6 Tips for Buying a Car

  • Posted 24 Sep

6 Tips for Buying a Car

The car buying process can seem complicated. You want to find the right vehicle at a good price, but there are many things to consider. First, decide on the answer to basic questions such as:

  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • Do you want a new or used vehicle?
  • What are your daily driving habits and what mix of passengers and cargo do you need to transport?

After that the rest is mainly research. Here are some pieces of the puzzle you need to line up before making what will be one of your most financially significant purchases:


Find a seller you trust

If you are searching for a bargain, you may be tempted to purchase from a private seller. It’s true that you’ll probably get a lower sales price, but you also take on more risk. If you purchase from an individual you won’t have some of the legal protections provided by a dealership purchase, so it’s very important to trust the history and condition of the car.

If you choose to buy a new or used car from a dealer, look for a reputable, licensed company. Online companies can be sketchy, so be wary. Purchasing from a licensed dealer offers several protections, including an assurance of a clear title, full disclosure of any past damage, and a channel for mediation if something goes wrong with the sale.


Practice negotiation

Sellers expect to haggle on price, so don’t feel like you have to accept a car’s list value. By researching similar vehicles you’ll have a good idea of what a particular car is worth. A good approach is to visit a few dealerships further from home to figure out exactly what you want and get a feel for negotiating. Then visit your local dealer when you are ready to close the sale.


Review safety ratings

Safety is also an important factor, so check out the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) for the latest ratings if you are buying a new car. If you decide on a used car, have it thoroughly checked by a mechanic you trust to make sure there are no safety issues. You can also check manufacturer websites to find out about any safety recalls.


Find the best finance options

Car finance is an important part of the car buying process. If you are buying through a dealer, chances are that they will offer you on-the-spot financing. But your best bet is to work with a bank or other loan broker in advance to see if they can get you a lower rate. This step also lets you know your exact budget and can guide your choice of vehicle.


Check the paperwork

When buying a used car from a private individual, ask for any service records or other documentation on the vehicle. Check to see if the odometer matches up with these records to make sure that the car hasn’t been tampered with. A car that has been serviced regularly is more likely to be safe and reliable.


Insure your ride

Insurance is part of the ongoing ownership cost of driving a car, so it pays to research the insurance rates for particular vehicles before making a buying decision. The law requires you to carry compulsory third party insurance (CTP) and you’ll need to have full coverage on the car for as long as you are financing it. Compare quotes from several vendors to get the best rate.

Let Australian Credit and Finance help you find your next vehicle. Contact our experts today for new and used car financing at great rates.

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