Tips on buying a used car


Woman receiving car keysYou have been looking for ages and finally you’ve found The One. The Perfect Car. All that’s standing between you and your dream set of wheels is some money. And a contract. And a few safeguards…

Buying a used car comes with a few possible traps so it’s important to do your homework carefully before handing over your hard-earned money. Some of the important things to do include:

  • Inspect it carefully. Ideally, examine the car outdoors in broad daylight – it will help to show up any flaws that could be missed a night in dimmer lighting. The New Zealand Transport Agency has a great checklist if things to look for, which includes rust, a recent paint job, worn shock absorbers, balding tyres, alignment of all bodywork panels, leaks, a functioning dashboard and a clean engine. There are other things and more detail listed here.
  • Get an inspection. Even if you think it all looks fabulous, make sure you get a professional opinion at your local (or another) garage. Also, make sure the vehicle has a current warrant of fitness and take a look at the service and repair history of the car.
  • Complete all the paperwork correctly. As a buyer you’ll need to compete a notice of acquisition – and the seller will need to complete a notice of disposal.  Make sure all paperwork is correctly competed before you hand over your money.
  • Organise insurance. Motor vehicle insurance is vitally important – to financially protect both yourself and others. Find out more here.


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