is overlooked. So, getting it regularly serviced and re-gassed will keep the system at its best. Mobile auto air conditioning service companies will offer a complete service.

The age of a car affects the price as each year passes, depreciation sets in. The amount the vehicles goes down depends on what make and model you have. Larger cars tend to lose value quicker than smaller cars.

When looking at cars to purchase, make sure you have a look around and be armed with information about each car that you like. You may find that certain specifications make a car lose more money and certain specifications may make a car hold its value better. Here’s a list of 6 cars that have been holding value well for your information.

The Cost

Finally, when buying a used car, the cost implication doesn’t just stop at the buying price, it continues when running the car. Running costs take up a large percentage of the cost of a car. Whether its insurance, fuel or general repairs, the cost can increase depending on what car you pick. If you pick a higher performance car, the insurance costs will be a higher than a lower performance car. The same can be said for the repair costs. Often cars that have more power or are better equipped have higher repair costs as there is more to go wrong. When buying a runaround, the running costs need to be low, as the whole point of a runaround is simple cheap motoring. Don’t get carried away with cheap cars with large engines as these will not offer cheap motoring. Large engines will need looking after so that they run properly.  

As you can see from the above there is plenty of food for thought for when you decide to go head and purchase your runaround car. Don’t forget to reach out to your family and friends for help, and when in doubt, use this checklist from the NZ transport agency for more information.

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