Our Top Tips When Buying A Used Car

Buying a car is no small feat, whether you’re buying a used car or a new car. With the rate of depreciation on new cars, buying a used car is a great option for many people. It’s an exciting endeavour but it can also be a bit daunting. Particularly when buying a used car, there are numerous components you need to consider before sealing the deal. Our top tips when buying a used car will help to guide you through the process and aim to protect you from the common mistakes that buyers often make. Understanding what to expect and being prepared from the outset can reduce the financial and safety risks of buying a used car.

What to consider when buying a used car

It is certainly possible to find a used car that is safe, reliable, and may even rival the value of a new car. However, before you begin your search, you need to do your research, to ensure that you buy a used car that suits your needs and your budget. Some questions to ask yourself may include:

  • How often will you drive your car?
    Are you looking for an affordable backup car to take the dog to the park or for a quick run to the shops? Or are you after a hardy and reliable vehicle to make long commutes each day?
  • What are your non-negotiables?
    Do you need a spacious car able to fit your three kids and their bikes? Will you be using it for moving furniture or transporting tools for work? Would you prefer a little 2 door to fit into those small car spaces or will you need 4 doors for easy passenger access?
  • How modern should it be?
    Bearing in mind that newer cars offer more safety and security features, what year, model or make will you be looking for at a minimum?
  • What is your budget?
    Set yourself a budget and stick to it. You don’t want to get talked into buying a car that you can’t really afford. Even if your budget isn’t substantial, it is still possible to find a decent and reliable car.
  • Where will you buy it from?
    Will you buy from a used car dealer? Or would you go to an auction or private sale? Weigh up the positives and negatives for each of your options.

Buying a used car from a dealer versus from a private seller

There are pros and cons to buying a used car both from a dealer and also from a private seller. What works best for you will depend on what you’re after, your budget, and your experience with buying and selling cars. 

Opting to buy from a used car dealer can make the process a lot easier and reduce the stress that often comes with buying a car. It relieves the pressure because car dealers are experienced in dealing with the ins and outs of buying a car, including the paperwork, registration, title transfer, and stamp duty. They will be able to handle any unexpected problems and ensure you get the best deal for the car and there are no debts owing. Another major advantage to buying through a dealer is that they will offer a warranty and full inspection of the car to ensure it is safe and ready to drive away. Some people have the perception that it costs more to buy a used car from a licensed dealer, however, the peace of mind you get from buying a car with a warranty is worth any small extra cost.

The idea that buying a used car through a private seller might be cheaper because the seller may not understand the full value of the car can be appealing. However, this can also work in reverse, where a private seller overestimates the value of the car and hikes up the price. You can try your luck with haggling if you feel confident to do so and don’t mind going a little over your budget. On the flip side, it is a common mistake that people buy a used car from a private seller without checking if there is any unpaid debt owing on it. Unfortunately, there is no law surrounding this. If there is an existing debt, the debt then becomes yours. When buying from a private seller you will need to conduct searches to ensure the car is free of encumbrances.

If you’re hunting for a used car but you’re not sure whether to buy from a dealer or private seller, talk to our experienced team at Australian Mechanical who can offer professional advice to steer you in the right direction. Contact us here or call us on 07 3356 1538 today.

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