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Posted by on Jul 29, 2010 | 0 comments |

Tips for Buying Used Cars

It’s a common practice for backpackers in Australia and New Zealand to buy used cars to travel and explore the life there during their stay.

Being foreigners, however, they are not familiar with the local practices and could turn into easily be ripped-off. offers some helpful tips on how to get the right car and how to avoid being lied to.

  1. Budget. You should not forget to include the charges that will apply additionally to the car price, such as registration, insurance, basic maintenance and gas. So, don’t fall for the first offer. Shop around to find the best rate.
  2. Research. Doing some research before buying a used car is essential. In order to figure out whether the given price of a car is realistic, research the model in local newspapers, and online. Also, when the car price is way too low for the particular model, then there is likely something wrong with the car.
  3. Talk to the seller. Make sure you ask a lot of questions such as: why are they selling the car; how long have they had it for; what condition is it in; has it been damaged, etc.
  4. Look at the car. If it’s a private seller, not a dealer, make sure you go to their home address, instead of arranging a different place to meet. Compare the home address with the one on the registration certificate.
  5. Car’s history. Always check the car history to make sure the car is not stolen, for example. Ask for the VIN number and search through databases of the state where the car was registered. In some states you can pay a fee and have that done, which will save you time and money.
  6. Check the car. This is an extremely important part of the process, and you have to be very cautious. If you don’t have the knowledge and experience, just take the car to a specialist to do it for you.
  7. Test drive.
  8. The price. In most cases you have a real chance to reduce the price. You can make a list with the problems of the car that need to be fixed, and calculate the expenses that could add to the price. Then, start negotiating – you can ask what the seller’s best price is, and then you make a lower offer. If the seller doesn’t accept it, he can either name another price or hold on to the initial one.
  9. Paperwork. Make sure that you have the original copies of the papers. When making the payment, always ask for the receipt.



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