How to protect yourself when you purchase your next vehicle

Buying a car from a car dealer

Though a majority of sellers are honest, there may be a few rotten apples in the bunch. If you’re in the market to purchase a used car, protect yourself with these tips –

Buy from a trusted source like a reputed car dealership

Before you hunt for your next vehicle, take the time to consider whether you want to buy from a dealership or private seller. One of the biggest benefits of buying from a dealer is there is someone to go back to incase something is wrong. It wouldn’t be like purchasing your vehicle in a McDonald’s car park where you never see the seller again. Unlike private sellers, dealers are obligated to provide certain state-enforced protections. This may include guarantee of a clear title, statutory warranties for some vehicles and cooling-off periods.

Dealerships also have most of their information posted on their websites, Google and Facebook. This means, you can go through online reviews to see what other buyers have experienced at the dealership. A dealership with a large number of positive online reviews will give you more confidence in its trustworthiness.

Get a car history report

Before purchasing any vehicle, be sure to get a car history report. A car history report provides comprehensive information about a vehicle you are interested in. This includes information like VIN check, financial liability check, damages, stolen status, written-off checks, vehicle valuation and registration, odometer reading, sales price, ANCAP safety and emission ratings and Takata airbag recall status. This in-depth info about a vehicle can give you complete peace of mind. Some car dealers may even choose to provide these car history reports FOR FREE.

Get pre-approved if you need finance

If you need finance to purchase a vehicle, it may be a good idea to get pre-approved ahead of time. A pre-approval allows you to set a more specific budget because you’ll know exactly how much you can borrow beforehand. This way, you won’t be disappointed if you’re interested in a particular vehicle that is well beyond your borrowing capacity. Your selection process gets so much easier and you save so much time since you only have to look for vehicles within your price range. Having a set budget also helps you negotiate more confidently with a seller. Plus, it also helps you get the final loan approvals faster once you choose the vehicle you want to buy.

Research state laws about mandatory warranties on used cars

Every state has specific regulations for used car sales, especially with respect to dealership car sales. For example, dealers in NSW, Queensland and Victoria are obligated to provide statutory warranties for cars under 10 years old and a mileage of less than 160,000km for the next 5,000km or three months after purchase, whichever occurs first. In Queensland, older models above 10 years and 160,000km must come with a 1-month or 1,000km warranty from dealers. Private sellers are not obligated to provide these types of warranties, which can be risky. Here are some links to check out your state’s laws regarding statutory warranties on used cars for sale –

Final word

When shopping for cars, start your research on Shop for Cars – a marketplace that connects you directly to some of the most reputable car dealerships in the country. Get in-depth information about new and used cars for sale, car history reports, finance and much more to meet all your buying needs in one single location.