As with any financial investment, buying a used car can feel like a never ending task. You want to buy quality without the worry of ending up with a lemon. If you’re wondering whether or not it is even possible to buy something quality without buying something new, don’t worry, this guide will take the frustration out of shopping by helping you to buy a safe and reliable car that you’ll be delighted with for many years to come.
Let’s jump in.
Buying any car is an important decision, but with a used car there are many more factors to consider. With a new car, it is fresh off the lot with nothing to do but collect the keys, but with the purchase of a used car, there is history to consider.
So, before we even look at how to buy a car, let’s first consider the most valuable pre-purchase considerations.
This not a decision to be rushed, so take your time and put in the hours beforehand to understand the different makes and models available and how well each of these suits your lifestyle, not just now, but in the future as well.
When you have a clearer picture of what makes, years and models of different cars will best suit your needs, take some time to figure out how much you can afford to spend. How will you finance the car? Savings? Proceeds from the sale of your previous car? Or perhaps you are considering a car loan from your bank or finance from a dealership?
Before buying be sure to know your budget and have your funds clear or pre-approved and ready for purchase. This will help you avoid the stress of organising lending or access to your savings later.
What do you use the car for most often. Are you an expanding family? Maybe a 7-seater is your go to car to avoid arguments in the back seat. If you’re a city driver, a compact will give you the comfort of a new car without the stress of trying to maneuver a four wheel drive.
How safe is your car on the road? Are there any online real-life test scenarios you can watch on Youtube? What is your preferred model’s ANCAP rating? Does the car come with inbuilt safety features such as passenger and door airbags, as standard?
How fuel efficient is your preferred car? What are its emissions like? The Green Car Guide allows you to compare up to three cars against each other so you will know before you buy, which of your choices is both better on your fuel costs and for your environment.
Insurance premiums will vary depending on your age, license and the car you choose. When you have a clear idea of the car you will purchase, shop around and get some quotes. You’ll want to have your car insured before you even drive it off the lot, so having a quote in mind will make it easier to put it in place when you are handed the keys.
Where and how do you plan to buy the car? From a local dealership, private sale through a listing site such as Gumtree? Or by auction? We’ll look at these options in detail later in the article.
Take a look at your state or territory’s regulations regarding the buying and selling of used cars. Particularly, learn more about on a car you plan to buy.
Now that you’ve done your homework, it’s time to buy. Here are the most important factors to consider when it’s time to shop.
Excellent! You’re ready to buy. You have a pretty clear idea of the make, model and year of car you want to buy. Now you need to know how to inspect an actual car before you buy it.
You’ve found a car that you’re only about 80% convinced you want to buy. But, how to be sure? This checklist will give you a much clearer picture of what you’re buying when you decide to make your investment:
Pro-tip: Don’t shop alone. Just like when buying a house, in all of the excitement and potential impatience of just wanting to buy something already, you might rush to a decision that isn’t the best one.
Bonus tip: Always inspect a car in the full daylight, out in the open where chips, dents, scratches and other irregularities will be most visible.
Inspecting for a sale is about more than just the physical car itself. You want to be sure that when you take on a car from someone you’re not also taking on their debt or criminal activity.
Let’s be honest, buying a car isn’t all about the mechanics. If you can’t stand driving it what’s the point. Here’s how to inspect the interior of the car.
Ok, you’ve made it this far and you’re still interested. It’s time to take the car for a test drive.
Pro-tip: Choose quiet roads where you can easily hear any noises coming from the car and concentrate on testing all of the car’s features without holding people up behind you.
It is perfectly fine if you’re not comfortable doing these inspections yourself. You can organise an inspection through the RAC or many other organisation, however this is only possible with private sale and most yards, not at auction.
Be sure to put your insurance policy in place before you drive the car and make sure the registration is transferred immediately after purchase.
If buying privately from sites like Gumtree seems daunting, why not buy direct from a trusted dealership? Buying from a dealership means your car comes with a 3 month statutory warranty. If your car does develop a problem in the first 3 months that isn’t something that can be considered normal wear and tear, the dealer is required to repair it. For this reason, you can be confident that buying from a dealer will get you a trouble free set of wheels
If you can’t find the time to search online for that type of car you want? Simply tell us what you are looking for and we’ll happily bring you the best option for a no pressure test drive.
Best of all, all pre-purchase inspections are completed and guaranteed by our professional team of licensed mechanics so you can drive away knowing you’ve made the safest choice.
Ready to get behind the wheel? Give us a call on (08) 9415 0227