July 2018


Things to note when purchasing from a used car dealer

In the second-hand car market, there can be many unscrupulous dealers out there who are looking to scam their potential clients through a variety of tactics: tweaking the car’s odometer, selling a car with major mechanical issues, inflating their after-service rates, and even claiming that the car is in a pristine condition when it is actually not. The list of underhand tactics is exhaustive, but here are some tips to ensure that you find the right dealer.

Looking for specific brands

Some dealers specialised in certain brands of cars that they are familiar with, or they have a partnership with the specific brand and are able to get preferential services like flexible financing, breakdown assistance, servicing by the brand’s mechanics, etc. If you are looking specifically for a Toyota car, it would be best to find a used car dealer that is affiliated to them. It would also mean they tend to pay more attention to the cars they are taking in, as they have to maintain the brand’s reputation and trust placed in them.

Reputation of the company

When looking for a used car dealer, the reputation of a company matters and it can determine whether a consumer can purchase a car from the company without encountering any dodgy sales tactics. In Canberra, cars for sale can be found almost everywhere, but look for a company that has a huge inventory, locations that they have set up shop in, the range of financing options, and even the online reviews. All these factors point to a positive business model if they are able to garner such support from their previous clients.

Financing options

If you cannot afford to pay for a car in full, look out for the various financing options offered by the dealer. This could be an in-house loan (where they offer it on their own accord), a loan from a financial institution such as a bank or a private money lender. Compare the down payment required, interest rates, terms of repayment and tenure to ensure that you are financially comfortable to own a car.

Extra services

Dealers which go the extra mile for their clients will often leave a lasting impression on them. These services could include little things like providing a VIP breakdown assistance service, free accommodation for one night or a one-way flight to the dealer’s location if the client is staying in another state and wishes to collect the car himself. Providing a detailed 100-point mechanical inspection will also give the client a peace of mind in knowing that their car has been checked thoroughly. 

Heading down to the dealer

The rise of the Internet has allowed businesses to increase their productivity through this medium, and a used car company is not an exception. Most of the time when a client has sold (or traded in) his car to the dealer, there will be a period where the car will be sitting in the garage or workshop, waiting to be checked by the mechanics. In this downtime, the dealer will not post any advertisements on the website till they have further information on the condition of the car. In some cases, heading down to the physical location of the shop to enquire about a used car coming in may see yourself snagging a good deal.

Purchasing a used car can either be a good deal or a nightmare for you, especially if you have bought a lemon car that has been falsely advertised by a dishonest dealer. Do the necessary research and homework beforehand to ensure that you do not seem gullible to the dealer. If necessary, bring along a trusted mechanic will be able to ascertain that the car is in an acceptable condition.

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