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Things to look for when buying a used car

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Have you ever purchased a used car and later found that it requires expensive repairs? This is not uncommon, but you can avoid expensive repairs if you know what to look for when buying a used car.

Tim Nicholson works at the Royal Automotive Club of Victoria or RACV, managing the road test program and acting as a judge for the Australia’s Best Cars program.

When buying a used car, he said that the smartest choice is to go for the safest car you can afford.

“The most important thing for us is safety. The cheaper the vehicle is, you know, the higher chance is that it’s not going to be as reliable, it’s not going to be as safe, so yeah look, safety is just the number one priority, and we always say buy the safest car that you can afford. That’s what we always recommend.”


 Highlights

  • The VIN serves as a vehicle’s fingerprint and can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage.
  • The cheapest and quickest way to ensure there are no leaks under the bonnet is by checking the engine oil level before and after taking the car for a test drive.
  • The Australian Consumer Law does not apply to used cars purchased from a private seller.

“Most dealers will supply a car with a used car warranty  but also if there is a problem even if it’s outside the warranty, your case may be covered by the Australian Consumer Law, so if something catastrophic happens, whole engine explodes or what have you,  then take it back to the dealer and you would have a very strong case under the Australian Consumer Law.“

The Australian Consumer Law does not apply to used cars purchased from a private seller.

You can also find helpful information on your state transport authority and consumer affairs websites.  

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