Whether you have recently passed your driving test or you are looking to upgrade your set of wheels, buying a second-hand vehicle involves an element of risk; we’ve all heard the horror stories of the buyer that ended up with a nightmare car. Australia, much like any other country, has a very busy used car market, both private and dealerships and if you want to reduce the risk of buying a dud, here are a few tips.
✔ Online solutions – If you happen to live in Victoria, check out the amazing cars at Cars4Us in Echuca, where all vehicles are closely inspected and are affordably priced. Once you find a car that interests you, make an appointment to privately view and if everything looks good, make an offer.
✔ Hire a local mechanic – Unless you happen to be a car fanatic who knows his stuff, we recommend taking an auto mechanic with you when you look at cars. Let the technician closely examine the vehicle and then he will give you a professional opinion.
✔ Buy from a dealership – If you buy a used car from a private seller, the car is ‘sold as seen’, meaning you have zero warranty; a used car dealer, on the other hand, will offer at least a 3-month warranty, more if the car is only a few years old.
✔ Negotiate – If you use your negotiating skills, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain; when inspecting the car, point out any minor issues to the seller, as this will reinforce your lower offer. If you are buying from a dealer, they might take your old car as part payment and usually offer best prices.
✔ Make good use of digital platforms – A couple of hours of Googling to find local car-for-sale groups would give you a shortlist of cars to view and test drive; a leading online car sales platform would have many search functions, search by price, make, model, age and colour. This saves you time and when you find the car of your dreams, set up a viewing.
It is worth remembering that it is a buyer’s market and patience is a virtue, there are a lot of vehicles on the market and the more you see, the greater the chances of finding the perfect car. If you need finance, the dealership usually has a finance partner that offers competitive rates.