A second-hand vehicle bought at a dealer’s: a new autodna.com cycle, part 2
Autodna.com blog is pleased to announce a new cycle of features regarding the purchase of second-hand vehicles from abroad. We’re writing about the purchase programmes offered by the official importers and authorized dealers of the most popular brands. In the previous article we’ve looked at the pros and cons of buying cars this way, and this time we will check where the used cars offered by dealers come from. The origin of the car is very important when making a purchase decision. Buyers prefer trustworthy sources and vehicles with a proven history. At a dealer’s you may come across such offers, too, but then again you’ll also see some other ones which are closer to the standards you’d expect from a regular used car salesman and not one that officially represents a brand. The reason is obvious: the second-hand cars offered by the dealer can come from several different sources.
- Sale of demonstration cars
The sale of own demonstration cars is the first, and safest, of such sources. Their mileage is documented and they have been at the dealer’s since the beginning. More often than not they’re also well equipped because the purpose of a test drive is to convince a potential customer to buy a new car with the presented accessories. The disadvantage of such models, which usually are a year old, is their relatively high price. Sometimes buying a new car is more cost-effective. Thus is the result of a conscious dealer policy focused primarily on selling new cars rather than the demonstration ones. The other drawback of former demo cars is their limited availability. The buyers are lining up for demonstration cars and you have to wait for the given vehicle to finish its “service” as a demonstration car to be able to buy it.
- Cars left at a dealer’s when buying new ones
Second-hand vehicles left at a dealer’s in order to get a discount for the new ones bought are another category you may wish to look at. Not only is the choice greater than in the case of demo vehicles but more often than not it actually includes more than one brand. One thing to remember is that unlike test drive vehicles, these second-hand ones won’t necessarily be a real bargain. This is because some dealers tend to sell most of the vehicles purchased from the first owner to other, independent car dealers and only keep the most attractive ones to present in their salon. Still, it is not uncommon for the dealers to offer a 3 to 5-year-old car in a very good condition.
- Ex fleet cars
Another option you may consider are ex fleet cars, ie. cars which belonged to company fleet (including car rental companies). While regular ex fleet cars will usually be 3 to 4 years old, ex rental cars may actually be much newer (1 to 2 years old). There is a good reason to sell these cars this early: the way they are used means they start showing signs of wear way faster than your own car. On the one hand, rental cars seem to be a worse choice: they are used by a number of different drives and each of them will have their unique driving style. On the other hand, you would be surprised to find out how busy regular fleet vehicles can be. They aren’t necessarily a better option at all. In general, you should not trust ex fleet offers too much. You may be interested in the new type of competitor in this segment of the second-hand vehicle sales, namely, ex lease cars offered by companies which deal with fleet rental and management such as Masterlease.
- Import from other salons and own rental vehicles
Car dealer salons, especially the premium brand ones, obtain second-hand vehicles from a European dealer network. Some manufacturers, such as BMW, have their own car sharing and rental systems. This means that you can come across cars that are 1 to 2 years old and were not used for demonstration purposes. Such vehicles may also be imported to Poland simply because the buyer preferences are a bit different here. To give you an example, while some European countries have already started losing interest in Diesel engines, this engine type is still very popular in Poland.
Second-hand vehicles offered by the dealers will come from a number of sources. True, it is better to have a diverse selection to choose from but at the same time you need to remember to be careful as not every car offered by a dealer will be worth the money they want for it. Dealers sell second-hand cars simply because they’re after another source of income. Otherwise they would only make money selling new cars and repairing via authorized service which is usually only used during the warranty period or when the car belongs to the fleet. In other words, if it weren’t for the second-hand sales, they just wouldn’t be busy enough. During the last few years, the dealers have already been forced to compete with companies which offer comprehensive fleet management. Ex fleet offers are an interesting alternative to the dealer programmes of second-hand car sales.
In the next part of this cycle we will look at the programmes of second-hand car sales available at the manufacturers and importers.