Things To Consider When Buying A Car (FULL GUIDE)

By Omid

People consider owning a car a necessity, especially in a vast country like Australia. But buying one can be intimidating, especially if it's your first time. So before buying a new car, make sure you know what you're getting into and what you should look out for. 

Do your research!

1. Check the cost. It's always better to know an estimate of how much you will spend on your car. Compare on-road costs and operating costs. This includes registration, compulsory third-party insurance, and stamp duty. Take note that a new car has never been licenced or registered. But if you are buying from a car dealership in the state, you don’t have to worry about the registration process. They will gather the necessary documents and do the paperwork for you.

2. Look for the best deals. As much as you're excited to get your new car, make sure to check for the best deals you could get that will meet your demand. You can do a quick search of different car manufacturers and models to narrow down your search before going to different car dealers. 

3. Check the dates on the compliance and build plates. The compliance date is not always the same as the build date. It is when the vehicle met the Australian safety standards—making it legal to drive. The build plate refers to when the vehicle is manufactured. This will help make an estimated value when you decide to resell it in the future. Take these into consideration when you make a purchase.

4. Cooling off period. Cooling off period (1 day) is a time given to car buyers to terminate the contract if you’re buying a used car. But this is not applicable if you buy a new vehicle. So make sure you are satisfied with the car that you choose. The cooling period ends once you sign the contract and drive off from the dealership centre.

5. Know the manufacturer’s warranty. You must receive a copy of the manufacturer's warranty. This will show what the warranty covers in case there is any defect. You should have a full inspection done by a qualified independent mechanic before the warranty expires. This way, if there are any problems with the vehicle, they can be fixed within the warranty period.

6. Ensure you understand all the sections of the contract. NEVER sign a contract unless you want to buy the car. But before you sign your contract, make sure it has no unfavourable clauses. Read the contract carefully and make sure you understood the clauses. Remember not to sign an incomplete contract and always get a copy of the contract that you signed. 

7. Understand the dealer's policy. Get to know your dealer's policy so you know what you're entitled to and what your rights are. This way, you will know what you need to do if you have any complaints regarding the vehicle.

8. Take it for a test drive. You should definitely try to take the car for a short drive if possible. This way, you can get the feel of the car and see if it suits your preferences. This is the time for you to see how it functions and if you're compatible with it.

9. Make your deposit. Dealers often ask for deposits to prove that you want the vehicle and reserve it. But before you drop your money, make sure that it is refundable and you get a receipt for every payment you make. 

10. Pre-delivery check. You must conduct a pre-delivery check before buying your car. Check if there are any chips or dents on the car exterior. Or if there are cuts and scratches on the interior. This is also a good time to double-check if the build date is accurate.

There are a lot of car sellers you can find online. Unfortunately, some of them could be a fraud. So just a word of advice, NEVER PAY for a car you haven't seen in person or can't confirm if it exists.

Once you sign your contract and make your deposit, you're now officially a car owner. Congratulations! As a car owner, you’re responsible to maintain your vehicle to make sure it’s roadworthy.

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