More than meets the eye when buying used cars
AS WITH most big purchases nowadays, most of us do our research and decision-making online rather than rely on a salesperson's advice.
It makes sense when it comes to buying a car, because you get a good feel for value when tens of thousands are advertised online.
Prices will vary greatly and you might find a number of private sales that are cheaper than purchasing through a dealer.
But there's a catch (or several).
About half of all cars sold in Queensland are bought privately but there are risks involved if you aren't familiar with the pitfalls.
The benefit of buying from a dealer is that the car comes with a number of guarantees. The most important of these are that it has no financial encumbrance, a clear title and a statutory warranty.
On the other hand, private sellers don't need to provide evidence the vehicle is debt-free or that it wasn't previously written off, so unless you do those checks yourself you run the risk of financial disaster. It's more common than you think.
There are advantages to buying privately but keep in mind the golden rule, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.
Regardless of where you buy your car, remember that Safety Certificates are only a basic indicator of mechanical health, so always get an independent RACQ vehicle inspection.
For a full list of do's and don'ts, visit racq.com.au