If you are looking to buy a good vehicle but do not want to spend too much? Then going for a used car might be your best option. The Australian used car market is loaded with quality pre-owned and repossessed vehicles that will suit any budget! Just remember to exercise caution when shopping in dealerships or online: Learn the real history of the used car first or you may just end up spending more than what you’re ready for.
Here are the things to look for when buying a used car, the most important thing you’ll need to get started with the investigation is the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
The video below explains some of the things to look out for when buying a car privately, these are also relevant for buying a car from a dealer.
The last thing you want is to end up buying a used car that’s been stolen. If you have unknowingly bought such a vehicle, it can be repossessed from you by the rightful owner no matter how much you’ve spent on it. Prevent this nightmare from coming to life by going to CarHistory or similar websites. Search their database and get a full report on the vehicle’s ownership before you buy. If the seller’s name is not on that report, then inform the authorities right away and find another used car to buy.
Good Service History
The next step in investigating a used car you plan to purchase is to check its service history. A good service history means the vehicle has been well taken care of and therefore major issues are less likely to arise after your purchase.
Checking the service history will also ensure that you are not buying a used car that has been written off or been involved in any serious accidents and suffered severe damage. You can visit the National Vehicle Service Register (NVSR) to look up the used car’s service history for FREE.
No Outstanding Finance
You may be impressed with the overall condition of your prospective used car upon close inspection, but don’t jump the gun just yet. You may be inheriting other issues, like the car’s finance history.
So, check if there’s still an existing debt on the car that was not declared by the seller. You can do so by doing a quick search on the Personal Property Securities Register website using the used car’s VIN or chassis number. For a small fee, you’ll rest easy that the vehicle has no outstanding payments attached to it.
Accurate Odometer Reading
The odometer reading will tell you the number of kilometres the vehicle has driven throughout its life. The fewer kilometres a used car has travelled, the better condition it’s likely to be in making it more desirable to purchase. However, it’s important to understand that an odometer can be manipulated.
There are laws that prohibit its tampering, however, there’s always a chance someone has changed it to make the vehicle more attractive. As a rule of thumb, a typical car in Australia runs 15,000km to 25,000km a year. Multiply this with the age of the car and it should give you a good idea of what the odometer reading should be. If the mileage of the used car is way below your computation, then it’s possible it has been tampered with.
What are your rights when buying a used car?
Just because you are shopping for a used item does not mean you’ve lost your rights as a consumer. Here are a few things to remember when considering a purchase.
In Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria; buying a dealership used car below 10 years old and with less than 160,000km odometer reading should give you a three-month or 5000 km statutory warranty. In NSW, this warranty is also applicable to demonstrator vehicles.
There is no warranty for the purchase of used cars older than 10 years or have travelled more than 160,000km in these states, except for Queensland. The northeastern state imposes a one-month or 1000km statutory warranty for such used vehicles.
For consumers in South Australia, pre-owned vehicles from a dealership with $3001 to $6000 price tag carry a two-month or 3000 km statutory warranty. On the other hand, used cars that cost $6001 and up will be covered with a three-month or 5000 km statutory warranty.
Dealerships in Western Australia should give a three-month or 5000 km statutory warranty to used vehicles less than 10 years old and have travelled below 150,000 km. For cars of 10 to 12 years old and have 150,000km to 180,000km odometer reading; their coverage is one-month or the first 1500 km.
Lastly, you’ll get a three-month or 3000km statutory warranty if you buy a dealership car less than seven years old and has travelled no more than 120,000km in Tasmania. All used cars bought from private sellers in all states and territories have no warranty coverage.
Cooling Off Period
A cooling off period is the duration after the purchase when buyers can cancel the agreement with minimal charges. In ACT and Victoria, buying a used car will entitle you to a three-day cooling off period. You can be charged with whichever is higher between $100 or 1% of the purchase price.
For purchases of used cars in NSW, you’ll have one-day cooling off period if you arrange credit with the dealer. The dealer can charge you $250 or 2%, whichever is higher.
In Queensland, the cooling off period is also just one day. Plus, the dealer can charge a non-refundable deposit of $100 or less. Meanwhile, purchase of dealership used cars in South Australia entitles you of a two-day cooling off period. The dealership may request for a 10% deposit and can charge $100 or 2% of the purchase price, whichever is lower.
For all aforementioned states, cancelling the agreement within the cooling off period require you to do so in writing.
Meanwhile, there is no cooling off period in Northern Territory, Tasmania, and Western Australia once the purchase agreement has been signed. Purchasing from an individual seller also has no cooling off period.
Buy your used car with Aussie Car Loans
Whichever state or territory you are in, you’ll be successful in buying a used car if you know what to look for and you know your rights as a consumer. This information should help you arrive at a good decision on your purchase.
If you want to buy a used car, get a pre-approved used car loan with Aussie Car Loans first before going to the dealership. It will give you confidence when shopping to know how much you can spend on a second-hand vehicle.
Call Aussie Car Loans on 1300 769 999 now and get the best rates for used cars anywhere in Australia.