What To Do Before Buying A Car In Australia

There are countless cars listed on ‘Carsales’ and ‘Facebook Marketplace’ every single day. Some of them are your common Toyota Corolla, and some are even highly modified, drift spec S15’s. 

This is a guide on how NOT to buy a lemon.

1. Ask the owner about the car
  • Finding out about the current owner is significant before investing in your next financial mistake. There are highly intelligent people out there with remarkable IQ’s, that do not service their cars on time, and even run 91 RON fuel on cars that require a minimum of 95 RON… 
  • It is IMPORTANT to ask the owner lots of questions to ensure that he/she has looked after the car and maintained it correctly. The worst thing you can do is purchase a car, only to spend more money fixing up things that the previous owner has neglected. Make sure the owner has a service logbook all completed, or can provide evidence of a good service history 
2. Find a trustworthy mechanic to conduct a pre-purchase check
  • A pre-purchase check is crucial to ensure that all the components are running smoothly. When buying a performance oriented car, we advise you to take the car to a mechanic that specialises in working with performance vehicles, to check the car out before you buy it. 
  • It is a common misconception that a Roadworthy certificate (RWC) determines whether a car is healthy or not. Whilst a RWC is a legal government requirement in most states, it only ensures that the car is running safely enough to be driven on the road, rather than the health of the engine etc. A pre-purchase check that conducts an engine compression test will give you a better insight on the condition of the car. Some engines tend to have known issues from factory that can contribute towards low compression.. A compression test will allow you to completely gauge the engine’s health and assist your decisions in buying the car or not.
  • When you visit a mechanic to get a pre-purchase check, remember to ask for a list of issues with the car (including wear and tear), and a list of what would be needed for RWC. 'Rapid Tune' in Chadstone & ‘PMG Auto Services’ in Clayton are great workshops that deals with all types of cars, and are knowledgeable in what they do. We at 4BROKE highly recommend them.
3. Purchase a ‘CarFacts’ (offered by Carsales) report
  • By going to carfacts.com.au, buyers are able to find out about the history of a car. This service provides details about finance owing on the car, written off status, if the vehicle has ever been stolen, and many more features. It can prove to be quite a useful tool, especially if the seller seems like a useless tool… Whilst there are many good samaritans in this world who are trustworthy, there are also quite a few dodgy sellers. So a CarFacts report will allow you to learn about the truth of the car and if there have been any issues regarding it.
  • You can similarly get a PPSR check which is run by the Government and costs $2 to obtain which also states whether the car has been previously stolen or written off and many other useful features.

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