So, it’s time for a new motor and you have already determined you need a 4×4. Lets face it just because it suits your mate the same vehicle doesn’t necessarily suit you. Buying a 7- seater might seem like a good idea until you realise you’re only a family of 3 but are now the extended families taxi for all outings. (“You can pick us up so we can all go in the one car”). What do you want to use your car for? Towing, Green-Laning, Off-roading, Motorways or a versatile mix.
Will you need to haul a lot of dirty stuff or is the most action that big boot’s going to see is the shopping trip and occasional tip run. This can determine whether a crew cab pick up or SUV body style is an option.
Do you want a Petrol engine or a Diesel, How much electric gadgetry do you want or need? What insurance level is your dream car? Assessing your needs will help narrow your search to your perfect car.
Private or Dealer;
This is personal choice. Dealers have the added benefits of warranties, credit deals or part exchanging the old car. They can be persuaded to add accessories if you can out silver tongue them and if you get them when they are desperate to meet they sales quota you could be a winner.
Dealers unfortunately are tainted with high prices and spit and polish repairs, if you ask around or know a tried and trusted trader then this could be for you.
Private purchase is our personnel favourite; you can see where it’s been kept, discuss its history of repairs and access the owner and the level of care given to the car.
If you want a reliable car then you need reliable service history. Has a trustworthy garage or competent person carried out repairs, does the history come with part receipts with reputable parts. Taking someone with you that knows the basics can help confirm if repairs have been done correctly as stated.
It’s a 4×4 you’re buying but that’s doesn’t mean it’s been hammered. Always insist on a test drive to confirm if the engine is smooth and responsive, is there any play in the steering, suspension or shocks. Look for rust and what level of decay is the rot. How tidy is the vehicle inside and out? If a 10 year old engine is spotless, why? Are oil leaks being covered up? Take a look underneath to see if there are any dents or gouges in the chassis, cross-members etc. this can determine if the 4×4 has had a hard off roading life previously. If your happy to negotiate the price based on the findings then that’s ok, but if you’re unsure, walk away as it could cost you dearly in the future.
4×4 accessories can be costly and numerous but really shouldn’t affect the price too much when buying and selling. If your looking to have a 4×4 with all the ‘gear’ then purchasing one with most of the expensive parts fitted will save you time and money compared to self customising. Don’t forget if you don’t want bull bars, a roof rack etc. it’s not a deal breaker you can always remove the offending items and sell them on to pull back a few shillings against your purchase.
Above we have only skated over the main issues to consider, but with that information taken on board and plenty of your own research you will not go far wrong. Remember to ask as many questions as you can, a genuine seller will not hesitate to answer them fully.