There are many people who need to purchase a vehicle but cannot stretch their budget far enough to enable them to buy a new one due to their finances. Others prefer not to buy a new vehicle due to downside of instant depreciation as the car leaves the showroom floor or because they are purchasing for a younger person with limited driving experience. Whatever the reason, if you do not want to get a brand new vehicle, you can get some great deals on used cars these days.

People decide to purchase used cars because they are not only cheaper than buying new but also because they do not have to deal with the depreciation that affects new cars as soon as they are driven away. Of course, you have to consider the risks that are involved when buying a used vehicle, as you naturally want to ensure you purchase one that is safe and reliable. In this article, we will look at some important factors to consider when making your purchase.

Essential Considerations

So, what are the essential considerations when making your used car purchase? Well, there are various ones that you have to take into account, and this includes all of the following.

  1. The Price of the Car

One of the main things that people will want to check on is how much the seller is charging for the vehicle. One of the main reasons why people decide to go for a used car is because they are on a tight budget, so the price is naturally going to be very important. However, you need to make sure you take all the other factors into consideration in addition to the price tag if you want to make an informed choice and find the right used vehicle.

The price is the starting point but what lies behind it. Is the apparent good price reflective that it is a superseded model? Even though it looks very similar it may have less features or improvements and safety of earlier models. Is the apparent lower price of the car compared to its competition because it is in fact an ‘economic repairable write-off” that has been repaired and now being sold? Is the car priced more cheaply to similar aged and classes of car because it subject to inherent manufacture faults and reliability issues like failed transmissions etc..that have plagued the model?

  1. Any Service History

When it comes to the health of the vehicle, it can be difficult to tell whether it has been kept in check by the owner. However, one thing you can do in order to get an idea of how well maintained the car has been is to find out about the service history. The seller should be able to provide you with some service history for the vehicle if it has been taken in for regular servicing, so make sure you ask about that.

A car with a full service history, that has also been maintained at recommended service intervals, has been looked after mechanically and presents in showroom condition can be considered a quality used car. This type of car will usually attract a higher price tag compared to similar cars which have a poor service history.

  1. The History of the Vehicle

In addition to the service history for the vehicle, you also need to look at the general history. More specifically, you need to check and see whether the vehicle has been involved in any incidents or major accidents that the owner is not telling you about. Fortunately, it is pretty simple to check on this information these days by going online, so make sure you take the time to do this before you make any commitment. 

You want to ensure that when buying a used car that you know what you are buying.The essential element in the car buying and selling equation of “trust” can sometimes be missing. Not all sellers are upfront or truthful with the full condition or accident history of the cars they are selling. You can check, for a small charge, whether the car has been previously stolen, has finance owing on it or has previously been an “Economic Repairable Write-off” by going to the VicRoads site or similar State Road Authorities.

  1. Checking the Kilometres

It is also important that you check the kilometres on the vehicle before you make any decisions. Most people want to purchase a used car that does not have above average kilometres on the clock. Average kilometres driven in Australia is considered approximately 15,000kms.  Of course, you must also remember that you are buying a used car and if it is an older vehicle, there will be more distance travelled and kilometres on the clock. 

However, you should still check and see whether the distance travelled is average based on the age of the vehicle. A car with below average kilometres, assuming it is in good condition, would expect to be priced higher than its similar competition. Likewise, a car with above average kilometres will generally be expected to carry a price lower than its similar competition. This lower price reflects the extra wear and tear that car experiences for its extra kilometres travelled. Fundamentally, its’ lower price represents an accelerated reduction in its estimated useful life compared to an average similar car for sale.

  1. The Condition of the Vehicle

Finally, you need to check on the overall condition of the vehicle. This does not just refer to the aesthetics and paintwork but to the engine and other key components that contribute to how well the vehicle runs. If you are concerned, you can always take a mechanic along to check the vehicle prior to making your purchase.

When buying a used car, especially in the private market, it is worth also getting a Pre-Purchase Inspection from a reputable third party service provider like RACV, VACC, REPCO or Redbook. Consider this as a cost of the buying process or a type of insurance that is likely to reduce your risk of buying a lemon.

 Buying a car is not a perfect decision it is all about risk management.The independent inspection and report will quickly  expose the true condition of the car beyond the service records. It will either reinforce the car is of the quality the owner and service records purport it to be or it will identify faults that may have been hidden or reflective of the poor or intermittent service history. 

Get More Advice from the Experts

If you would like valuable advice about purchasing a used vehicle, you can get in touch with the experts at My Next Car Buying Advocacy, we’ll make sure you always end up with the right car for the right price. 

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