Car Buying Tips

Know your budget before buying car

Calculate how much money the vehicle will cost you by year. This calculation is to include the cost of the vehicle, insurance, servicing, wear & tear, repairs and the cost of fuel.

Professional vehicle inspection

The cost of the inspection may be around $100 but this may save you $1000’s.

Don’t agree to view the vehicle in a strange place

ie, public car park, petrol station etc. Arrange to view the car at the sellers home in daylight

Never view a car in poor light or after rainfall

Rainfall can mask any defects to the bodywork. Also be wary if when you go to view the car it is still wet and the seller tells you they have just cleaned. Wait until the car is dry before you inspect.

Vehicle history check

If the seller hasn’t already done so obtain a complete vehicle history check from Value Check This will give you the full history of the car and piece of mind that the vehicle hasn’t been written off,stolen, had finance owing and much more.

Look for mismatched paint colour on panels

This may indicate the vehicle as been damaged in a collision.

Lift the bonnet and inspect the engine

If it looks like it has been power cleaned to mask any leaks, after you take the vehicle for a test drive inspect the engine again to see if there is any evidence of leaks

Don’t be influenced by stories

such as “moving overseas”, “company car”, “baby on the way”, “lost licence DUI” etc. Remember, although these may be true, you are buying the vehicle for yourself not to do anyone else a favour.

Be prepared to haggle

You will find the seller expects you to haggle and will have factored a “haggling margin” into the price.

Don’t hand over any money until you have a receipt or buyer’s contract

A basic sellers contract that both parties sign is always good practice. To assist you can download a generic contract from Seller Agreement Form. Print out 2 copies, complete the details, get both parties to sign both copies and both retain a copy for your records.

Don’t be afraid to walk away

Buying a vehicle is a big expense. Remember there are plenty more pebbles on the beach.

Remember there is no such thing as a bargain

If the deal looks too good to be true it probably is. The seller has done his homework also and knows the value of his vehicle.

Generally car dealers, particularly “used car dealers”, have a bad reputation

In the market place along with real estate salesmen and lawyers. Remember most dealers are honest people just running a business.

Ask friends if they can recommend any dealers

Word of mouth is always the best way to identify a reputable dealer.Do a search on the internet for comments about the dealer you are thinking or purchasing a vehicle from.Check all the documentation and warranty conditions carefully. Select an established dealer,If the dealer has been around for a few years they have probably built up a good reputation in the local community rather than someone who has only been around for a few months.Don’t be afraid to walk away. If you are not 100% positive about the car or can’t come to an agreement with the dealer, walk away. You will be surprised how quickly a dealer may change his stance when he sees a prospective buyer heading for the door.