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Car Buying Tips

For English speakers in Israel

An Alternative That You May Not Have Considered

Many folks are afraid of considering an ex-rental car (ERC) for purchase. We are by no means giving a blanket endorsement of such a purchase but there are mitigating factors to consider, and in some cases it can be just the option needed. Check out this link (ERC) and see if this may be an option that deserves more investigation on your part for your particular circumstance.

Not All Finance Offers Are What They Seem

You may be offered a 0% interest loan on a car purchase at the dealer.  We have even heard from our clients stories of banks directing customers to visit the dealer and apply for the loan there so they can get these 0% offers.   We call this offer "smoke and mirrors" to read more on this subject click on this link "smoke and mirrors" to understand some of the dangers of this particular offer.

Not All lease Offers Are What They Seem

What passes as a lease today in Israel many times is not a lease at all; it's a residual note or balloon financing plan

The difficulty now is that many companies and banks are selling these as "leases" and us folks from the West are expecting a different reality when we hear the word lease. Read More on this

We have real American style closed end leases if this interest you.

Test Drives

In Israel there is an insurance restriction which stipulates a representative from the company must be with you on the test drive. This can cause a problem because the representative usually wants to be back at the office signing contracts, or drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette.

Insist on a full test drive including getting up to highway speed to see how the car handles. This is when shakes and noises become more apparent.

Before you drive turn the radio on, judge the quality of the sound system then shut it off, and don't let the rep turn it back on.  You need to listen to the machine you are thinking of buying.

Turn the AC on even if it is chilly outside to see how the car handles under load, your going to be using it a lot here in Israel.

Always Get the Car Checked

Buying a used car? Always Always Always get the car checked yourself even if the nice representative shows you a recent test just performed on the car. This is true even if it has only a few thousand km on the odometer. If its been driven by someone else get it checked.  There are exceptions to every rule, there are a few companies whose tests can be trusted but you need to know which ones.  If you are working on your own do it yourself.