Buying a used car at an auction
Buying a used car from an auction may get you a significant bargain, but the downside is that you usually can’t test drive it before purchase. This could make the buying process risky, as you don’t have the opportunity to get a ‘feel’ for the vehicle. You can still arrange an inspection with a mechanic, but it can’t happen on auction day.
Buying a used car through a private seller
If you choose to buy from a private seller, you may have a better opportunity to negotiate on price and get a better deal, but are unlikely to get an after-sale warranty. Remember that this sale is not governed by the same regulations as buying from a dealership and may carry more risk. If you’d like to know the average market price of the used car you’re looking at, use a car valuations website to get a better idea.
Used car history and mechanical report
You may want to get an independent mechanical assessment before purchasing a used vehicle. A qualified mechanic will be able to give you reliable information about any risks and the vehicle’s worth. As well as an independent mechanical assessment, you should note down the VIN number for the vehicle and request a car history report (otherwise known as a REVS check or PPSR report). A comprehensive PPRS Report can include a car price guide, whether the car has ever been stolen or written off, whether the odometer reading is correct, and further information about the used car’s safety and emission ratings.