6 Tips for Buying a Used Car Privately
Buying a used car can save you a lot of money and stress. However, there are a lot of things to consider before getting too excited about your savings. Safety, cost and efficiency tend to main priorities when buying a used car. Follow these simple steps to save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run when you buy a used car.
1. Set your budget and boundaries
Before buying a used car, it is important to be aware of what you need in a vehicle. While price isn’t everything, setting a clear range of what you’re willing to pay and sticking to it will assist you. You also need to consider what you will need the car for and your priorities regarding its features. For example, city dwellers will prefer a small, compact city to car to navigate tight corners, while families will be looking for something ranked high in safety and space. By taking into consideration what you need, you will be saving yourself a lot of trouble down the line.
Once you’ve pick out a car, look at various websites and car yards to see the current market price for your desired make and model. Look at the age, kilometers, price, service history and damage. When you buy a car privately, it’s important to meet them at their home address rather than arrange to meet them elsewhere. That way, you will be able to see if their address is the same as that on the registration. You should also bring a copy of the advertisement to ensure that the details are all accurate.
3. Ask questions
No one likes being asked or answering too many questions, but it is a necessary evil when buying a used car. You want to make sure all negotiations are fair, and by getting honest answers from the seller, you can make the best decision for you. Some of the stock standard questions you must ask are:
- How old is the car?
- Why are you selling the car?
- Have you ever had an accident in this car?
- Am I able to see a full service history?
4. Background checks
There are many ways you can check to see whether or not you should buy a used car. If you are buying privately use the Personal Property Security Register online to see if there is money owing or if it has been written off or stolen. You will receive a certificate that will tell you about the features so you can double check you are receiving what is advertised. Do not buy if there is money owing and you aren’t sure it will be paid.
5. Get the right documents
There are a number of important documents to obtain from the seller before you go driving away. Minimum, you will want warranty documents, contract copies and a safety certificate. This will give you piece of mind when you are driving away with the vehicle.
6. Insure your car
Before you even think about driving away, it is important you are properly insured. While this checklist will help in limiting any strife you get into down the road with a used car, you can never tell what you might encounter, literally. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t drive an unregistered car, but that will only protect you to a point. In Western Australia, compulsory third party insurance is included in the motor vehicle license, but this won’t cover you for your own vehicle’s damage or damage to another vehicle, it only covers passengers and drivers against personal injury. To make it easier, most insurance companies will allow you to pay in advance for cover and select a starting date for your car insurance to begin – so you can pay ahead for your cover to start on the day you buy your new car. Be sure to understand what you are and aren’t covered for before choosing an insurance company and level of cover for peace of mind.
BONUS SECTION: What to do with your old car
As important as it is for you to make sure you are prepared to buy a used car, it’s equally important to make sure you get rid of your old car appropriately. You have several options available to you when you upgrade your car:
- Selling: Timing can be important with this as you will want to have paid for around 3 months’ worth of registration on your vehicle to make it. Provide your engine number to allow potential buyers to see the details of your vehicle. For added safety and buyer peace of mind, take your car over the pits and provide the receipt.
- Scrapping: Call licensed scrappers and see what they will offer to buy your car for. Make sure they pay you in cash at the time of collection and that they will actually scrap your vehicle and not attempt to re-sell it. They may request the license number, which is relatively standard. Scrappers will deduct a small fee from their offer if they are collecting your car if you’re unable to drive it to the yard yourself. You will receive a certificate from the scrapper to show that you have destroyed the vehicle, which you can use to cash in on any overpaid registration fees. You will also need to surrender your license plates, unless you are going to put them on your new car.
- Give it away: You might decide that it’s far less hassle to give your car to a family member or friend than attempt a re-sell. Or you might think to offer your car to a charity for families in need. There are organisations that exist for those who want to give their car to someone in need. Kids Under Cover is an Australian organisation that will be able to help if you choose to donate your car.