Everyone wants a shiny new car, but not everyone sees the extra fees and paperwork that comes with buying one. With a hefty price to pay and a lot of paperwork, more people are opting to buy 2nd-hand cars. However, purchasing a used car is not always a walk in the park either.
You can buy a 2nd-hand car directly from the owner or from a dealership. Some people prefer purchasing directly from the owner with the view that the price would be cheaper but this may require time on your part.
Below, we will provide you with some advice when buying 2nd-hand vehicles:
1. Check reviews
People always say to check the used car, but how about the seller? It is very important to conduct a thorough background check. For cars bought from a dealership, we suggest researching reviews from previous customers.
For direct sellers, find out where they work and currently live in case any issues arise after you close the deal.
2. Check the interior and exterior of the car.
Needless to say, this is one of the first things to check when buying a car. It is important to check how the car has been taken care of over the years. You don’t want to buy a car from a reckless driver as it is likely you will incur higher maintenance fees than when buying a new car.
If you are inexperienced or don’t know much about cars, you can consider contacting a mechanic or friend who may be able to guide you through the process and what to look out for.
Take time to observe, listing essential things such as:
- A working AC and heater
- The mileage is one of the main things to look for, especially if you are looking to negotiate prices
- Make sure the security features are still in-tact.
Did you know that an automated car will give you higher chances of getting a lower CTP quote? That’s because fully automated cars reduce accidents caused by human error in driving. So, don’t forget to inspect those when you’re shopping for used cars.
3. Do a test drive.
A test drive is necessary. Make a thorough observation. Are you comfortable with the driver’s seat? Are there any weird squeaking sounds while you’re driving? Is the engine performing well? Try driving for 5 kilometres and see what the car can do. It’s better if you prepare a checklist.
4. Request for the car’s documents.
Once you have decided to purchase, run through the car documents first especially if you are making a direct purchase from the owner. You will need this to know the legalities and due dates of your registration and insurances.
Factors such as the age of the car and its mileage can affect your insurance quote. Therefore, you have to be stringent in knowing the used car’s details before buying it.
5. Hire a third-party provider to conduct a data check.
While not all sellers are dishonest about their products, you would still need a “second opinion”. This will ensure that you’re making an informed decision.
We’re talking about a data check, which is conducted by a third-party provider. This could include a hidden damage report, historical photos, etc.
For this kind of background check, you will need the used car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which consists of 17 digits. If you own an NSW-registered motor vehicle, you might also need your VIN for a CTP quote calculation.
6. Check the emissions rating.
Check the Co2 emissions rating here and see if the model is “green enough.” You could also ask about the V5C registration certificate and find the previous emissions rating in it.
A used car’s good emission rating is more likely to lower the CTP quote, especially if it’s a private vehicle. The lowest fee for a high-rating emission band is $25.
7. Compare its safety ratings.
In the new registration charging structure in NSW, environment and safety components can impact the NSW green slip quote. That means a greener, safer car will let you off the hook with a lower premium.
To check a car’s safety ratings, you have to compare it with other vehicles. A good comparison tool would be How Safe is Your Car. The used car also has to have Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Curtain Airbags.
8. Find out if it’s debt-free.
Used car sellers are legally required to prove that the car is debt-free. So, they have to provide you with a guarantee of title.
You could also check it for yourself. Go to the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) and check if the vehicle still owes an existing security interest.
For this background check, you will need a VIN and a fee of $2.00 or $7.00.
9. Gather the required documents from the dealership or seller.
When you’re buying from a dealership in NSW, they are legally required to hand out the warranty, guarantee of title, or legal protection.
Meanwhile, if you’re buying from a private seller, you could ask for a certificate of registration and a 3 to 4-week-old safety check report. This will help you register the car if it is not yet registered in your state.
10. Get a CTP quote.
In other states, the registration and CTP are paid like one. But in NSW, you must buy the CTP first before you are able to renew the registration of your car. If you want to know what CTP insurance covers you for, please visit the FAQ page for more info.
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