In order for you to reduce the likelihood of being dissatisfied with a purchase, consider the following tips before buying a car or bike:
- Factor in the cost of the vehicle’s down payment, monthly payments, interest, license and insurance fees, vehicle servicing and potential repairs to your budget;
- Review the contract conditions and penalty fees;
- Review the warranty conditions of the vehicle;
- Review the after-care service of the dealership you are considering purchasing the vehicle from. There is no Bermuda law that states a dealership has to have spare parts. However contracts with manufacturers have a clause that states they have to provide after-sales service for the vehicles they have sold;
- Review performance and maintenance ratings on the vehicle;
- Ask the dealership if the vehicle you are interested in has been damaged in transit;
- Ask if rust-proofing is extra and what terms and conditions surround it;
- Ask if the vehicle is a return to stock item;
- Find out what is the maintenance return on the vehicle;
- Get the manufacturing date of the vehicle.
How should I maintain my car?
Once you have bought a vehicle, follow these guidelines for maintenance services:
- Carefully read the owner's manual and refer to it frequently for service information. Neglecting even simple routine maintenance such as changing the oil, can lead to poor use of fuel or costly breakdowns. It may also invalidate your warranty;
- Follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule in the owner's manual. Most mechanics recommend a full service or maintenance service at a licensed repair facility twice a year or every six months. Don't postpone the problems until the day before the warranty expires;
- Ask if there is a charge for diagnostic work. If your car requires major repairs, get a written quote for the cost of the job, not an estimate. The quote should include the parts needed, and the anticipated labour charge. The parts should be classified as new, reconditioned/rebuilt or salvaged. Also inquire if there will be a charge for the quote if you decide to have the work done elsewhere. If additional work needs to be done that was not included in the quote, the mechanic should contact you for approval before starting the additional repairs;
- Carefully examine the car before it leaves the garage and get a completed repair order sheet, describing all the work that was performed and the detailed costs.