Buying a used car is a smart decision. But also, a bit of a gamble. There are a few things you can do to stack the odds in your favor.
- Examine the car’s interior. The condition of the interior tells the story of how well the car was maintained and cared for. Does steering wheel, pedals, or gear lever look suspiciously new? It’s a big chance that the car was very heavily used, and those parts just replaced before sale.
- Look for rust. It’s a problem that will spread. Some dishonest salesmen cover up the rust with a bit of paint or some stickers. It’s a good idea to check under the car.
- Inspect engine for obvious leaks and obvious damage. If the engine looks super clean it means it was washed. The question is why? Probably to hide oil leaks and similar nasty problems.
- Check the car’s VIN and get a full history report. How many owners? Real mileage? Was it a rental car or a taxi? Any accidents? You can get a detailed car history report here.
What You Should Know Before Buying Used Volkswagen
Volkswagen manufactures good quality cars at an affordable price. That’s why it’s called People’s Car. Three-four-year-old VW Golf, after the expiration of the warranty, costs around 10-15 thousand dollars. Same age VW Tiguan will cost 11-18 thousand dollars. It’s an average car from a price perspective. But it has plenty of standard features.
Volkswagens are known for performance, design, and overall quality. VW cars are pleasant to drive. Many of them have a good torque and feels fast and maneuverable on the road. Generally, VWs are fuel-efficient and are known to have pleasant interior design.
The weaker side is engine reliability. Looking at consumer and expert reports, engine problems are mentioned most. Of course, newer models have more innovative technologies in them. And like any fancy electronics, it comes with potential problems.
Most Common Problems with Used Volkswagen Cars
Volkswagen is one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. They have a huge variety and wide range of models. But we can speak in general terms about common problems. For example, the major engine repair cost can be surprisingly high. New parts are also quite pricey. The solution is a second hand parts market. And avoiding pricey dealership repair shops.
Some widespread problems are those:
- Rust. Especially older VWs are very susceptible to rust.
- Ignition switches, window regulators, and heater cores are common problems.
- Older VWs notoriously have problems with cruise control.
- The cooling system is sensitive, and you should only use the G12/G13 coolant.
Keep in mind that a lot depends on how Volkswagen was maintained. It’s a rule that to avoid serious and costly problems you must take good care of your VW.
Most Popular Volkswagen Models
VW Golf is the most popular Volkswagen car to date. Not expensive to buy and to repair. Fun to drive and has plenty of torque which is always nice.
Golf’s have really comfy interior and functional hatchback design. It’s a fuel-efficient vehicle and has many standard features.
On the other hand, the VW Golf has some shortcomings. As any car. Some models have problems with electric braking aids, electric stop-start systems, and ignition.
VW Jetta is a well-known four-door sedan. It’s not a fancy or luxury vehicle. More of a solidly built and reliable family-friendly car with many standard safety features. Every VW Jetta model has plenty of room for passengers in both rows. It has an engaging drive and is quite nimble on the road. As a bonus, newer models have a premium sound system.
Usually, the VW Jetta is a fuel-efficient car. But its efficiency drops after heavy usage. As all Volkswagen’s it has a higher cost of maintenance and repair.
It’s not a flashy car but a very well designed one. VW Tiguan is a very practical SUV. The interior may look ordinary but it’s pure quality and good taste. Plenty of space for passengers in both rows. Seats are large and supportive, even back seats recline.
Driving with a VW Tiguan comes easy. It’s light and nimble on the road and has plenty of torque. By the way, it’s quite good at off-roading.
Compared to competitors, VW Tiguan has a small cargo and overall space. If you get one with a turbo engine, keep in mind that it’s costly to repair.
Check Volkswagen Car History
The best way to check a car is to decode Volkswagen VIN number and get a car history report. That’s the only way to really know what you are buying. Get a VIN of a car and receive full information on it from sites like carVertical. It will answer any questions.
- Does odometer show real mileage?
- The real number of owners?
- Sustained damage?
- Had it been used as a taxi or rental car?
Check it out yourself and avoid any nasty surprises that come with buying a used car.