Torque Shop

I read that there are many unused secondhand cars for sale. These cars were apparently from Uber's fleet and the prices seem rather low - $70,000-plus for a Mazda 3 sedan which is about a year old, which is about $20,000 cheaper than a new one. Do you think it is a good deal?

Typically, a car depreciates 15 to 20 per cent after its first year, whether it has been used or not.

Hence, a year-old Mazda 3 should be priced at around $78,000, assuming a new one is $95,000.

But these cars were registered last year, when the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) was in effect. So, it would probably have qualified for a bigger tax rebate.

If so, its scrap value would be lower than an equivalent car registered today under the new Vehicular Emissions Scheme (which replaces the CEVS).

You will have to take that into consideration when deciding if the selling price is attractive.

Also, a car which has been left unused for a year can deteriorate more than a car that is being used regularly.

Although the cars are still under warranty, you might risk having to send it to the workshop more often than usual.

You should also verify the claimed mileage clocked. But since the cars are supposed to have been "unused" because Uber was unable to hire them out, there may not be any service record with the authorised Mazda dealer here.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2018, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe