Buying a used vehicle

Buying a vehicle is an exciting time, but it can also be a time consuming and expensive ordeal if you purchase a 'dud'. Here are some ways you can protect your investment and peace of mind.

Ask an expert

Get the vehicle checked thoroughly by an expert before you buy. Small problems, or wear and tear below the 'skin', can easily become big problems which can cost a lot of money to fix. A pre-purchase inspection is a small investment for peace of mind.

Buy from a licensed motor car trader (LMCT)

LMCTs are obliged by law to guarantee clear title on every car they sell. This means:

  • If the car is found to have been stolen, rebirthed, or has a security registered against it by a finance company, the LMCT must 'make good' the title or, if this cannot be done, provide a full refund
  • The LMCT must provide a three-day cooling off period (in case you change your mind), and a three-month or 5,000km statutory warranty for cars built less than 10 years ago that have also travelled less than 160,000km.

When you buy privately, you have none of these protections. And if you buy trouble you are on your own. For better protection, buy from a VACC LMCT Used Car Dealer.

How do you know if a trader is an LMCT?

Firstly, check for an LMCT number, by law it must be prominently displayed on the premises. If you are still unsure of the trader's legitimacy you can search on the ACCC website. For more information on unlicensed traders or 'backyard bangers', visit the VACC Unlicensed Traders Campaign page.

Better deals: a buyer's guide

For a comprehensive guide to buying a new or used vehicle read the Better Car Deals guide. This guide contains information on insurance, licensed traders, registration, roadworthy certificates, a list of useful contacts and much more.

Better Car Deals guide

Information resources

AFSA has produced a new quick motor vehicle search flyer and three short videos which may be of assistance when purchasing a used car.

Click here to see the Quick Motor Vehicle Search flyer and you can email AFSA if you wish to order quantities of printed stocks (which are free).
Here are the links to three AFSA videos on YouTube that you may wish to use: