5 things you should do before buying a car

Whether you are buying your first car or upgrading to a better model, buying a car is an exciting experience. Often the excitement gets the better of us and we end up making a bad buying choice.

Shop for Cars has put together 5 things you should do before buying a car.

Should I buy a brand-new car or a used car?

The first question we are all faced with is what type of car should you buy? Both new and used cars offer car buyers many advantages and disadvantages.

Used Cars are much cheaper than new cars; however, they do have more risks. Prior to buying a used car you must investigate the car history, warranty status, service records and ongoing maintenance costs. A good way to minimise your risks when buying a used car is having a mechanic or third party investigate the car status.

A brand-new car gives you the ability to select the model, colour, transmission type and extra features byou may want – giving you your ideal vehicle. New cars also offer complete warranty for 3 – 5 years depending on the purchasing agreement. It is also common for new car dealers to offer free vehicle servicing.

Both new and used cars have their advantages and disadvantages. You should investigate what type of car is best suited to you prior to purchasing.

What sort of car suits my needs?

The market is flooded with different types of vehicles. From SUV’s to Sedans, you should first think about your intended primary use of the car? Is it for work or just general use? Often people fall into the trap of buying with their heart instead of their head. This commonly results in buying a car that does not meet their purpose.

Things you MUST consider:

  • Primary use of the car (Is it for work or leisure)
  • Model Type (SUV, Ute, Sedan)
  • Transmission type (Auto or Manual)
  • Fuel Type
  • Age

How much will the upkeep cost?

Upkeep of a car is a major ongoing cost. Costs will vary from car to car. For example, an imported car often costs more to upkeep due to limited availability of parts and lower commercial demand. Continued upkeep costs include service, maintenance, and government compliance (Green slip).

Car history check?


If you are purchasing a used car you must gain a full Car History and PPSR check. A PPSR search gives you all information recorded against the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Information includes:

  • make, model and colour
  • written off status
  • stolen status
  • if it is part of the faulty Takata airbag recall and has not been recorded as repaired

A PPSR check protects you from repossession, even if a security interest was registered against the car when you bought it.

After a PPSR check, it's recommended that you organise an independent safety inspection. A safety inspection can be done by the government road authority in your State or Territory, or you can arrange for a mechanic to inspect the car.

Pre-approval for a car loan?

Before heading to a car dealer, you should understand how much you can borrow. Pre-approval is the process of a lender assessing your borrowing capacity based on your financial circumstances. Pre-approval speeds up the car buying process and gives you a set budget that you can spend on a vehicle.

**Using these tips are not mandatory. This is based on Shop for Cars opinion. You should investigate all relative requirements prior to purchasing the car. **

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