Checklist For Buying a Used Car

written by Cartopia |

Checklist For Buying a Used Car
  1. Why buy a used car?

    Unfortunately, a new car can lose up to 40% of its purchase value within the first year of ownership. What this means for the savvy motorist is that used cars are often the best option for getting the vehicle that you want for a reasonable price. Luckily, it's never been easier to buy used cars in a way that ensures you end up with a safe, roadworthy vehicle for far less than you might think. Pre-inspection checks on used cars for sale minimise the risk of inadvertently buying a car that's an accident write-off or has a dubious past.

    Used cars can be as reliable as a new model, and are also considerably less expensive. If you're not happy with the asking price, it's often possible to negotiate a reduced price or get some additional extras with no increase in price.

    As well as being able to purchase a used car from a dealership, it's also possible to buy online, from a range of different sellers. The Internet gives buyers access to an incredibly wide selection of vehicles, providing plenty of choice.

    It's also possible to pick up cars and trucks with just a few kilometres on the clock, giving the second-hand buyer many of the benefits of a new vehicle, but without the hefty price tag. When it comes to buying a used car vs new car purchase, a secondhand motor often has the edge.

    Looking for a reliable used car near you? Search for the perfect used vehicle on Cartopia!

  2. Which car to buy?

    With so many different used cars on the market, working out which one is going to be best suited to your needs can be a challenge. Obviously budget is a consideration, as well as whether the vehicle will be for personal use, or one that you need for work or business.

    Used car reviews are often a great place to start: with information on popular brands such as Hyundai, Honda, Holden and Toyota cars, as well as in-depth data on the performance and features of SUV options, 7-seater vehicles and other cars which are ideal for families, reviews can give a good idea of the type of car that's going to be right for your needs.

    Manufacturers' websites (Mazda cars, Mitsubishi etc) are also good sources of data. Stunning family cars such as the Toyota Camry, BMW1 series, Honda Civic and Skoda Octavia are all available secondhand for fraction of what you'd pay in the showroom.

    Related Reading: 5 Things To Consider Before Buying Your Next Car

  3. Where to buy?

    The two main choices are a dealership (either online or virtual), or to opt for a private sale. In a private sale, the vehicle is sold to you by the current owner in most cases. Both types of sale can take place in real life, or virtually.

    In a real-life scenario, you turn up and visit the dealership to see what cars are available. Similarly, for a private sale, after initial contact through newspaper ads or similar, you will turn up and see the car in person.

    Whilst some people still prefer to shop for a used car in real life, the vast majority do most of their shopping online, usually meeting the seller (whether that's an individual or a dealership used cars are available from) simply to pick up the vehicle. In some cases, particularly when purchasing from a dealership, the company will bring the car to your doorstep!

    The main advantages of online purchasing are:

    • Online buying allows easy comparison between vehicles, as well as much more choice.
    • All pre-inspection vehicle checks can be arranged virtually.
    • Search for cars when you have time - you're not restricted to showroom opening hours.
    • >Far more cars are available online than in real life dealerships, significantly increasing your chances of picking up a bargain.

    You can find a list of dealers covering Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney and most major Australian cities here.

  4. Physical & Technical Inspection

    Before purchasing a used car, it's important to ensure it receives some form of pre-purchase vehicle inspection to check that it's roadworthy. As a start, a vehicle that's sold as a runner should have a certificate of roadworthiness (RWC).

    This shows that the vehicle has received basic safety checks by a suitably qualified individual. What it doesn't show, however, is that the vehicle is free from faults. A vehicle may possess an RWC, but may still require significant work before it can be driven.

    If you have found a vehicle you like the look of, we recommend paying for a pre-purchase inspection from a qualified mechanic.

  5. Final purchase

    Once you have decided on the car you wish to purchase, there are still a few final details to sort out before you can drive it away:

    • Car Rego: the current Rego will need to be transferred over to you. Remember that you will need to present relevant information about the vehicle in person before the Rego transfer to your name will be made. Further information regarding state-specific Rego regulations may be found here.
    • Car Insurance: insurance to cover the cost of repairs should your vehicle be involved in an accident is vital. This should be purchased before you drive the vehicle, in order to ensure you're protected from the minute you get in the car.
    • Payment Options and Finance: in the first instance, we recommend that all purchase transactions are completed electronically. This makes them easier to trace, and also eliminates the risks which carrying large amounts of cash can present.

    If looking to finance your used vehicle, you can find the best loan available for your circumstances by using a broker like CreditOne, who has access to over 40 of Australia’s most trusted lenders.

  6. After purchase

    After purchase, all cars have a statutory warranty that lasts for three months, or the first 5,000 kilometres driven. Once this expires, you still have rights if the vehicle does develop problems, under Australian consumer law.

    If you are buying a nearly new car, in some circumstances you may also be able to benefit from the warranty provided on the vehicle by the manufacturer.

    In the event that your vehicle does develop a problem, there are plenty of mechanics and garages in Sydney, Townsville, the Gold Coast and other cities that provide economical used car repairs.

    Call our experts to find the perfect car on (1300) 273 348.