You’ve come to the decision that now’s the perfect time to buy the used Beetle you’ve always dreamed of. It’s a great idea that can bring so many rewards and life experiences, but it can also reduce grown men and women to tears. Before you spend your money you have to work out:
- How much you can afford to spend
- What kind of Beetle you want
- How much you have to spend doing up your VW
Before you start your search read on to ensure you spend your money wisely and don’t end up with a car that’s going to be sitting in your garden, slowly disintegrating over the years.
What to Look for
The most important thing to look for is signs of rust. When buying vintage Beetles you will probably come across rust and if you’re not prepared to deal with this issue then you may be better off buying a newer model or spending more money to buy the Beetle you want that’s already been restored.
Rust is usually found in the following areas:
- Between the door panel and the rear bumper
- Rocker panels/door sills
- Heater channels
- Floor pan
- Spare wheel well
When you inspect the car don’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees. You should be pulling back the carpet in the foot well, looking for rot or signs of wetness as well as lifting up the rear seats and checking under the bonnet. Rust and rot won’t be a problem if you’ve worked these expensive repairs into your budget, but if you haven’t you could seriously regret your purchase within weeks.
The Mechanics of the Beetle
The great news is the Beetles are pretty much indestructible. They were built to last which is why so many of them are still around. Generations after generations are able to enjoy the lifestyle that comes with owning such a chilled out and iconic vehicle. However, you will need to look for any potential problems such as:
- Steering, especially the steering swivel pin
- Brakes (although these are usually cheap to repair)
- Servo brakes on later models should be looked at for leaks as this can be expensive to sort out
- Gearboxes are usually in great condition but do check for wear and tear
- Check the engine for leaks, smoke and movement
Do Your Sums
If you’re really keen on the idea of buying a classic Beetle you will need to think about the amount you have to spend on the vehicle as well as the repairs and upkeep. You should research the model you’re about to test drive and find out how much spare parts are likely to cost. You’ll be happier if you do your sums in advance as you can work money off the asking price if you know the work that’s likely to be needed.
VW used cars such as Beetles can be a real joy to own, providing you think about what you’re prepared to do. Find VW’s over at cars.co.za and find the perfect project or ready to go Beetle within your price range.