Finding a used car dealer in Australia
With so many scams and dodgy deals, it’s hard to know the safest and best places to find a used car in Australia
Buying a car is an emotional decision. The desire to get a different car is because your current car is on its last legs, or maybe it’s your first time buying a car and you can’t afford a new one.
A used—or pre-owned—car is often the more affordable, practical solution for those who don’t want to take out a hefty new loan for a new car. But how do you know which car dealer is going to give you the best deal?
Finding a used car dealer is the first step: here are 6 pieces of advice
Talk with friends and family who recently bought a pre-owned car. Ask them what they thought of the dealer they bought from, and if they’re happy with the deal they got.
There are plenty of websites, and mobile apps that aggregate used car sellers. Like looking for a new home, car websites allow you to narrow your search down by price, make and model as well as location. An example of this is Cars Guide.
Once you find a dealer you like the look of, do a bit of social proofing. Google their name and the word review after it to see what comes up.
2. Why you will want to do a price comparison
Did you know that used (pre-owned) car retail is actually the most profitable segment of the car selling industry? The average profit percentage on a used (pre-owned) car is around 15% compared to the 3 to 5% on new cars and 10% on near-new cars.
This is why you should avoid accepting the first offer you come across. It might sound good, but chances are you’re thinking about it emotionally rather than practically. Doing multiple price comparisons is a great way of ensuring you get the best deal for what you want and need.
3. Importance of contacting the dealership
Keep in mind not everyone consistently updates their website or their other online listings. It’s always a good timer-saver to email or call a dealership to make sure the car—and the quoted price online—are available at the dealership.
4. Book in a test drive
The car might look good, the price might sound right—but how does the car handle? And how comfortable do you feel behind the wheel?
You’re always going to feel a little discomfort behind the wheel of a different car—especially if it’s a manual and you’ve got to get a feel for the clutch.
Scheduling a test drive to ensure the car is what you want and that you’re comfortable driving it should not be considered optional.
If the dealership won’t let you test drive the car, be wary—if it’s in working order, then they should have no problem sending a salesperson with you for a test drive.
5. Necessity of a car history report
A car history report is another necessary part of buying a used (pre-owned) car.Speedometers can be dialled back anddocuments altered or “lost”. Knowing the car’s history—the car’s mileage, registration, whether it has been stolen or written off—is vital information to know before the sale.
To get a car history report there are two things you can do. Firstly, visit the dealership and inspect the car as well as ask for the car’s history from the dealership.
The second thing you can—and should do—is go online and do an affordable car history report. Between what the dealer tells you and what an impartial car history report will tell you, you’ll have plenty of information to make an informed, secure buying decision.
6. Browse around dealerships
The best way to find used car dealership in an area is to search car sites around that area.
For example: if you’re looking for the best used car dealers in Sydney, there are at least two websites you should visit. Cars Guide and Car Sales: with these websites you can type in the make and model of your car and then choose the location. If you’re unsure of which suburb, you can choose by your suburb, or type in your suburb and pick how far you’re willing to travel to look at cars.
Using a directory like Cars Guide or Car Sales will help you to narrow down exactly what you want—you can even narrow your search down by the amount of KMs the car has already done.
Don’t let a used car salesperson convince you that some suburbs are terrible places to buy cars. It’s not the suburbs you’ve got to worry about, it’s the quality, and condition, of the car.
Having said that, when it comes to pricing you want to be able to get a good deal on a used (pre-owned) car. High-density population areas, or areas where population growth is booming are not necessarily the places you’re going to get a good deal.
Especially since dealerships in these areas will typically have a high turnover rate and so won’t feel the need to haggle on price. If you are looking for a good deal, then ideally you will want to go to smaller suburbs where the number of cars sold is a lot less.
Finding the right used car dealer: find the right car
Finding the right car for you is easier than ever before. However, there is a lot to consider before buying that next car. And there’s a lot you should do before you take the leap with your emotional decision.
Askingaround for reviews or car dealerships, checking online reviews, and research price as well as quality is really important. So too is a car history report. Know the history of the car, and you’ll know if it’s a safe and sensible buying decision.