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Meet at the front of car

Text & Photos | Editorial Team

19th JUNE 2018
When the time comes for you to part with your pride and joy, selling on your own guarantees you the most financial returns. It can, however, result in you meeting some of the worst car buyers out there.

It never fails to amaze just how absurd some people can be when buying such a big ticket item. You would expect them to not only be ready to make the financial commitment required of car ownership, but also do their homework on the car they are looking at and take things a little bit more seriously.

But that's just how life is and here are the five worst types car buyers you may very unfortunately meet.
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1.     The low baller

Haggling is a favourite past-time for many Singaporeans and to be able to knock a bit off the original asking price certainly would not hurt. However, some people turn harmless haggling into daylight robbery.

For example, a used Volkswagen Golf GTI with about three and a half years of COE left is estimated to fetch about $65,000 with an annual depreciation hovering around the $13,000 mark. But do not be surprise when you receive offers as low as $50,000 accompanied by the standard reply of "If you are okay with my offer, I can put a deposit immediately."

Sure, for $15,000 off, you can have the car without the engine and wheels.
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2.     The die-die-want-to-buy guy

Who are the die-die-want-to-buy guys? They are the people who either negotiate (sometimes beg) for unrealistic discounts or try their lucky at ridiculously low down payment amounts.

Unfortunately, MAS restrictions only allow one to take loans of up to seven years with a maximum amount of up to 70% for cars with OMV less than or equal to $20,000 and 60% for cars with OMV more than $20,000.

Still, some will try applying for bank loans of up to 90% while others may get their loan applications rejected repeatedly due to bad credit history. Maybe consider an in-house loan? This wastes everyone's time and you could have otherwise found a committed buyer and closed the deal. It's a mean thing to say but it's an even harsher reality of life; if you aren't financially comfortable with buying a car, don't even think about it. Running the car will bring you another set of problems.
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3.     The clueless kook

As mentioned above, you would expect a potential car buyer to have not only done his or her research about the car, but also on the buying process and car ownership in general. However, it's common to meet funnies who think that an alternator is a form of kitchen appliance or have the misconception that you only need to pump your tyres when replacing a new set.

These sorts will stare blankly as if you're speaking in tongues when they inquire about your higher asking price, followed by when you justify it, describing how well-kept your car is with the servicing and repairs you have done.

There are even some who have no idea how to apply for a loan or insurance coverage, and expect you to do so on their behalf. Do we look like OCBC?
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4.     The look-see only

When shopping for a used car, it is important to view several different units prior to making a decision. Taking the car out for a test drive or riding shotgun with the owner is also necessary as it kind of gives you an idea of how the car performs and whether that particular car is right for you.

However, there are people out there who, when viewing the car, exhibit signs that they are ready, willing and able to buy, when in actual fact, are not one bit committed. This wastes your time and effort in preparing the car for viewing and makes you want to punch them in the throat.

So fellas, if you're ever the buyer, before scheduling a meet-up for viewing and a test drive, ask yourself if that particular make and model is what you are looking for, and if the pictures and description of the car's current condition is to your liking before heading down.
5.     The wimps who cannot make their own decisions

We have all seen such situations before - a prospective buyer going on about how much they like the car and how they are comfortable with the price, and just when you think you are about to seal the deal, they pop your balloon by saying, "I have to go home and ask my husband/wife first".

Don't get us wrong, it's good that they are respectful of their other half and are including them in the decision-making process. But hey, if it's not an extravagant and unpractical purchase, or if it's going to be your daily drive with you financing the purchase, then it is time to grow a sack and not let someone else make the decision for you, right?