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31 July 2017
You might save a few dollars if you buy from a private seller, but there are more risks than buying from a licensed car dealer.
Checklist – before you buy:
- Set a price limit you can afford. Allow for stamp duty, transfer fees, registration and insurance.
- Take your time. Don’t be rushed or pressured.
- Shop around for the best deal.
- Have the car checked by a qualified independent mechanic before you buy
- Don’t sign anything until you’re sure the car is okay and you really want to buy it
- When you buy a car it will need to be registered in your name.
If you buy from a car dealer:
- Understand your rights and the dealer’s obligations
- Check what is covered by the warranty
- Inspect the white display sheet on the car
- Have everything you negotiate with the dealer in writing
- Check the dealer’s licence is up to date
If you buy privately:
- Is the seller the registered owner? If not, is there a genuine reason?
- Check that the car hasn’t been stolen, flood damaged or written off, and that no money is owed on the car. Visit the Personal Property Securities Register
For more information
- Check if a dealer is licensed – Licensing Public Register
- Check that the vehicle hasn’t been stolen and there is no money owed – Personal Property Securities Register
- Visit the MoneySmart website to work out the real cost of buying and running a car