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Guide: Buying a Used Car

The Tricks and Traps in Used Car Buying

With over 20 years experience in the buying and selling of new and used cars, both privately and in dealerships, I am in an ideal position to help you avoid the pitfalls. Find out the important facts on buying privately or from a dealer. (Note: You will not need this information if you are using our broker service.)
  • The best age of car to buy.

    You need to be aware of certain "age points" in the life of cars. It will help you decide what age car is right for you.
  • Buying privately, from a dealer or at auction.

    Consider the benefits and disadvantages. Where should you buy your next used car? Dealers claim it's "unsafe" to buy from private sellers, but buying privately can save you lots of money if you take some basic precautions.
  • How to value a used car.

    Be confident in your valuations. Learn the simple way of how to properly read valuations, and find out what typical dealer margins are. Never simply take someone else's word for it. In order to find out the true value of a car, you should also take into account the impact which purchasing such a vehicle might have on your car insurance quotes and fuels costs. If a vehicle is especially expensive to run, then it might not be quite as much of a bargain as the seller would have you believe.
  • Speedo manipulation.

    Some say "whizzing the speedo" is a thing of the past. Don't we wish that was the case? Find out what to look for.
  • Problem cars.

    Learn what types of problems sellers try to mask.
  • Negotiating.

    Buying from a dealer requires a different strategy to private purchases. Become confident and don't pay too much!
  • Deposits.

    Is it worth paying a deposit? What are the obligations of the seller in regards to the deposit?
  • Professional inspection.

    Find out why the most popular and heavily advertised inspection services are almost useless, and how you must organise the inspection. Do not buy a second hand car without a proper inspection.
  • Stolen or encumbered cars.

    Learn how to avoid buying a stolen or an encumbered car (i.e. has money owing on it). If you think a phone call to the register will protect you, you're wrong. There is only one right way of protecting yourself when buying privately.
  • Warranties.

    After market extended warranties are available, regardless of how the car was bought - from a dealer or a private seller. Find out what to look for in extended warranties. It is a fairly complex area that can easily see you pay hundreds of dollars for no real benefit. The right warranty is a wise investment.
  • Unusual Cars.

    Classic cars and other unusual (also known as unique) cars can be hard to find. Our guide includes the best places to source these cars, and what considerations you should be making.

This information can save you thousands of dollars.

A friend of mine recently sold his Toyota Corolla (which he bought when it was 6 months old). He is highly qualified computer scientist and fancies himself as an "expert" on cars. (Note: 1 in 3 males are "experts" on cars. Stay away from these people. The only real experts are qualified mechanics.)

When he took the car to be valued, the buying dealer told him it was a "cut-and-shut" (i.e. 2 salvageable halves of damaged vehicles joined together to create one complete vehicle) and reduced the price accordingly. It took my friend by surprise, but his own mechanic confirmed it.

Just two simple questions could have saved him well over $1000 when he bought the car.

Additional Information

  • As a member, you receive email support by myself to help you in the buying process if required.
  • You get access for 3 months from the date of purchase.
  • The cost is just $9.95 (inc GST) and refundable (less the GST component) if you are not fully satisfied.

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