What to do when buying a second hand car

  • Blog
  • Car Valuation

Buying a used car is an exciting process. There is a great sense of satisfaction when you finally have the keys to your new wheels and you’re ready to hit the road. However, buying a used car can be a frustrating experience, with issues like unscrupulous sellers, hidden problems and extra fees can all make the experience, and the vehicle, a disaster.

But if you follow these guidelines you should be able to enjoy a smooth transaction and a quality second hand car at the outcome.

Choose the right car for you

You should never buy a car that can’t service your needs. For example, you might live in the city and only need a car to get to and from work, the shops, friends houses etc. Therefore, you wouldn’t go buying a great big 4WD, as these take up more space than necessary. 

Sedans, hatchbacks and even smaller SUVs are great for driving in the city, as they have small economical engines and light steering. Conversely, you might want a larger sedan, SUV or van if you like road trips, as they have stronger performance and are a more superior drive. 

What not to do

When testing a car, ensure that you take it for a decent spin and have a thorough look around the vehicle. The last thing you want is a car with accident damage or poor maintenance history. Poor service history, balding tyres, coolant, engine oil and transmission fluid leaks are all solid indications of poor maintenance. Mismatched paint and shoddily-fitted panels can indicate a major accident, as can professional inspections and a PPSR report. This is where buying from a dealer can be a safer option than private buying. 

Research is key

Just because you see what you think is your dream second hand car – it doesn’t mean it is. Sure, it may tick plenty of boxes, but you should still do your research and shop around before purchasing said “dream car”. You might find that there is another vehicle that is more suitable for you or is better value for money. Test drive multiple cars and see which one suits you as a driver – you don’t want to regret buying the first one you see because it looks cool.

It’s about how it travelled, not how far it travelled

Sure, you might be about to buy a vehicle that has only done 35,000 kilometres. But that doesn’t mean the vehicle has been well-maintained or even kept safe during those kilometres. It might be better to purchase a car that has racked up more kilometres but has been properly cared for than simply buying one based on low kilometres alone.

Or, you can contact the experts

We get it, buying a car can be a tricky and confusing experience. Luckily, there are professional car brokers out there who can help you find the perfect car without all the trouble. They will search their network to create a list of cars that suit your request before negotiating a deal on the one you choose.


Selling your vehicle?

Call 1300 770 571

2A Beaconsfield Street,
Doncaster VIC 3108
Customer Service — 1300 488 623

Get a quote

Our Trusted Partners

Buying a used car?

We provide fast & reliable pre-purchase car inspections, Australia-wide.
Experts at getting the keys in your hands Australia’s leading Finance Broker, with competitive rates and proven experience.