Helpful Hints for Buying a Car in Israel

Value and Price

When it comes to used cars, “best deal” doesn’t mean the cheapest one. Your goal is to look for a car in good condition for reasonable price. In Chutz l’Aretz it was relatively easy and common that people bought a cheap used car, lovingly labeled in the UK as “old banger”.

Here in Israel this doesn’t exist. The demand for a “cheap car” is so high, it keeps the prices up. Often the question arises, what’s better, a well made Japanese made car such as a Toyota Corolla 2004, 150,000 km for ₪25,000 or Chevy Optra 2009, 100,000 km, for ₪25,000. Many dealers would preasue you to purcahsethe Chevy. The Toyota will last for another 10 years easy, the Chevy would would be lucky to last till the end of the year.

Remember, the proper price for a certain used vehicle is not necessarily the one indicated in Mechiron book – they give you just an average price. The actual value of the vehicle depends on a car’s condition. Two cars may only look the same. One may have been maintained so poorly and the engine won’t last long after you buy it. Previous owner of another vehicle may have been religious about maintenance, was using only synthetic oil, has done the rustproof and so on. Without a doubt, I’d rather pay ₪10,000 more for this second car just to have peace of mind driving it.

How to determine how much you will have to pay for a certain model? Just to show you as an example, I searched the used car dealer-ships for a three years old Honda Civic. I found 10 vehicles with the price ranging from ₪60,000 to ₪90,000. To be realistic, I know that for ₪60,000 it was probably in accident or high mileage and not well looked after. ₪90,000 seems to me too high. But there are quite a few cars for ₪70,000 – 75,000 price range – this looks more realistic to me. etc.

Decide how much you can afford.

Set yourself a firm limit of how much money you want and can afford to pay for a car. The process of buying a used car can be time-consuming and stressful and it might be difficult to resist the urge to buy more expensive vehicle, especially when higher total price is hidden under “low” monthly payments. Often dealers could try to push you into buying more expensive vehicle to increase their commission. In fact, this is very common situation when people rush into buying a car or a truck only to realize later that they cannot afford paying for it.

Thousands of people are searching the Internet for an answer to “How to get out of a car deal?” You want to buy something that you can afford, something that will not put excessive financial strain on your family budget, so you need to set yourself a firm limit. When we give advise on cars we can be as natural as possible, because our fee is set, the buyer pays us a ₪1,000 fee (after the sale). Therefore we only recommend what is best for you.

What type of used car will fit into my price range?

Let’s take a look at some prices: ₪50,000-₪80,000 – This is the average minimum amount of money one would need to spend on a ‘decent’ car 3 to 4 years old. This would be a typical car (not a luxury car) sold from a used car dealership. They usually have, what would I recommend as a perfect choice, leased in one-owner certified vehicles that were sold new and serviced at the same dealership. Leased cars are recognized as good buys as they are well looked after, or the leaser has to pay a large fine. You can expect to save about ₪10%. They often come with higher mileage, expect about 35,000 km per year. This shouldn’t alarm you. Commuting between cities in Israel is common, and the car can handle highway driving much easier than inner city traffic driving. Usually such a car may last for another few years relatively trouble-free if properly maintained. For ₪20,000-$40,000 you may be able to find a 6 to 9 year old used car with relatively high mileage which still might be in good shape. However, it may take a lot more time to find a good condition used car in this price range. Typically, independent used car dealers sell cars within this price range. For ₪10,000-₪20,000 you may be able to buy something that can serve as simple transportation to get from point A to point B. More than likely it may be a car with high mileage sold by a private owner. Expect to visit your mechanic more often with this kind of vehicle. Don’t forget that aside from the car price you may need to pay extra for the yearly test-registration and there may be other charges to consider.