17 December 2015 · Buyer Advice

6 Things You Should Never Do When Buying Used Cars | Phil Gilbert Toyota

We are constantly told the things we should do when starting our hunt for a used car but what about the things we should never do?

From forgetting to get a mechanic check to buying the first car you find we reveal the common mistakes car buyers make that could end up costing you big bucks:

Common Mistakes

1. Buy without a mechanic check

While a used car may look like it's in pristine condition thanks to some smart auto detailing by the owner, it’s always a good idea to check under the hood. As the saying goes never judge a book by its Buying from an independent (non-franchised) dealer has the risk of the vehicle not being serviced and mechanically inspected. When you buy from a reputable dealer you have the piece of mind to know they must service and mechanically inspect all vehicles before they are put for sale.

Common Mistakes

2. Forget to run a background PPSR government check

Does the car have any unpaid debt remaining on it? Has the car ever been written off? These are important questions that you’ll need answered before you hand over your hard earned cash, so always run a background check using the car’s VIN number on websites like the Australian Government’s Quick Motor Vehicle Search. Because any headaches the car currently has will become yours once you’ve bought it.

Common Mistakes

3. Not asking questions

If you are looking privately, you should also take the time to ask the seller a few questions to get an idea of how the car has been used. Ask them things like, “how long have you owned the car”, and “how often do you drive it?” Also check that the person selling the car is who they say they are, by checking that their name is on the registration transfer application form that you’ll both need to sign when the seller transfers the car ownership across to you. Also, insist on meeting them at the registered address for the car: if they want to meet you at the shops or at a park, alarm bells should sound as they are looking for anonymity.

Common Mistakes

4. Test drive the car you are looking to buy

Take the time to drive the car you are interested in. All used cars are different and the last thing you want to do is find out the car has a rattle in the suspension, or needs a wheel alignment after you have taken delivery.

Common Mistakes

5. Know the market price before you go to the dealership

There’s an old myth that all used car prices are negotiable, but in today’s ultra-competitive market many dealers are fighting for your business with their best price up front. Do your research online before you go to the yard: if the dealer’s price is good compared to the market, and you are happy with the car, then be ready to buy. If you are buying privately don’t forget that there is no guarantees for the quality or warranty on the vehicle. Remember, franchised dealers have a responsibility to the manufacturer to sell quality cars whereas private sellers have no responsibility after sale.

Common Mistakes

6. Don’t miss out!

Make sure you have researched the car that you want. Be prepared to buy the car when you see it as when you are buying a used car they are all different, and if you have done your research you will know how much you should be paying for build year and km’s travelled. If you have not done your research before you get to the dealership you will risk missing out on the car because you feel you need to sleep on it.

Looking for a used car from a reputable and reliable dealer? Check out the Phil Gilbert Toyota range today!