From Money Magazine
Always put in plenty of preparation before you splash on a new set of wheels.
- Do some homework on car values before you go shopping and you'll be in a better position to negotiate.
- Check out the Trading Post and online sites such as www.carpoint.com.au.
- Don't buy the first car you see shop around and compare deals before you hand over any money.
- Ask for the service history of the car.
- Get the car inspected it might cost you a few hundred dollars but could end up saving you thousands if there's something wrong and the car's a dud.
- Check with the RTA or Department of Transport in your state to make sure there is no finance owing on the vehicle this is called a REVS check in NSW.
- Take it for a test drive to make sure it feels right. A car may look good but you might not feel comfortable driving it.
- Keep in mind, when buying a car privately, that you're not entitled to a refund if you change your mind and you won't receive a warranty.
- It's worth getting an estimate on car insurance before buying to make sure it's not too expensive. A different car might cost less to insure.
- If you're buying from a dealer, find out whether a warranty is included and what sort of after-sales service you'll get.
- Inspect the car during the day rather than at night to spot any defects or damage.
- Don't overlook additional costs such as stamp duty.
Check out our guide to getting a car loan
For the complete story see Money Magazine's October 2006 issue. Subscribe now.
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