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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Tornare

What To Check When Buying an Old Prestige Car?

Many of us dream of Aston Martins, Lamborghinis or Ferraris. For most people, these cars remain unattainable financially. But over the years, some models lose a lot of value and become more affordable. To avoid costly surprises, a thorough examination of the vehicle is necessary...

Carequest Car Broker Switzerland_Aston Martin DBS

It is now possible to acquire some of the most prestigious cars for a fraction of their new price. If one is not afraid of the cost of ownership, this can be an excellent opportunity to drive a vehicle that, despite its age, still offers a thrill. Repair and maintenance costs are often exorbitant, so it is important to ensure that the car is in good condition before buying. In this article, find out what recurring problems we have noticed during our latest research.


History

Servicing

Maintenance of a prestige vehicle is essential to its proper running. A comprehensive service booklet ensures that previous owners have looked after the car and reduces the likelihood of breakdowns. In our experience, the cheapest offers frequently have many gaps in their logbooks, which sellers justify by the low mileage. This excuse is not valid. A vehicle that has only been driven a few times needs just as much maintenance as a vehicle with a higher mileage. If the service is due, find out how much it is before you buy.


Board documents

If any board documents are missing, be careful. The maintenance booklet allows you to track the evolution and mileage of the vehicle. If it is not provided, this may mean that the vehicle's history has been tampered with, which we have noticed several times. Also, if the documents are copies or duplicates, further research is required to ensure the accuracy of the information. This is also necessary when the documents are not filled in correctly (missing seal, date or pages).


Origin

The origin of the vehicle can tell a lot about its condition. Information on previous owners gives clues as to the use of the vehicle. In addition, it is important to find out the country of origin. If it is imported, a history check is essential to identify the countries in which it was used and its mileage. This is because wear and tear will vary according to the conditions of use.


Crash

An accident, even if it has been well-repaired, can have consequences on the evolution of the car's condition. For this reason, it is key to identify any repair traces and find out what caused them. This can be done by talking to the owner, by a visual check or by analysing the error codes.

Carequest Car Broker Switzerland_Bord documents Porsche 996 911 Carrera


Cosmetic

Bodywork and interior

Cosmetic repairs are expensive too. In addition, some repairs are logistically and technically difficult. For example, paint defects, scratches, dents, rust, etc. are to be taken into account. In addition, the condition of the interior can give information about the mileage of the car. If the wear and tear are above average, ask about the history of the vehicle. If the documents are not complete, the information may have been manipulated.


Wheels and tires

Older tyres should be changed regardless of their wear. On cars with low mileage, we have often come across tyres that were more than 10 years old. Although the tread is sometimes more than sufficient, we do not recommend driving with such wheels. Over the years, the rubber hardens and the tyre loses its efficiency.

Carequest Car Broker Switzerland_Ferrari wheel


Technic

Mechanics

The mechanical condition of a vehicle can be challenging to assess. However, some initial tests give an idea of potential problems. Starting the engine will show warning lights and error messages. In addition, it will allow any suspicious noises to be identified. A test drive and a check of the underside of the vehicle will also help. Finally, the use of an OBD reader helps to identify vehicle fault codes that are invisible to the naked eye. It is also possible to bring the vehicle to a professional for a neutral opinion.


Electronic

Since the early 2000s, electronics have become increasingly present in vehicles. Problems in this area are not uncommon. For this reason, all electronic components must be checked for possible faults and malfunctions. Again, the use of an OBD reader can provide additional information.

Carequest Car Broker Switzerland_GPS Aston Martin DB9


Conclusion

Over the years, some prestige cars become affordable. Buying a good vehicle will avoid unpleasant surprises. For this reason, it is essential to take the necessary steps to find out the origin, the follow-up and the history of the vehicle. To do this, both the onboard documents and the visual and technical conditions must be checked.


Do you want to buy a vehicle, but don't know where to start?

Carequest Sàrl will be happy to help you find the perfect vehicle and make sure it is in good condition. Contact us!


 

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