A Guide to Buying a Used Car
If you’re in the market for a second-hand car, you want it to be as good as new don’t you?
We agree, there’s nothing worse than buying a dud car.
So we’ve put together a guide that you can follow to help you buy the perfect second-hand car.
Do your homework
It’s never a good idea to buy a car without doing your research first. Here’s what you need to check:
- The age of the car;
- How many kilometres it’s travelled;
- It’s service history – obtain a copy of the service book or better still, get copies of the service invoice to see what was done at each service and what was reported and repaired; and
- It’s overall condition
We also recommend that you compare any information you’ve found out about your car with a similar one. Compare:
- Make – will another make of car offer you the same features as the car you’re looking at but at a cheaper price?;
- Age – be aware that the older the car, the higher the chance of it requiring repair;
- Model; and
- Odometer – higher KMs can mean a higher chance of repairs.
It goes without saying that you need to be cautious when you’re buying a second-hand car. Here’s what you need to check before making the final purchase:
- Engine Check – make sure it runs smoothly and quietly. Pop the bonnet and have a closer look at the engine;
- Tyre Check – make sure they are in good, visible condition;
- Lights Check – not only should all lights be in working condition, but also check there are no warning lights on the dashboard;
- Fluid Check – check underneath the car for any signs of coolant, oil, or other fluid leaks;
- Exhaust Check – there should be no smoke blowing from behind the car while the engine is on;
- Equipment Check – test the air conditioning, fans, power steering, stereo etc;
- Seat Belt Check – make sure they extend and retract smoothly;
- Body Check – all doors should open and close with ease. Make sure there is no evidence of rust or damage;
- Interior Check – the inside of the car should be consistent with the age and odometer of the car;
- Vehicle Inspection Service – most state motoring clubs will offer you this but if your state does not, ask your repairer to do one. Spending some money up front may save you in the long run; and
- Vehicle Identification Check – the VIN should match all registration papers.
If something seems suspicious, diver further and find out as much information as you can.
Get the car history
It’s safe to say that key information can sometimes be forgotten in a private sale. If you have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you’ll be able to do your own digging.
With this number, you should be able to find the following information:
- The car’s safety rating;
- Registration details;
- Any finance owing; and
- If it’s ever been stolen or written off.
It’s important that you get all of the correct information, so you know exactly what car you’ll be buying.
Roadworthy and Safety Certificates
If the seller doesn’t provide you with an up-to-date roadworthy or safety certificate, don’t continue with the purchase. In most states, this is a legal requirement to confirm that the car meets the minimum safety standards. If you decide to purchase without a roadworthy or safety certificate, get the vehicle inspected prior to purchase and if there is anything wrong you have the ability to bargain for a cheaper price to offset the repairs required.
When you’re getting a roadworthy done, please remember they can only be completed by approved mechanics who have been granted permission by their state authority. A successful roadworthy certificate will cover all the basic things that help your car run smoothly. Think tyres, steering, brakes, and lights…
Protect your Car
Buying a car is a big investment, so make sure you protect it. When it comes to insuring your car, every person has different needs and requirements. Please remember that each state requires you to have Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP) as a minimum before driving your car. In some states, CTP is included in your registration but it’s best to confirm this within your own state.
If you’d like extra protection, think about purchasing some comprehensive insurance as well. eric’s Comprehensive Car Insurance can help you if the unexpected occurs.
On top of that, we also suggest you consider a used-car warranty as well. eric’s Car Warranty Insurance can assist with the cost of repairing or replacing parts if there is a mechanical or electrical breakdown.
For more information about eric products, follow the link to head to the main page of our website: https://ericinsurance.com.au/