Purchasing a pre-owned vehicle can be a difficult process since not two used cars are identical. Each vehicle has a history that is unique, which can be favourable, or become quite problematic. In addition to following some of the same steps you would need to follow to get a favourable deal on a new car purchase, there are additional steps to follow when buying a used vehicle.
A crucial step in purchasing a used vehicle is to run a history report on the vehicle you are considering purchasing. Two sites you may want to look at for this purpose are carfacts.com.au and carhistory.com.au, although there are several others. It is also important to have a certified mechanic give the vehicle you are considering buying a thorough inspection. In the Brisbane area there is a service called Pre Purchase Inspections Brisbane that will run a history on a vehicle and also give it a complete mechanical inspection. For what reason should you spend money that you have worked hard for on a pre-purchase inspection? It will likely save you from wasting a lot of your precious time and money on repairs later on.
Used Car Buying Tips
You must exercise caution when purchasing a used vehicle. It is easy to end up buying a car that has been rebuilt or that has mechanical problems. When you witness auto accidents while driving, you may not realise that many of those heavily damaged vehicles are repaired, rebuilt and subsequently put up for sale on the used car market.
There are many positive aspects to purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. The most important benefit is the fact that you are likely to obtain a better value for each dollar you spend, since another person took the loss on the initial depreciation that occurs right after the purchase of a new vehicle. This is the largest source of lost value when purchasing a vehicle. If you follow our guide to purchasing used vehicles, you will be able to avoid many of the common pitfalls associated with purchasing a used vehicle.
Find The Make And Model That Suits Your Needs
This may seem like an obvious step, however, it is not wise to just show up at used car dealers and begin the shopping process. Initially, you should conduct an online search of used vehicle classified ads, that are posted by a variety of different sources, including, car dealers, and newspaper classified websites. To get an even larger selection, you can visit sites like, carpoint.com.au, and others. By viewing these listings, you can get a better idea of the make and model that is suitable for you and you will also get a good idea of the price range.
Investigating The History And Mechanical Condition Of A Vehicle
It is likely that this is the most important advice to adhere to when purchasing a new vehicle. You should never purchase a car without getting a report on the history of the vehicle. As we mentioned earlier, you can refer to carfacts.com.au or carhistory.com.au. Many people purchase a vehicle and find out later it had been involved in a wreck. There are many body shops that do a great job of making a vehicle appear very good. However, if it has been involved in a serious wreck, there are likely to be underlying problems associated with it. If the VIN of the vehicle is not clearly displayed, you should move on to another vehicle. This is where a service like Pre Purchase Inspections Brisbane can be of great assistance. They can run a vehicle history and they will conduct a thorough mechanical inspection of the vehicle, so you will have a very clear concept of the condition of the vehicle prior to purchasing it.
Used Car Financing
Financing is frequently conducted differently, depending on where you purchase your vehicle, which may be a private party or a dealership. In either case, most lenders will not finance a vehicle that is older than five years. Generally, the APR will be a minimum of 2% higher on used cars than new ones. Of course the rate of interest that you pay will also be dependent upon your credit score.
This is the step that intimidates many buyers. Many car buyers find one-on-one price negotiations to be daunting. You must use all of the information you have collected about the vehicle to your advantage when negotiating price. This is where your online research and your pre-purchase inspection can help. Prior to starting the price negotiations, take the time to engage in the research we have recommended and you will be well armed. Price negotiating is a huge topic, a detailed discussion of this topic is beyond the scope of this article.
Finalising The Deal
After you have finished negotiating the price, you need to finalise your transaction. It’s not a good idea to pay in cash, since if there is a problem it will be difficult for you to get a refund. It’s best to pay with either a credit card or a check. This will provide you with a record of your transaction and some recourse should something go awry.
Things can become a bit trickier when you are finalising your purchase if the seller still owes a lender, who has a lien on the vehicle. This scenario will only arise when you are purchasing a vehicle from a private party. Since this lender will be the title holder, you must arrange with them to have the outstanding loan paid off and then have the title transferred.
If you are purchasing a used vehicle from a auto dealership such as Toyota, Honda, and others, they will frequently offer extended warranties on many of the used vehicles they sell. Some of these warranties can be quite extensive and may provide you with some additional piece of mind. However, we don’t recommend buying a third party warranty, since they are rarely a good deal for the purchaser.
If you purchase a used vehicle from an established dealership, you are likely to have some recourse if a problem arises and in addition, you can purchase a solid and comprehensive warranty if you choose. The trade-off here, is that the purchase price is likely to be significantly higher than if you bought the same vehicle from a private party.