Your Guide to Purchasing a Used Alfa Romeo

Views 1 Like Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful
Your Guide to Purchasing a Used Alfa Romeo

Italian luxury car manufacturer Alfa Romeo is widely recognised by car enthusiasts for producing quality cars with unique styling and superior performance. Alfa Romeo began its century-long history in 1906 as a French automobile company, Societa Anonima Italiana Darracq, or SAID, owned by Alexandre Darracq. Despite a few obstacles along the way, they continue to make high quality vehicles today. Recent models include the ever-popular Spider, as well as the Giulietta, 156, Mito, 147, and Brera.

Due to their long-standing reputation for quality and performance, Alfa Romeos are popular vehicles in both the new and used market. Purchasing a used Alfa Romeo requires a bit of research, and buyers who take the time to appreciate the history of these cars and learn the ins and outs of purchasing a pre-owned model are more likely to find satisfaction in their purchase. As with purchasing any used vehicle, setting a budget, assessing the condition of the vehicle, and comparing prices on different models are necessary steps to a successful buying experience.

About Alfa Romeo

The company that began selling cars in 1906 was struggling to sell their cars by 1909. In late 1909, a handful of Italian investors joined forces and founded a new company, Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, or A.L.F.A., and produced their first vehicle, the 24HP, in 1910. A.L.F.A.'s cars were powerful and sporty, and quickly became popular race cars.

In 1915, a new company manager, Nicola Romeo, saw the conversion of the plant into a munitions and engine parts factory to support the demand for military equipment during the war. In 1920, the company name was officially changed to Alfa Romeo, and in spite of a brief takeover by the government to avoid bankruptcy, the company has been producing high performance luxury vehicles ever since.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Used Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeos are durable vehicles that hold their value well. Classics such as the Guilia Spider or GTV6 are priced well compared to many other classic cars, but it is often challenging to find one in good condition. The most common complaints in older Alfa Romeos are worn gears, failed head gaskets, and rust. Since 1982, Alfa Romeo has been using Bosch fuel injection, a more reliable system than the Spica fuel injection found on earlier models.

Alfa Romeo Models

With a one hundred year history, Alfa Romeo has produced dozens of models. Though most widely recognised for their road cars and race cars, over the decades their lineup has included light commercial vehicles, light trucks, and buses.

Several of Alfa Romeo's road models are listed below according to the decade in which they were produced.

Production Timeframe

Models Produced

1950s

1900, Matta, Sprint, Giulietta, 2000, Dauphine, 2000

1960s

2600, Giulia, GTA, Spider, Gran Sport Quattroruote, 33 Stradale, Berlina

1970s

Montreal, Alfasud, Alfetta, Nuova Giulietta, Alfa 6

1980s

33, Arna, 90, 75, 164, SZ/RZ

1990s

155, 145, 146, GTV/Spider, 156, 166

2000s

147, 86 Competizione, 8C Spider, GT, Brera, 159, Spider

Though a number of different models were produced prior to World War I, very few of these remain on the road today, and therefore, they are not commonly found for sale.

Other Alfa Romeo Models

Alfa Romeo introduced a few new models between 2008 and 2013. The MiTo is a sporty three-door supermini unveiled in 2008. The Giulietta, a small family car with five doors, replaced the 147 in 2010. Similar to the small, lightweight MiTo, the Alfa Romeo 4C is a rear-wheel drive, two-seater sports car. Introduced as a concept car in 2011, production was launched in 2013.

Set a Budget for Your Used Alfa Romeo

When purchasing a used Alfa Romeo, the first order of business is setting a budget. The average consumer has a finite income and must carefully consider the cost of the vehicle plus the added costs of insurance, registration, road tax, fuel, and maintenance. Used Alfa Romeos are priced from several hundred to tens of thousands of pounds, so it is likely there is one to suit any budget, though models at the lower end of the price scale may require repairs and parts to make them road-ready.

When setting a budget for a used Alfa Romeo, buyers who plan to pay cash need to leave enough money to cover up front expenses such as tax and registration. Those who are financing need money to cover the down payment and must make sure there is room in their monthly budget to cover the payment plus other expenses.

Insurance Groups and Tax Bands

Insurance and taxes are a significant part of the overall cost of a vehicle. Take the time to look up the insurance group for a particular model, as this gives a good indication of what the annual insurance premium costs. Find out the emissions figures as well, as these dictate the Road Tax Band, or VED band for a car, which determines the annual road tax.

Assess the Condition of Your Used Alfa Romeo

Though model and year of manufacture are the biggest factors when it comes to the price of a used Alfa Romeo, the condition of the vehicle is just as important in determining value. Anyone purchasing a used vehicle needs to perform a thorough inspection and test drive in order to accurately assess the condition of the engine, suspension, brakes, body condition, and other major components.

Engine and Transmission

Give the engine a thorough check, making sure to inspect around the engine block for oil leaks and other issues. Check the oil dipstick for signs of white emulsion, an indication of a blown head gasket. Inspect the transmission for signs of leaks and pull out the transaxle fluid dipstick to ensure levels are correct and the fluid is clean. Look for indications of wear on hoses, and missing or broken clamps. Check brake fluid levels and power steering fluid levels.

Tyres

Make sure the tyres are in good repair and the tread is wearing evenly. It is important that all four tyres match in brand, size, type, and condition. If the tyres are near the end of their tread life, consider the cost of replacement when negotiating price.

Body Condition

The biggest concern with body condition on a used Alfa Romeo is rust. Inspect the body from top to bottom, and be sure to check hidden areas such as the bottom of the doors inside the door jamb, the undercarriage, and wheel wells. Look for rust bubbles, areas of raised paint that eventually turn into rust spots and holes. Once it sets in, rust is expensive to repair. Check the inside of the boot, as well as the floor pans and frame wells for signs of recent repair, an indication the vehicle was in an accident.

Interior

Take a good look at the interior of the vehicle. Does the amount of wear and tear line up with the mileage on the odometer? Excessive wear on seats on the dash indicate a vehicle has been driven extensively. Make sure the lights, radio, heat, and air conditioning work properly. Ensure seatbelts are in working order and seats adjust properly.

Test Drive and Inspection

Before committing to a purchase, take the car for a test drive. Pay attention to how it handles and any unusual noises while driving or turning. If possible, take the car to a mechanic who is familiar with Alfa Romeos for a vehicle purchasing inspection. There is normally a flat fee associated with this, but getting a detailed report of the condition of all major systems before buying is often worth the small investment.

Compare Prices on Used Alfa Romeos

Comparing prices on different models helps a consumer find a used Alfa Romeo in good condition for a fair price. Look at several models and years, and compare prices on them at dealerships, in private party ads, and on the Internet. Calculate the average asking price on the models that are being considered. Mileage, condition, service history, colour, specifications and options, and location all factor into the value of a vehicle. Many financial institutions provide their customers with valuation reports, or consumers can pay a small fee to receive a CAP report.

Buy a Used Alfa Romeo on eBay

Consumers shopping for a car can choose from a wide selection of used Alfa Romeos on eBay Motors. eBay's user-friendly search feature helps buyers find vehicles by make, model, year, and body design. Shoppers can also use the search box, found on any eBay page, to enter search terms related to the item they want and return pages of relevant listings. For example, to find all the 2010 MiTos listed on eBay Motors, simply type "2010 MiTo" into the search box and hit return. Results can be narrowed by post code, allowing buyers to locate cars within a reasonable distance so they have the opportunity to inspect and drive the vehicle before purchasing. Filtering by topics such as mileage, colour, fuel type, and number of doors make refining results even easier. eBay Motors also has an extensive inventory of Parts and Accessories for Alfa Romeos, as well as for thousands of other makes and models.

Conclusion

Though a surprising number of consumers are familiar with the brand Alfa Romeo, few are lucky enough to own one of these fast, luxurious cars. With a large number of used Alfa Romeos for sale, many buyers are finding these durable vehicles more affordable than ever. This iconic Italian auto manufacturer had a brief beginning as a French company, before being redesigned into the brand it is today. Alfa Romeos are prized for their superior performance and quality craftsmanship.

When shopping for a used Alfa Romeo, buyers need to be familiar with the various models and features available. Researching the average resale values on these high performing vehicles gives buyers the knowledge required to make a sensible purchase. Buyers who take the time to thoroughly inspect the vehicle can save themselves the disappointment of unexpected problems and costly repairs down the road. Purchasing a vehicle is an expensive venture, but when done properly, the buyer is certain to find a good deal on the right car.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides