- Posted 19 Nov
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Buying a used car can seem like a bit of a risk, particularly if you don’t complete the correct due diligence and find out everything about the car and pervious owners.
While purchasing from a used-car dealer does provide some protection, buying from a private seller doesn’t, which is why you need to make sure that you are aware of the common pitfalls associated with buying a used car and how to avoid being a victim of them.
5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying Used Cars
#1: Check the numbers
No matter what you look at when checking out a used car, there are three important numbers that you must review before purchasing.
- The VIN (vehicle identification number)
- The engine number
- The registration number
You should sight all three of these to make sure they haven’t been tampered with and so that you can confirm they are the same details that are listed on the registration papers that you’ll be provided.
If they don’t match up, then the car you’re looking at could be stolen or incorrectly labelled. Buyer beware!
#2: Check security debt
You don’t want to buy someone else’s debt, so it’s important that you find out if the car has been used as security against a loan or other debt.
There are horror stories of an owner selling the car to a new owner, taking off with the money and defaulting on repayments of a loan… and then the original lender shows up to repossess the car. Not a situation you want to find yourself in.
You can double check this on www.carhistory.com.au provided you have the three numbers mention in #1.
#3: Check insurance history
If the car has been in an accident and was written-off but repaired, you want to know about it. In NSW, it is illegal to repair a written-off car and the on-sell it, but the other states within Australia do not have this law in place. If you do purchase a repaired write-off, it can’t be insured.
Make sure you check the car’s insurance claim history and ask to see all maintenance records.
#4: Check car’s accident history
This is the point where you’ll need to call in your trusted mechanic to do a full assessment on the car. Ask them to check for evidence of pervious major crash repairs as well as the standard testing.
This ensures that you’re not getting a car with a chequered past… and it goes without saying that if there is evidence of a major accident, then walk away.
#5: What’s it really worth?
Before you start looking for a used car, you should aim to have a few models in mind and know what the going rate is for each of those models.
Fair value of a car is based on similar cars in average condition with average kilometres on the clock. The price will increase the lower the kilometres and decrease the higher the kilometres.
By doing your own research and asking the right questions, you’ll be able to find yourself a great deal on a used car.
If you need finance or help in the car buying area, our team at Australian Credit and Finance can help you too. Get in touch with our experienced team today.