How to buy a Used Car In Australia?
Buying a used car in Australia might involve some challenges. In this page, we try to
highlight the most important issues to make this exercise worthwhile.
1. Buy according to your needs and what is the market. Set a budget and stick to it.
Consider the following issues:
• fuel consumption and performance
• Running service costs
• Is it for work or family
• Who is driving it
• Insurance cost
• Stamp Duty cost
• Registration cost
• Transfer fees cost
2. To negotiate the best deal, take a fried with you. It is always better to get someone
else to negotiate for us. Show your cash if you can to the seller to show the genuine
interest, if you have to.
3. Consider your options when buying the car:
• Private: This way you might get a fair deal depending on the situation of the
seller (desperate, careful driver, log book..etc). However, you get no warranty or
security of the title. Also, you cannot come back should you find a serious
• From dealer: Here you get a warranty, correct security of the title, a trade-in
for your old car, cooling off period where you can change your mind and return
the car to the dealer. However, dealers are often more expensive and always
you are pushed for a bad deal depending on your negotiation skills.
• Auctions: Usually cheaper, but be Very careful. Car dealer sell their cars at
auctions, specially the unsellable ones in the showroom. You have no legal
guarantee if the car had hidden damage.
4. Get an inspection report for the car. Use someone trustworthy such as NRMA. NRMA
Vehicle Inspections can be contacted on 13 11 22.
5. Check the ownership of the car. In NSW Australia call the Register of Encumbered
Vehicles. It is a statutory public register which assists the general public. REVS is a
business service provided by the NSW Office of Fair Trading which can tell you if a
motor vehicle or boat you are thinking of buying is carrying a debt. You will need:
• Registration Number if vehicle is registeredFor a fee of $12.00 a REVS Search Certificate This certificate gives you conditional legal
• VIN or chassis number
• Engine number
protection against repossession due to the previous owner's unpaid debt.
5. Take the car for a test drive to check it out. However, make sure that your are insured
while doing that.
6.To transfer the registration once the sale has been agreed on, make sure the seller
gives you the pink slip and completes the disposal notice. Take them to the Road and
Traffic Authority in your state and pay for the transfer. Instructions on how to do this are
on the reverse of the registration papers.
7. Before your take off with your new car, make sure you get all the keys for the car, the
service book, owner's manual and log book. Find out how to de-activate the alarm. Ask
the seller for any hidden tricks of the car.