Buying a new Octavia - tips

Applies for both Octavia Tour and Octavia 2

A new car is taken when you sign the form stating that you've taken the car and found everything OK. So, this should be the last step of the hand-over procedure, after you checked out the car and really found everything OK!
This was the first paper the dealer wanted to have signed by me, so be careful and refuse it until the end of the whole procedure!

 

Documents

You will receive a bunch of papers with your new car: contract, invoice, insurance papers, traffic licence, service booklet etc. (depending on the regulations of your country). Check every character! The correction can be very demanding later (both time and money).

Check the data of traffic licence: personal data (name, address), VIN (on the left bottom corner of windscreen), engine code (on a label on the cover of cam toothed belt), make, model, technical parameters of the car (power, colour). Everything must be proper! (Required information depends on the local regulations.)

Check the labels of the licence plates if there should be any (depends on the regulations of your country)! Do they have the proper information and match the other papers of the car?

Check out the language of all documents! If any part of the documentation is not in your language, do insist the replacement of it! It's my experience that it is possible!
The documentation consists of the followings:

SERVICE BOOKLET – containing the name, address of the owner, date of hand-over of car, stamp of the dealer, the time of the first service check. On the inner side of front cover you should find a copy of type approval label that is also on the bottom of trunk, near to the spare wheel. 2 year/20.000 miles (30.000 km) extended service interval is the default for both Octavia Tour and Octavia 2! Ask the dealer whether the on-board computer is also set to these parameters?

OWNER'S MANUAL – everything about your car.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – dimensions, different enginges' parameters, weights.

SUMMARY GUIDE TO THE DASHBOARD.

Optionally (if the car is equipped with any of them):
Warranty card and owner's manual of GEAR LEVEL LOCKING DEVICE, stickers of the brand (maybe it's not wise to stick them, because they inform the thief about the exact type of the device).

OPERATION MANUAL for ORIGINAL AUDIO DEVICE – ask for the security code of the head unit. You may need it if the battery is disconnected or gets flat later. (Usually the dealer writes the code into the service booklet.)

Octavia 2 will not ask for security code of original Škoda audio system, except if it is moved into another car.
Facelifted Octavia 2 (MY2009) cars arrive to the dealer without the audio system coded to the on-board electronics. The dealer has to code the radio during pre-sale check via direct online connection to a central database.
(To do this, the audio device must be removed from dashboard in order to read its serial number from a sticker on the side. What on Earth this is good for? Disassembling every new car? This began with Superb 2.)

Dealers usually did not know the code for original Octavia 2 audio systems since those were coded to the on-board electronics in the factory. But at facelifted cars they must know the code exactly, since they have to enter it.

WARRANTY CARD for SUBSEQUENTLY INSTALLED DEVICES (such as 3rd party made navigation system) .

 

Keys

You should receive two same keys and a plastic label with VIN code and key number on it. Ordering replacement keys is possible only with key number so keep it in a safe place!

Optionally: Check to have all the keys of gear level locking device. Read the manual of the device to determine the number of keys you should have. Maybe, a code-card is also needed for ordering more keys later, check this also by reading the manual.

 

Accessories

Check all the accessories the contract is about. If any of them is missing, have it substituted or ask for compensation before you sign the paper about taking the car!

Check for the mandatory accessories - spare lightbulbs, towing rope, etc. (depending on local regulations)!

All of the followings must be on the bottom of the luggage compartment: spare wheel or tyre repair kit, lifting jack, towing eye, wheel wrench. If alloy wheels are installed: hook for pulling of wheel trim cap or plastic clip for a wheel bolt cover, adapter for the wheel bolts lock.
Check the small gadgets too: cigarette lighter, wheel valve dust caps, roof antenna, oil dipstick.

 

Painting

Some of the new cars have some injuries during transporting. These injuries are corrected in the workshop of the dealer or the transportation company using factory-provided technology. It's better to check out the painting of the car with layer-thickness meter before you take the car. Nasty situation when you try to sell your car later and it turns out that the car's painting was repaired. (Dealers usually have this device since they check out the used cars they buy.)

Dealers are not obliged to provide you a layer-thickness meter, but they'll not refuse it if the car is OK. (If a car is damaged during transportation, a record is always made. The dealership always receive a copy of it and the would-be owner also should have one copy.)

You should check every part of the chasis at least at two or more points (fenders, roof, hood, trunk lid)!

Check out the car at natural lighting environment too! Škoda cars have typical painting thickness between 90 and 150 microns (1000th part of one millimeter). If the value is near to 200 microns it's sure the painting was repaired, ask for some gift accessories (free first service, rubber floormats, etc.) or a small discount. Do the same if you find unrepaired damages: scratches, painting faults, dents.
At or near to the 300 micron value claim for a significant discount! You can also try to refuse taking the car and ask for another one, but consider the legal possibilities of your country (trading act or something like this) and the time and cost of ordering a new car.

On Octavia 2 80-110 micron thickness can be measured. (Don't be afraid, the dealer, the importer and the transportation company arrange this among each other, transportation companies usually have insurance for these cases.)

 

Tyres

The factory selects tyres from a wide range of makers. Octavia Tours usually come with Matador tyres, but they're very rare on Octavia 2 cars. They come with products of better-known brands.
Try to bargain on the tyres if you don't like them, especially if you buy an extremely well equipped car with many extras for rather large amount of money...

 

Operational test

Škoda cars are assembled by humans, pre-sale check is also done by humans, so there's a small chance that something is not perfect. It's better to discover any problems and to correct them before you leave the dealership. Try out everything! Electronic comfort features (power windows, radio, navigation), the instruments, lights, handbrake, heating and air-conditioning. Take a test round and listen to the noise of running gear and brakes. Check safety belts (are they retracting?). Check the engine compartment, watch the coolant level, windscreen washer fluid level, brake oil level, engine oil level, hear the engine's sound.
I recommend you to make a checklist earlier and go through this list during the taking procedure. Let the dealer introduce the car to you. If something is not clear, ask! You paid for the time it takes!

Many comfort features' mode of operation can be set by programming the comfort electronics of the car (audio system, central locking system, etc.), ask the dealer about how they are functioning now and set them to your needs before taking the car. They'll do it for free, but a few days later maybe the dealer will charge you for any changes of those settings.

Check the carpets, the upholstery for hard-to-remove dirt! If the dealer installed gear level locking device or radio, they could smudge the interior. (Trailer truck driver's hand also can be dirty when reaching after the door handle.)

Check out the odometer! You should not see more than 9 miles! Factory test takes less distance, than this!

If everything is OK, sign the form about taking the car and enjoy the scent of new Škoda cars and the many-many happy miles you'll spend together!

Don't forget to fill up at the nearest petrol station! (Except if you made a bargain about a full tank of petrol included in the price.)

 

*** Thanks to Fickó bácsi and Stevie Wonder forum mates for their cooperation!

©2008-2013 Zsolt Sz.
Last update: 04. Feb., 2013.
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