3 Tips for Buying a Used Car

Here are a few tips to help you purchase wisely when considering a used car.

1. Stick to your budget

First things first, know exactly what your budget is. Your budget may be dictated by the amount you have saved or could be supplemented by borrowing. Working to a realistic budget reduces your disappointment from finding that all your dream cars are out of your price range, and it also helps speed up your search by narrowing your options.

If you haven’t got the full amount saved up, don’t fret, because Police Bank offers car loans both at fixed and variable rates. We also offer a special Greenrate if you’re an eco-warrior and are buying an environmentally-friendly car.

2. Take it for a spin

When buying a car, used or new, from a dealer or private, you will want to take it for a test drive. As used cars have aged you need to be more vigilant with finding defects.

Apart from the external and internal condition of the vehicle, check for smells, leaks and that it starts easily. If you hear a weird sound coming from any part of the car, that should be raising red flags.

When you’re driving, take the car through all sorts of traffic and conditions to run it through its paces. The last thing you want is for the car to stall when you’re trying to get up a hill.

Even if the car seems to be OK after your test drive, it pays to also get an independent, licensed mechanic to inspect it.

3. Dig a little deeper

Firstly, make sure that all the paperwork is in order – the owner’s driver’s licence information should be exactly the same on the registration papers.

Check the car’s “service book” to see how often and when the car was last serviced. A car which has been inspected well is more likely to be in good condition.

If buying privately, you should also get the car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) and run it through the Personal Property Security Register to check if there are any outstanding debts on the car. Being stuck with someone else’s loan is not fun. The register can also tell you if the car has been stolen or written off.