Buying a Used Car
- Buying a well maintained used car can save you a lot compared with buying new
- Buying privately can also deliver savings compared with buying from a dealer, however;
- Buying from a dealer means you get a warranty in many cases
- Follow the used car inspection checklist from the NRMA to help avoid buying a lemon
- Use the online CarHistory check to make sure the car doesn’t have money owing on it, or has been in a serious crash in its past
When buying a used car, whether from a dealer, privately or at auction, it’s important to conduct a thorough mechanical inspection and do checks to ascertain whether the car has money owing on it, or has been involved in a major accident.
Buying a used car from a dealer
Buying a used car from a dealership like Patrick Auto Group gives you guaranteed title and a statutory warranty on cars under 10 years old or 160,000km (and below the NSW luxury car tax threshold.) This warranty is valid for three months or 5,000km from date of purchase and covers items relating to safety, reliability and roadworthiness.
A dealer will usually be able to arrange finance for your purchase, although it’s worth shopping around. A used car loan from the NRMA will offer competitive rates and Member benefits. A dealer will also utilise their service centre to complete all necessary checks and mechanical repairs to the vehicle.
|Provide a range of used vehicles to choose from
|Generally, you pay more at a dealer, though you will usually get a statutory used car warranty
|Easier to dispose of your vehicle
|A trade-in will probably not achieve the best price for your old car
|Licence dealers guarantee title of the vehicle
|Warranty in NSW on cars under 10 years or 160,000km and below the Luxury Tax Threshold in NSW
Buying a used car privately
Choosing to buy privately usually means you will get a better deal compared with shopping at a dealership and you may also get an idea of the car’s history directly from the owner. Even if you get the car’s log books, make sure you check NRMA’s Car History report online.
|Might be cheaper
|You may get to meet the previous owner and can obtain the vehicle's history
|Any faults found are not covered by Fair Trading*
*As the title of the vehicle is not guaranteed, any faults found are not covered by Fair Trading. You'll probably get a cheaper car, but you're not guaranteed a clear title, and you've got no legal backup. A worthwhile check is to cross reference the registration certificate with the owner’s driver’s licence.
Buying a used car at an auction
You may save money at an auction, but you must do your homework. Set a price and don't go over it. Ex-government and fleet cars are often good value and have usually been regularly maintained but they might not have been driven as carefully as privately owned cars.
|May be cheaper
|May not have any warranty
|Guarantee of title
|Can't test drive
|Various makes and models in one location
|Usually you're required to pay a deposit of around 10% or $500
|May carry out an independent vehicle inspection the day prior to the auction
|May not be able to have the car inspected on the day of the auction
|If there’s low competition, you may be able to buy the car close to reserve price
|Can get carried away and pay a higher price during the bidding process