Used cars that were previously used for business or lease are often a good choice if you’re looking for a new set of wheels, but you do still need to look out for a few things to make sure that you’re getting a good deal. Here are some key points to think about.
When you’re checking out the book value of a car that you know was previously a company car, it’s very important indeed that you take into account the equipment it’s got. Vehicles that have been bought for a fleet or leased out are much less likely to be fully loaded with optional extras; they’ve probably only got the essentials that a person on business might need. The price might look good at first glance, but it might be low because comparable vehicles are usually higher specified. This is often true for executive German cars – if you have a look at Exchange & Mart you’ll see that there is wide variance in the specifications of even the same cars.
If the car was bought specifically to crunch a high number of miles on the highway, then it’s likely to have a much higher mileage than equivalent cars of its age. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and should not immediately put you off. Cruising over long distances doesn’t put as much strain on a vehicle as lots of short journeys in traffic, so number of miles covered isn’t always a good indicator of mechanical quality. It’s much better to either look yourself, or have an expert look at, the car’s condition.
One of the big bonuses of former business vehicles is that they will have been regularly serviced at the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals, and will have been repaired quickly and properly to ensure the owner is kept on the road going about their daily business. This will certainly add value to the car, as it should be in good condition, and is less likely to develop major faults in the future. Consumables such as tyres will clearly still need replacing, but things like the engine are likely to be in proper working order.
As with all vehicle purchases, you should still make sure you run an official check to make sure that the car isn’t stolen, a write-off, that it doesn’t still have any outstanding finance, and that all of the provenance is correct.