So, you’re thinking of becoming a true 4×4 enthusiast like ourselves, and are wanting to take your vehicle to places you thought unimaginable on 4 wheels? In this post we will help you buy the right 4×4 for your needs, whether you are looking for a 4×4 to feel safer in the snow, on a school run or are truly looking to go off roading at every given chance. This post will help you!
4×4 Buying Guide
1) First things first, ensure you buy a 4×4 for your needs and if so, what are you looking to accomplish with it, are you looking for a 4×4 to feel safer on public roads or are you wanting to dominate the off road terrain in your local area and on foreign lands? Deciding between these two will narrow your choice down quite dramatically, not all 4×4’s are built for off roading. Deciding between these two will narrow your choice down quite dramatically, not all 4×4’s are built for off roading.
2) So, now you have narrowed down your choices, a good thing to do would be to check out forums and reviews dedicated to the vehicle, this way you will learn much more about the common faults and what to look for when going to buy the vehicle itself.
3) As with any vehicle manufacturer, prices for new parts vary quite considerably, if bought from the manufacturer. This is something you need to take into account when you buy your 4×4, would you be able to afford a new set of brake pads for a Porsche cayenne which can range from £200+, where as a set of new front brake pads and discs for a Toyota Hilux would cost a total of £50 from ourselves. That’s a huge difference! Therefore a simple research of how much parts will cost you, could save you thousands in the long run.
4) So, you have now found the vehicle you believe could be the one to buy, one thing to do before even stepping out of your house to view it, is to run a vehicle check, this will give you any details of previous crashes and so on, as long it had been declared to the insurance companies. Of course, if it is a CAT C or CAT D this shouldn’t put you off too much as long as the vehicle had been fully repaired by a professional, but it is something to be wary of. If, you’re buying a used 4×4 there is a good chance it’s picked up some knocks in its lifetime. If not, what were they doing with it in the first place?
5) If the vehicle checks out after you have ran a vehicle check, then ask the owner or the garage if it would be possible to take the car on a test drive on road and off road if possible. This way you will be able to see just how it handles on road and copes off of it. Many people have brought 4x4s in the past and have been fine on public roads, but the second they are shown some gravel, sand, mud and so on they seem to crumble and become just as useful as a 2WD hatchback. Being able to test a car off road may not always be possible, so if you know someone with the same car as what you are after, ask them how they get on in all terrains.
6) Now that you have taken the vehicle out for a quick spin, it’s time to dig deeper, if the car is used it would be a good idea to get under the car and look for any rust, botch jobs (amateur repairs) see how much of the car is original, check the mileage is the same as on the ad, check tyres and so on. Basically the ball is in your court, after all you have the cash.
7) If you don’t know what you are looking for, and you are trying to become an avid 4×4 enthusiast, there’s a good chance you will know a mechanic, if so take them with you to look at the vehicle and they will be able to inspect it for you, giving you a verdict on what they think and how much you should offer.
8) Now that your mechanic has told you what he thinks of the vehicle and if he recommends you buy it, its now time to try and knock down the price, your earlier inspection should also help you with this. This can also be applied if you are paying cash at a dealership, if they can make a quick sale and still make profit you will get the vehicle for cheaper than what it says on the forecourt.
9) By this stage you should have struck a deal with the person/company selling the vehicle and it is now time to take the vehicle out and about to get used to it, spruce it up or keep it how it is, that part is up to you, but remember if you ever need new parts, you know who to call.
Any vehicle purchase is a big step, it’s a financial commitment and also affects you in your everyday life, so you need to be sure you’re making the right decision, and we hope that these steps will help you along your way, and if you ever need any more help, head on over to our Facebook page which is always full of 4×4 lovers deep in discussion!