I was chatting to a man about buying used cars not so long ago and one of the techniques he used to track down the bargains on the classified ads websites was to deliberately misspell words. For example; Yamaha could become Yahama. This, he assured me was a good method of ensuring he was dealing with a stupid person and thus could use his superior intellect to pry their vehicle from them at a low price.
Another friend of mine throws lowballs. Offers that are insultingly low. Just, and only just high enough that the seller doesn’t send you packing there and then. Then you negotiate upwards to a mutually agreeable figure. “Sure test him with two” says John. This could be two thousand Euro where a vehicle is advertised for €5,500 or maybe two hundred of a prospective €1,200. Either way, the rule is – “test him with two”.
When I bought my most recent acquisition I went for the tried and tested method of cataloguing the car’s flaws and then knocking the estimate of repair off the asking price. Of course the seller is aware the rear electric windows aren’t working and both front wings are riddled with rust, it is his effing car after all, but most people allow for this sort of haggling.
I think I set out to write a guide to buying a used car but lets face it – that is just a list of common sense tedium readily available all over the interwebs already. Best to bring somebody who knows what they are looking at, only as much money as you are willing to spend and if they seem a bit dim, test them with two and tell them their car is crap.