How to Choose a Used Car

November 24, 2019

How to Choose a Used Car

Before you buy a used car

Don’t rush before purchasing a used car, take your time and do your research into the different makes and models, and consider the following:

  • Your budget. Work out how much you can afford to spend. Red Book will guide you on the value of the car or cars you’re considering according to their year and model.
  • Your needs. What will you use the car for? If you do most of your driving in the city, a four-wheel drive is hardly necessary.
  • Safety. Check our used car safety ratings that are based on real-life accidents.
  • Security. How easy is it to steal or break into the car? What security features is the car equipped with? Check the NRMA’s car security scores.
  • Insurance costs. These will vary from model to model. Once you’ve narrowed down your options get some quotes.
  • Environment. Check the car’s fuel consumption and emissions rating. The Green Vehicle Guide can help you here.
  • Regulations. Check your state or territory’s regulations around buying and selling used cars, including how to make sure there’s no money owing on the car. We have more info on this later in this article.

Out shopping

  • Inspect the car using the checklist below.
  • Don’t sign until you’re completely happy with the car and its cost.
  • Ask questions about the vehicle’s history – how many owners has the vehicle had previously? Has it been involved in any crashes? What’s the mileage? How much does it cost to fill the tank? Is the vehicle currently registered and insured? What safety features does it have?

After the sale

  • Arrange insurance once you’ve bought the car and before you drive it anywhere.
  • Transfer the registration to your name. You usually have to do this within a few days of buying the car.


Buying from a dealer has some advantages:

  • In some states and under certain conditions, they must provide a statutory warranty. This can often exclude parts like the radio, air conditioning and battery so make sure you’re clear on what is and isn’t covered.
  • They must guarantee there’s no money owing on the car.
  • They usually have to display a form on the car’s dashboard or windscreen that provides some basic information, such as the year of manufacture, odometer reading and warranty details.
  • You can trade in your old car.

Read the original article here…