When shopping for your next car, you may discover that buying used can be cheaper than buying new. But if you find the right used car, the savings can go further than your initial purchase. Follow our used car buying tips and you’ll gain the confidence to find the best used car for your needs.
What to consider when you buy used
While searching for your next car, remember that a cheaper car may have more hidden costs down the line. Consider these points before you buy.
Age and distance
Aim for the newest and least travelled vehicle you can afford. This not only ensures many years of happy motoring, but a vehicle with less kilometres is less likely to have issues in the short term. Every vehicle, new and old, has parts that will eventually need replacing, but a newer vehicle gives you more time on the road before major reconditioning and replacements are needed.
Vehicle safety features and technology continue to improve significantly every year. A 10-year-old car will be missing many features we now take for granted. Search to see if there is an ANCAP rating for the car you’re considering to get a rundown of its features and an overall safety score.
Cost of ownership
When thinking about used car running costs you’ll probably consider fuel usage (generally the bigger the engine, the more fuel it will use). But it’s also worth researching known faults and common repairs. Consider the fact that rare and exotic vehicles may need more expensive parts and labour to repair. And don’t forget the tyres, as they’re not all created equal, and some can be costly to replace.
Who to buy from?
In Australia, buyers have a few options when buying a used car. You may be wondering the differences between buying from a dealership vs private. Let’s compare the two as well as buying from a car auction.
This may be your best chance at finding a bargain on a used car, but beware, there’s also a huge risk that you may pay too much for a faulty car. Go in with a plan. Decide on the model you’re looking for and research its potential issues. Always check the logbook, you won’t be able to take a test drive so this is the best way to see what shape it’s in. Finally, bid with your head, an auction isn’t the place for passion. If you’d rather take your time and have all the information you need to make your decision, then buying from a car dealership may suit you better.
Many people buy privately, and you’ll find plenty of options online, but again, there are associated risks. Unlike buying from a dealership, there are no cooling off periods or warranties when you buy from a private seller. Ask the vendor if you can get the car checked over by a mechanic (they will charge a fee for the inspection) and if they refuse they may be hiding something.
Buying from a dealership may be the safest option and in the long run it can save you a lot of money. Dealers may offer/can allow test drives and inspections, as well as a cooling off period, which enables you to change your mind between signing your contract and delivery of your vehicle. Purchasing a Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle from a Toyota dealership is the best way to buy with peace of mind.
Inspecting, checking and test driving
Before buying a used car, it pays to do all the necessary background checks like ensuring the logbook is up to date. It also helps to properly inspect the vehicle and of course take a test drive to check if the vehicle is performing well. To find out exactly what you should be looking for, read our quick and easy used car inspection and test drive guide.
A Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle means peace of mind
You may have heard the term but wondered ‘What is a certified pre-owned car’? A Certified Pre-Owned Toyota is the best way to buy a used car. It eliminates many of the risks in buying a used car and includes many of the great services and assurances you expect from a new Toyota.
Every Certified Pre-Owned Toyota comes with:
- Full service history
- An independent CarHistory® background check
- 1-year additional Toyota-backed Warranty
- 90 point inspection by Toyota technicians
- 1 year free Toyota Roadside Assist*
- Get Guaranteed Future Value^ with a Toyota Access car loan