How to Buy a Used Land Rover
There are plenty of reasons to buy a used Land Rover – this was one of the first civilian 4×4 utility vehicles (premiering in the late 40s) and these cars are known as the “luxury SUV” for a reason. If you want the convenience of a Jeep in a comfortable and more attractive package, you need a Land Rover.
Buying a used Land Rover can be a headache. Used car dealers are not as informed about the Land Rover as they may be about other makes — used car dealers just don’t see many Land Rovers through their doors. Dealing with untrained salesmen is the least of your worries. Since it is so difficult to have your Land Rover serviced, you need to make sure that the Rover you buy is mechanically sound. Anytime you buy a used car that normally runs for well over $30,000, you want to be sure you don’t have a lemon on your hands.
First, decide which model of used Land Rover you’re after. Are you interested in a Classic model? Maybe a Range Rover III? Before you head out the door to check out used Land Rovers, you need to know what classic mechanical problems these cars tend to have. Classic Rovers have problems with the steering box as well as the rear axle. Be sure to ask the dealer or private seller about the issues specific to your model. Other classic Land Rover mechanical problems:
- coolant leaks
- hose leaks
- air suspension
- sagging doors
- stock springs
Once you’ve found a model you’re interested in and have given it the once-over, it is time to write down the VIN and check the vehicle’s history. Write down the VIN (found either on the car’s title or in a little box set into the windshield) and head over to CARFAX to buy a vehicle history report. Yeah, you’ll need to shell out around $30, but finding out about a car’s sketchy history can save you a ton of money in the future. CARFAX will tell you if the vehicle’s been salvaged, how many owners it had, and all kinds of other useful info.
Finally, in your hunt for the perfect used Land Rover, be sure you’re buying a “clean” car. If you buy your used Land Rover from a privateseller, check to be sure there’s no liens on the vehicle and that the person who signs the Bill of Sale is the real owner of the car.
If buying from a dealer, maintain records of the warranty and all other papers — and yes, you need to read the fine print very carefully. Whatever is promised to you, get it in writing. Will the remaining original warranty be transferred into your name? Ask all your questions.
Owning a Land Rover doesn’t have to mean going broke — yes, they are nice cars and some models are quite expensive, but if you buy a used Land Rover (and follow all the suggestions above) you can drive off the lot in a new (to you) Land Rover at a big discount.