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10 June 2014

Four Things to Consider Before Buying Any Used Cars

There are many variables to consider when purchasing a car, and these are only amplified when you are buying a used car in a busy city such as Sydney. This guide will outline some of the do’s, don’ts and definitely nots to keep in mind when purchasing a used car in this city.

What’s your budget?

We all know the cost of living in Sydney is no small sum, whether it is the amount of rent we pay every month or even just how much we shell out for a cup of coffee. With this is mind, it is essential to decide the maximum amount you can afford to pay for a used car, and not go a dollar over it. And this doesn’t just mean the price of the vehicle, make sure to take into account how much you will need to pay each year for insurance, registration and service. Cars can easily end up costing you more money than expected, so be smart about what you can realistically afford.

What is your location, parking and commute situation?

This one should be a no-brainer, but it really is an easy thing to get caught up in the rush of buying a new car (even a new old car) and forget what your day-to-day parameters are. If you live in or close to Sydney city and have only street parking to contend with, then a large vehicle is not a wise purchase, even if just for convenience’s sake. Likewise, if you live further out in the suburbs and have long commute to work, then a small car that holds limited fuel will only have you making bi-weekly stops at the petrol station, if not more. Make sure you choose a car that not only looks and sounds good, but fits in with your lifestyle, too.

What is the car’s history?

Once you have chosen a car that is within both your budget and lifestyle constraints, it is imperative to always do your research before buying it. There are several websites that offer car history checks in both free and paid options, depending on the amount of history you need. The Personal Property Securities Register and Service NSW’s Change & Check service are both government websites that can perform these checks for you. Some of the information you can attain includes the vehicle’s registration expiry date, and whether it is subject to any outstanding debt or has previously been written off. This kind of information can prevent you from wasting a great deal of money on a sub-standard vehicle.

Have you taken it for a test drive?

Finally, the fun part! This is where you can get a feel for how the car handles, as well the ease of use of the primary controls. Take stock of the car’s readouts and displays screens and how easy they are to understand at a glance, as well as testing the climate control. The most important part of this step is to take the car for a proper test drive, not just a quick spin around the block. Test it on multiple surfaces, not just smooth, hazard-free roads, and see if it has enough power to merge effectively on the highway. This is the best way to see if the car you are considering is the right one for you.

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