Are you looking into buying an air cooled VW Beetle? Here are somethings you want to check for before making a deal.
First thing, does it have title?
1) Open the doors and look for rust along the running board and body. Do the doors operate correctly?
2) Look to see how well the hood shuts. See how much of a gap there is between the hood and the body where the seal is. This can indicate possible body damage.
3) Inspect the front wheel well area. Pay close attention to the lower body where the fender meets the running board. This is a good place for rust.
4) Open the hood and remove the spare tire. Look at the apron, up both sides to the gas tank. These areas may show wrinkles’ indicating the front has been hit.
5) Inspect the wires under the dash. See if there have been a lot of extra wires installed or removed.
6) Look underneath. Check the front end, around the front beam. You are looking for bends, dents, or anything that might indicate an impact.
Now look at the overall condition. I don’t concern myself with bad fenders, hoods or doors. Dents can be straightened out. Even new pieces can be installed. Holes in the floor can be fixed, holes that extend into the edge of the body can be harder to fix. Harder means $$$.
If it is a running car, how well does the engine run? Look for excessive oil leaks.
What you are looking for is a good body with minimal rust and descent fenders. Remember, oil and gas leaks can be fixed; a poorly running engine can be tuned up. There are new interior kits available.
Bottom line is, are you buying a show car, daily driver, a car that has sat for a while, or a basket case – the quality of the car will possibly dictate the price. The more you pay the fewer things you may have to repair yourself, it might be better to spend an extra $1000 dollars and get a VW that you can drive tomorrow.