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6 Tips for Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can be a tricky endeavour.

Is the seller honest? What condition is the car actually in? How much is too much to spend on a used vehicle?

Luckily there are some simple steps you can take before setting out to buy a vehicle that can streamline the process, and insulate you from unnecessary drama.

1. Set a budget

First things first, set yourself a budget. If you don’t have a realistic idea of how much you can afford before buying a car, you can quickly find yourself over-spending. Take into account how easy a car may be to maintain, fuel, etc. when establishing your budget.

2. Research

CarsGuide.com.au is an incredibly simply platform to find out what cars are in your area and in your price range. Not only that, it has handy value guides to help you understand what is and isn’ a reasonable price for a particular vehicle.

3. Know what to ask a seller

You’ve got a budget and you’ve found a car. The best thing now is to contact the seller — but what do you ask? Here are some important questions to pose to the car owner when you contact them:

– How long have they, personally, owned the car?
– Why are they selling it?
– Has the vehicle ever been damaged or written off?
– Are the photos of the car accurate to the current condition of the vehicle?
– Has it, or will it, pass a roadworthy?
– Is there a detailed service history with the car?

4. Arranging an inspection

If you’re buying the car from a private seller, not a car yard, arrange to have an inspection at their home address. If they seem uncomfortable with the idea, they could be trying to hide something about the car.

5. Check the car’s history

The simplest way to check to see if a car is dodgy or not is to get a Personal Properties Securities Registry report, or PPSR report. Just by entering a car’s VIN or rego into revscheckreport.com.au can give you a comprehensive car history report in minutes. Has the car been stolen? Written off? Are the engine parts original? Your PPSR report will tell you all of this, and more.

6. Check the car itself

Always do two checks of a used car; one performed by yourself, and one by an expert. A check of the car that doesn’t satisfy your own standards, expert or not, is not a good purchase. If it does satisfy your standards, get an expert in to make sure it’s actually up to spec. Give them the details from the PPSR report so they can check engine part numbers and the like and really see if the car is legit.

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