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Buying a used car – top tips for getting the best car for your money

myPPSR Team|18/09/2017

Buying a used car can be stressful when you’re trying to make sure you are getting not only a great car that is value for money but also a car that is safe and has a good history.

When you’re in the market for a used car, there is a wide range of questions to ask and also boxes to tick before you agree to the sale.

Here are some of the basics steps you should consider when you’re in the market for a used car.

Set yourself a budget for your car

We can all get carried away when we are searching for a car, so before you even start your search, you should set your budget. You should not only consider the cost of car repayments if you need to get a loan, you should also include the cost of insurance, registration, fuel, maintenance, tyres and even tolls per month. Once you have calculated this cost, you will have a rough idea of the budget for your car.

Figure out what make and model you are looking for

There are literally tens of thousands of cars up for sale at any one time, so rather than being overwhelmed, you should narrow down your search to the type of car you want – whether it is a 4WD, ute, sedan, people mover, electric car or a luxury car. You can have a look on sites such as Cars Guide to get a good idea of makes and models and do a quick comparison.

Speak with the seller

When you have decided what make, model, price, age and type of car you are looking for and you have started searching you will be able to find a few car sellers than have your desired car that you can approach.

Whether you approach a used car dealer or a private seller, you should ask them the following questions:

  • Do they have a log book
  • How long have they owned the car
  • Why are they selling the car
  • What condition is the car in
  • Have they had any accidents or does the car have any issues
  • What’s the service history
  • Can you take it for a test drive
Check the car thoroughly using a professional mechanic

Next, if you are interested in the car and you do agree on a price you should arrange an inspection for the car with an independent mechanic. The mechanic will carry out a 40 point safety check and also ensure the VIN is registered for that car to ensure your car is not stolen.

You will need to pay for a 40-point safety check from a mechanic, however they will be able to let you know if there is anything of concern you should be aware of before purchasing the car.

As well as this, you should take the time to check for any marks, dents, rust, panel damage and that all the features inside the car are working properly. You should also drive the car a few times before buying it and ensure that all of the tyres have adequate tread, otherwise you could be in the market for a new set of tyres stat!

Buying a used car doesn’t need to be difficult. If you have a list of questions ready to go for the seller and ensure you take the time to get the proper checks before jumping in and purchasing any car you should be able to get yourself a safe and reliable car that meets your budget.