View Full Version : How to avoid used cars from costing you thousands

04-06-13, 09:56 PM
While buying a second hand car should save you thousands it can sometime have the opposite effect. When buying used cars (http://www.boostclassifieds.com.au/used-cars/) you have to be careful that you know what you are buying, being careful to ensure that it isn’t someone else’s problem that is about to become yours.

When buying second hand you know you are buying something that someone has used, but it is how they used it that is sometimes the problem, or more importantly how they fixed it to sell it.

Here are a few simple tips to follow before buying privately or from a dealer:

1) Perform a REVS check or similar – approx. $30. With just the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can get the full vehicle history of a used car in Australia. Vehicle History Reports include:

Check if there is any finance owing on the vehicle. Did you know that if you that if you buy a used car with money owing to a financier from a previous owner, it could be repossessed?
Written-off and stolen vehicle checks
Flood and storm damage checks
The vehicles current valuation
An odometer windback check (more common than you would think).
A safety and emissions ratings check.

2) Get a qualified mechanic to perform a safety check on the vehicle. While most car sales will come with a valid Road Worthy Certificate (RWC) unfortunately this could have been performed by a mate or a dodgy mechanic. It is always a wise idea to have your own mechanic inspect the vehicle before you purchase it, for safety and peace of mind. If you are a member of the RACQ, RACV or similar they can perform these checks for you for a fee.

3) Check whether or not the vehicle has been recalled as part of a safety campaign.

4) Once you have decided to purchase the vehicle remember that it then becomes your responsibility so you have to organise insurance before you drive away.

5) Consider the additional cost of stamp duty / transfer fees when you're working out the total cost of the car for sale. Remember that if you purchase a vehicle from someone who receives a concession on their registration you will have to pay the shortfall when you purchase it.

6) Ask the seller to show you:

A current certificate of registration
A safety check report (pink slip*) that is not more than one month old
Proof that the person selling the car is the owner -- such as a driving licence and sales receipt.
Check that the information on the certificate of registration and safety check report matches the details of the vehicle. You will need to examine the vehicle and write down the:
Vehicle registration number
The engine number
The vehicle identification number (VIN) or chassis number

7) Whenever possible purchase a vehicle yourself and always inspect a car in full daylight. While this may sound strange even a cloudy day can hide rust and other dents.

8) Do your own checks:

a. Check under the bonnet for signs of an oil leak.
b. Check the oil and water levels for maintenance purposes.
c. Lift up the carpet on the floor and the rubber in the boot and check for hidden rust.
d. Check for any signs of recent touch ups eg hiding rust or a bad patch job.
e. start the car with a cold engine, which will make is easier to reveal problems like poor starting or too much smoke.
f. Check all gauges, pedals, seat belts, mirrors etc.
g. Check that the air conditioning and heat work, along with the radio (if this is important to you).

9) Always test drive the vehicle with the radio off so that you can listen out for any strange noises.

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11-06-13, 07:13 PM
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