Not all ‘pre-loved’ cars are loved. Yes, it looks good, Yes, it sounds good and Yes, it’s the vehicle you have always wanted – BUT, often expensive repairs are waiting to be discovered, and unless you are an expert, you will soon take ownership of them, and then you will really begin to pay for the car. GET AN INSPECTION !!!!!!!!!
Nevertheless, you can also find some great buys – great cars in good condition, provided you know what to look for. To increase the likelihood of having a great experience, there are a few simple things you can do.
• Complete Service History – Always, Always ONLY consider a car with a complete service history. If services have been missed, walk away. The vehicle is not for you.
• Ownership History – This is important for 2 reasons. The first is ensuring that your car is safe to drive and not a rebuilt write off with a wound-back odometer. The second is that you want to make sure that after you pay for it, you are the only owner.
• Do Your Research – reliability, common problems, cost of repairs and expert reviews can easily be discovered online. Hint: Cars that are the most stolen will attract the highest insurance costs.
• Good Price? – Maybe, maybe not. Redbook.com.au will help you know.
• Diminishing Values – All cars diminish in value, however some cars lose value far more quickly than others. Find out online. Redbook.com.au will help you know.
• Get a Vehicle Inspection
o Allow an expert check over the car. Confidence and passion are not a substitute for expertise.
o If the dealer or private seller is unhappy that you want to arrange an inspection – then walk away! However great the car may appear, this is not a car you should buy. If you have your own mechanic, then get them to inspect it.
• Warranty Protection
o Private Sale vehicles – do not come with a statutory warranty. No matter how nicely they smile way, get a vehicle inspection,
o Dealer Purchase – Licenced Motor Dealers are required to provide statutory warranty (above a minimum purchase price and below a certain age). Just prior to the end of the warranty, have an inspection (not from the dealer you purchased the car from!).
• Vehicle Status Check (Private Sales)
o Before you buy the car from a private seller, you need to check that the car:
• Is not stolen
• Has no money owing on it
• Is not listed on the written-off vehicle register
• No matter how great the vehicle looks, repaired written-off vehicles are worth approximately half the market value of comparable vehicles. Don’t succumb to the look or the (un)believable story surrounding its history.
You can confirm ownership by going to the PPSR (Personal Properties Securities register) https://www.ppsr.gov.au/
• Private Sale
o Don’t succumb to a smile, hard luck story or desperation. Check that the registration papers match both their driver’s licence as well as match the VIN & Engine number on the car. If you still want to hand over a deposit, ensure that the deposit is refundable, conditional upon passing an inspection. Obtain a receipt with a copy (photo?) of their drivers licence. Document everything.
Lastly, once you have followed these steps, you can confidently purchase the car, you can then let your emotion lose and begin to enjoy your purchase. Until then, leave emotion out of this important decision.
What do next?
See what you can save with our online calculator:
Buying a Car From a Friend
A Word to the Wise – Leave the emotion at home!
• A friendship should never influence a purchase or any other decision that involves money – no matter how trustworthy they are or seem. Lawyers are kept busy untangling well-intentioned arrangements.
• The condition of a car is not determined by how well you know or trust someone. All cars eventually have problems. Get a car inspection done to avoid any expensive and inconvenient surprises. Always have a car inspection done by a professional and not a friend or a mate of a friend. Good intentions do not make up for missed problems as you will be the one that pays the bill.
To minimise the likelihood of problems, do yourself a favour by doing the following:
1. Get a Car Inspection
2. Independently confirm the cars value
This can be done in several ways:
• Go online to Redbook.com.au (or similar)
• Look at advertised cars and then reduce the advertised price by 10%
• Ask a dealer
Once you have followed these steps, you can confidently purchase the car, you can then let your emotion loose and begin to enjoy your purchase. Until then, leave emotion out of this important decision.