Buyer's Guide Buying a Volkswagen Cabriolet

Questions for Yourself
Before giving up your hard-earned cash fora 20+- year -old car,therea reseveral questions you should ask yourself:
? Why amI buying this car?
? HowwillIusethiscar:commutingorSundaydrives?
? WherewillIkeepthecar:inthedriveway,underacarport(better),orinagarage(best)?
? WillIbeusingthiscaryear-round,oronlyduringnice-weathermonths?
? ArethereVolkswagenserviceshopsinmyarea?
? WhatisthemostI’mwillingtopayforthiscar?
? AmIwillingtobuyacarthatwillrequireregularattention?
? HowfaramIwillingtotraveltobuythiscar?
? Buyingthiscarforsomeoneelse:
o IfIambuyingthiscarforsomeoneelse,amI100%positivethatthepersonwilllike&enjoythecar?
Reliability
Ascanbesaidfor any olderusedcar,commonsenseprevails:donotbuyoneexpectingittobe100%problem-free,
evenifitisinpristinecondition.Theyare used vehicles;partswearoutovertimeandneedreplacing.Mostimportantly,
doNOTbuyacheapieCabrioletandexpectittoonlycostwhatyoupaidforit(i.e.,don’ tthinkthat$300Cabrioletwasa
killerdeal);oddsare,youWILLdumpmoneyintoitwithinthefirstfewmonthsofown ership.Thesecars”takealickin’
andkeepontickin'”,buttheyhavetheirbreakingpoints.Therefore,ifyou’vefoundanice- lookingcheapieCabrioletfor
saleandareplanningtouseitasdailytransportation,setasideatleasttwiceasmuchasw hatyou’llpayforitsothat
you’llbepreparedforpossibleimmediatemechanicalrepairs.
Acarmayhavebeenwellmaintained,butnotallpartshavereceivedattention.Therefore,aCabrioletthathas”allnew
brakes,tires,battery,plugs&wires,airfilter,belts”and”runslikenew”couldverywell giveyouaxleproblems,
transmissionproblems,etc.Takethecartoaqualifiedmechanicforacompleteinspec tion,ifpossible,priortobuyingthe
carandasktoseerepair/maintenancerecords.
WhileCabrioletsarebestusedtodayassecondaryorpleasurevehicles,thousandsofC abrioletsthroughouttheworldare
stillperformingdailydrivingduties.
Mileage
Thesecarsarenowover20yearsoldandagoodmajorityofthem,there fore,have over100,000milesontheir
odometers.Providedthecarshavebeenwell-maintained,thisshouldn’t beadiscouragement.Theenginesinthesecars
areknownforlastingover200,000milesiftheyareproperlycaredfor.
Cabrioletswithextremelylowmilesarecarsthatmostlikelyhaven’tbee ndrivenmuch,which,insomecases,canbe
worsethancarswithhighmiles:sealsdryup,watergetsintothefuelsystem,hydrauliccompo nentsseize,etc.Alow
mileagecarmayneedjustasmuchworkasahighmileagecar;thisiswhyap re-buyinspectionisveryimportantonany
caryouareinterestedinbuying.
Value
TheoverallvalueofCabrioletsis slowly goingup.However,whileCabrioletenthu siastsconsidertheircarstobeclassics,
theautomotiveworlddoesnot…yet.This meansthatpricesforthesecarsareallov erthemap,andsoaretheir
conditions.ACabrioletingoodcondition(i.e.straightbody,nicepaint,cleaninteri or,runningengine),buthashighmiles
cansellfor$500,whileaCabrioletthatisinpoorcondition(badpaint,afewsmalldin gs,badtop,dirtyinterior)withlow
milescansellfor$2,000.So,youcangetasteal,oryoucangetrippedoff.Furthermo re,whileafixer-uppercansellfor
$450,ashowroom-condition,alloriginal,super-lowmileageCabriolet,nomatter themodelyear,canfetchupwardsof
$7,000–bothexamplesbeingpricedprettyfairly.Bottomline:doyourhomework andshoparound!

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