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How to Guide to Buying a Secondhand Car

Buying a secondhand car can be a stressful experience.  What are you really buying? Is the owner telling the truth about the condition of the car? Have they done anything to disguise the true faults? Why are they really selling?

Some people sell cars because they have underlying problems that are hard to find and fix.

The key to ensuring that you’re getting good value for money when buying a secondhand car is to get it checked by an independent expert.  That way if there are any issues then you can decide whether to choose another car or negotiate a better price.

This is why we offer a comprehensive check of secondhand cars before you buy.  You get an overview of the general condition of the car and you can then make an informed decision on what to do next.

Buying a Secondhand Car Checklist

  • Don’t sign anything until you are satisfied with what you are paying for
  • Make a list of all the extra items on the paperwork and ensure they’re included
  • Take someone with you and have them take notes
  • Review any extra extended warranties and decide if they are really enforceable. Some aren’t worth the paper they’re written on and they will really only pay for breakages.   They may also have unreasonable restrictions on the service aspects which may not be in your or your car’s best interests.
  • Have the vehicle checked over by an independent mechanic*, preferably in a workshop with a hoist (mobile mechanics are limited in how they can check a car)
  • Have any funny sounds or smells investigated.
  • Does the mileage match the general condition of the car?  By looking for aspects like worn seats you’ll get a better feel for whether the speedo is accurate.

*You can do a comprehensive vehicle inspection yourself but without a hoist and the right equipment, you’ll likely miss aspects that could make a difference to the longevity of your car and what costs you’ll be up for down the track.  The best thing to do is to take it to a qualified independent mechanic.

Get a Voucher for Free Car Check

Normally valued at $350, by entering your details you can bring your car to the workshop and get a free checkup for the car you’re looking at buying.