Used Car Buying: Past and Present

Jul 2020

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One thing is undeniable and most certainly offers some comfort: the modern age brings us convenience and the luxury of being spoilt for choice. Our supermarkets offer a variety of consumables, each one crafted and packaged to outshine the competition. We can pick and choose from a myriad of restaurants and coffee shops to visit, and we only need to open a laptop and search online to find the perfect holiday destination in a jiffy. The same goes for buying a used car. There was a time when it took maximum effort and a certain cunningness to find a trustworthy used car. But time and technology have changed that.
At Citton Cars, we appreciate the small things in life, including the many ways we make our clients’ lives easier. We appreciate that today we have all the tools to guarantee that used cars are “nearly new” cars and that when you buy one from us, there is no second-guessing.
Let’s have a look at how buying a used car in the past compares to what we are lucky enough to have today.

Shopping for a used car

  • PAST: Not so long ago, before cellphones and the Internet, you’d grab the thick Yellow Pages and flip to the car dealership section. You would then write down the dealerships who had used cars for sale and proceed to phone from your landline. Your telephonic consultations with the various salespeople would have taken quite a while, as they had to explain what type of used cars were available on their showroom floors. Then you’d have to get into your car and physically drive to all the dealerships which may (or may not) have had stock of the used cars you were looking for.
  • PRESENT: Nowadays, all you do is hop onto your Internet-enabled device and start browsing for used cars via your favourite search engine. Dealerships, such as Citton Cars, have plenty of used cars listed on their websites’ showrooms. These online platforms have interactive search capabilities to provide effortless and instant results. You only need to apply some filters to your search. Start with your available budget and determine the specific price range of the used cars you are looking for. Then apply the filter listings according to make, model, year, mileage, body type, fuel economy, fuel type, transmission, engine, plan, and location. There is no need to talk to a salesperson on the phone and waste airtime. It’s all there, on the screen.

Feeling good about safety and quality

  • PAST: You would have now arrived at your dealership of choice to start browsing (physically) the lines of used cars for sale. Not before long, a salesperson would rush over and with wringing hands and shiny eyes enthusiastically start elaborating on how fabulous the car your eyes happen to pick out was. You would kick the tires, ask to look under the hood, and take it for a test drive. You would, however, not have had any real knowledge of what the used car’s true condition was. Finding a used car that you could trust not to break down the minute you leave the dealership was truly a hit-or-miss affair!
  • PRESENT: Today, most dealerships will give you a used car history report for free. No more guessing and stressing about where the car previously had been or how forcefully the foregoing owners had treated it. At Citton Cars, all our used cars pass a stringent 120-point Bosch quality inspection and diagnostics check. We put them through the standard roadworthy and safety checks, including a standard HPI check (TransUnion Vehicle Enquiry). In the past, you would have had to go to an independent mechanic to inspect and fix your used car in his backyard. Now it is all done before you have even laid your eyes on the vehicle.

Finding an honest used cars dealership

  • PAST: In the golden old days, you had to rely heavily on your “gut” feeling about a used car dealership and its salespeople. The only other way, apart from your intuition, to find out whether a dealership was reputable or not, was to talk to buyers who had previously been there. Although word of mouth certainly has its merits, it leaves one open to second-guessing and hearsay. The dealership’s owners may have had a special talent in appointing the most charming salespeople, but one never really know much about the used car other than what was said during their sales pitch.
  • PRESENT: Fortunately, to find a reputable dealership these days takes only a few finger taps on a smart screen or keyboard. Online, you’ll quickly find the dealerships you can trust and who have been in the business for a long time. For example, on our website, we highlight the fact that we’ve been named the WesBank Dealer of the Year Winner Countrywide for five consecutive years from 2015 to 2019. We also celebrate 30 years of success in the motoring industry under the same management. A stable dealership with long-term goals is a business you can rely on! Instead of listening to the advice of only a few close friends and associates, you can now promptly visit independent online review sites where hundreds of consumers leave comments on their buying experiences. On the popular consumer site, Hellopeter, Citton Cars’ rating is currently at an average of 4,65 out of 5, calculated from more than 300 reviews.

Used cars dealerships weren’t perfect in the past, nor are they perfect in the present. The difference, however, is that buyers now do their homework thoroughly and with very little effort before they contact a dealership. At the same time, a dealership has no excuse to conduct its business other than in a highly ethical manner, entrenched with safety standards.