Top Tips – What to look for when buying a used car
When you’re buying a used car a little bit of homework up-front can save you a lot of strife in the long run! Here are our top tips to help you find what you’re looking for.
1. Know your budget: Dedicate time to researching what’s out there and the average price of your desired model. Prices that seem too good to be true most likely are.
2. Decide on the basics: Make sure you know your essential criteria, for example the type and size of the car you’re looking for.
3. Ask questions: When first contacting the seller, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions:
a. How long have you had the car and what is the reason for selling?
b. What condition is the car in?
c. Has the car been in a crash of any kind or sustained any damage?
d. Who was the car bought from? Ideally the seller or the previous owner bought the car new.
e. Will the car meet a Road Worthy Certificate (RWC)? If not, walk away.
4. Meet the seller: Take a friend and meet the seller at their home address, and ensure it is the same as the one listed on the registration certificate. Inspect the car in full daylight to easily identify possible defects under the bonnet, any rusting under the car or dents in the exterior.
5. Test drive cold: Arrange to test drive when the engine is completely cold, which will give you a good idea of how the car starts. Test drive the car in all gears and on a range of road surfaces to identify any potential issues.
6. Check the history: Get the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and check the history of the vehicle with your state database.
7. Independent inspection: It’s worth the investment to have the car inspected independently. If there is any hesitation from the seller it is likely they are hiding something. Gumtree.com.au lists a range of service providers you can choose from in your local area.
8. Negotiate: Negotiate the price based on your research into the average market prices and the faults you found with the car that will require further spending. There is usually leeway for bargaining.
9. Check paperwork: Before making a deposit on the car make sure you have all the necessary paperwork; this includes registration papers, logbooks, service history and relevant receipts.