Used car buying can be an intimidating experience, even for the most seasoned vehicle shoppers. There’s so much information to process that it can be mind-boggling. Also, there’s the fear of getting ripped off and ending up with a lemon. Therefore, we’ve created the ultimate buying guide for used vehicles. We’ve put together some handy information that will give you the knowledge you need to buy used cars.

Determine Your Budget

One of the most crucial things to do before purchasing a used vehicle is to determine your budget. Aside from the purchase price, you will need to consider maintenance costs, registration costs, and insurance costs. It is essential only to purchase a vehicle that you can afford. Hence, be sure to do your research and shop around before making a decision. With a bit of planning, you can find the perfect pre-owned vehicle that fits your needs and budget.

Find A Used Vehicle Dealer You Can Trust

When you’re in the market to buy a used car, finding a dealer you can trust is crucial. There are a few things you can look for. First, look for a dealer with a good reputation. You can check online reviews. If the dealer has a lot of positive reviews, that’s a good sign. Second, look for someone who offers a warranty on their vehicles. It shows that the dealer stands behind their vehicles and is confident in their quality. Finally, search for someone transparent about the prices and the vehicles. 

A car with a red question mark over it.
Buying a used vehicle – Private sale

A private sale is probably the most daunting way to buy a used car however you may end up with a better deal than through a dealer meaning lower cost and possibly better maintenance records. By following this process this will help protect you from buying a lemon.

Take The Vehicle For A Test Drive

Taking the car for a test drive before buying it is noteworthy. This will allow you to see how comfortable you are with the vehicle. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are test-driving a used vehicle. First, take the vehicle on different roads to see how it performs in different situations. Second, pay attention to how the vehicle feels while driving it. Does it handle well? Are the seats comfortable? Finally, bring along a friend or family member who can give you an unbiased opinion about the vehicle.

Obtain a vehicle history report.

This is the first thing I would do before proceeding any further with the buying a used car. There are two reports that are low cost and the best method of protection for you.

The first option is PPSR $2 vehicle search. Below is a copy of my vehicle. Things to note the vehicle has finance owing never complete the purchase without getting a payout letter from the finance company. Confirm the vehicle details match the vehicle (vin number, engine number and compliance date).

NEVDIS is probably the most important to take note of

NEVDIS Written-off Vehicle Notification: • Notrecordedaswritten-off. This can have Reparable write-off or statutory write-off noted here. Reparable write off is ok however inform you pre purchase inspector to ensure the repairs were completed correctly. Also note insurance companies may also reduce any settlement by 20% confirm this with your insurer. Statutory write-off means that the vehicle can not be registered so walk away immediately!

NEVDIS Stolen Vehicle Notification: • Notrecordedasstolen. I personally haven’t come across this. Some times a vehicle can be stolen and recovered this is where that information is recorded. If any records are noted here I would check with the police to confirm the vehicle is safe to buy. If the vehicle has been stolen and you have purchased the vehicle the vehicle can be seized by the police with no reimbursement of the purchase funds.

The second option is a car history report. This report contains the PPSR report above and some more key information for example the odometer readings every time the vehicle has been registered

. This report contains the PPSR report same as above and some more key information for example the odometer readings every time the vehicle has been registered and more.

Have The Pre-Purchase Inspection

The most important part of the process. I highly recommended to have a pre-purchase inspection before buying a used vehicle. This will help you identify any potential vehicle problems that may cause the car to break down or need expensive repairs. Remember you get what you pay for this applies to a pre purchace inspection. Ask what is included like a compression test. How long the inspection takes? A trough inspection should be around 1.5 to 2hours plus the compression test. You should also look for any obvious signs of wear and tear, like:

  • A missing headlight 
  • A missing side mirror

If you are unsure what to look for in a pre-purchase inspection, feel free to comment below and i will assist you.

A car with a green tick.

Safety Certificate – Not A FULL VEHICLE INSPECTION

The safety certificate is meant only to be used as a guideline to help you know if your vehicle is in a safe condition. However, it does not cover every minute detail. For example, a safety certificate does not cover the condition of your brakes. Thus, before you hit the road, ensure a mechanic has inspected it and that the car is in good condition.

In Queensland a safety certificate is valid for 2 months 2000km this is for the certificate only, The safety certificate inspection is only valid at the time of inspection as once the vehicle leaves the workshop anything can be changed on the vehicle for example to wheels can be swapped to illegal or unsafe tread depth. Please don’t rely on the safety certificate alone when buying used car.

Brief Wrap-up

Buying used cars can have a few pitfalls you must be aware of before buying them. We’ve highlighted the most important ones here, so you can rest assured that you won’t likely get ripped off by someone trying to sell you a piece of junk!

Reach out to us anytime if you have any questions or feedback.


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