It’s been a busy year for auto repair shops, with sales in some states reaching record levels.
Here are some things you should know about the industry.
New car buyers need the latest repair tech, but they also need help.
Many buyers say they don’t want to spend extra on new-car repairs, but the answer to this is no, said Bob Cappella, president of the Association of Automobile Dealers.
Buying a used car should include a thorough inspection, too.
“We need to know the car is clean, the paint is clean and the engine is clean,” said Cappellasa, who said he’s seen new-vehicle buyers get more serious about cleaning their cars and inspecting their airbags.
If you’re buying a new car, don’t expect to find a warranty, Cappelleas said.
Many companies don’t offer warranties for used cars.
A used car’s mileage and warranty coverage depends on many factors, including the car’s condition, whether the car has a battery or not, the type of vehicle, and the mileage and the price of the vehicle.
It’s important to get a quote from an independent auto-repair shop, Cappsa said.
“You want the best price you can get, but if you’re looking at a used vehicle and you don’t see a quote, that’s a bad sign.”
If a car you buy needs repairs, ask for the cheapest.
“If you buy a used, it should be a one-time purchase,” said Tom Smith, vice president of service and parts for Northstar Auto Repair in Toronto.
He noted that a used-car dealership can have its own repairs, too, but that it can’t replace damaged parts.
“The main thing is if you get a good quote from a repair shop, it’s the cheapest, quickest, and most reliable way to do it,” Smith said.
Buy a used auto.
A typical used car starts at around $50,000, and if you buy one with an airbag, the mileage is often less, said Rob Anderson, vice-president of automotive and parts sales for the company AutoNation in Orlando.
He said most used cars have some sort of airbag system.
“It’s something we don’t always recommend,” Anderson said.
He advised people who want to buy used cars to buy them with a dealer who knows the ins and outs of their car, like the mileage.
He also said it’s important not to be tempted to buy a car with a broken or missing airbag.
If the airbag is broken or a component is missing, it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
Check the price before you buy.
“Always be aware of what you’re paying,” said Anderson.
“Don’t buy something with no documentation.”
It can be tempting to save money by paying a lower price for an older car, especially if you have an older sibling or child who will use it.
“When you’re driving a car, you have to know that it’s going to cost more than it is to get rid of it,” Anderson explained.
“That’s why it’s so important to have a good estimate of the price and how much it will cost.”
When buying a used used car, consider the cost of maintenance.
“A used car has to be maintained by someone, or it will be an expensive vehicle,” said James Cappelli, vice chairman of the National Automobile Parts Association.
He added that newer vehicles often have a warranty and often have some form of maintenance to ensure they’re operating properly.
“But there is a price for that,” he said.
It pays to be vigilant.
“Some of the times, a new vehicle is going to be the most expensive to maintain, but a new model is going be the easiest,” Cappeles said.
The same goes for the mileage of the car.
If maintenance isn’t being done, it could be costing you a lot of money, said Capps.
Be wary of the “pile of junk” label.
Some consumers are looking for a brand new vehicle, but there are a few things that can put a sticker on a used one that may make it look like it’s junk, said Anderson, who advises against buying a car that’s been in a garage for less than two years.
“For people that don’t like a lot and don’t feel like it should cost that much, I don’t think it’s worth buying,” Anderson added.
Buys aren’t always guaranteed to be returned.
If your used car doesn’t come with a warranty or has been in an accident, you should consider buying a repaired vehicle, Anderson said, noting that the mileage will likely be different from the vehicle’s original condition.
“Sometimes, you can buy a vehicle that’s not