Have you ever been to a car yard and felt uncomfortable or pressured into buying a car introduced to you by a dealer? A lot of people prefer dealing with Private Sellers for a range of reasons. Here is your guide to buying a car privately.

Step 1: Find your Car

Using software like carsales.com.au is a great place to start. Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are less attractive as scams are more common and you could be wasting your time.

Using these site’s will leave you spoilt for choice, which can be overwhelming. It is a good idea to start with the type of car you want. Whether it’s a station wagon, sedan or small hatchback, keeping your options open at the start of the search will make it easy to fine tune the search and find your hidden gem!

One way to streamline your search will be to filter out any car’s that have high kilometers travelled “on the clock”. The general rule of thumb is vehicles usually travel around 10,000km’s per year. So, if the car is 5 years old it should have done around 50,000km’s. If the car you’re looking at has more kilometers than this calculation it could negatively affect the overall value. On the other hand, if you find a car with less kilometers than the expected average the car could be hold its value better.


Step 2: Test Driving your Car

Once you’ve shortlisted a few vehicles, it’s time to lock in some time to test drive the car. This is critical as vehicles sold privately do not come with any extended warranties or insurance, meaning you would be buying the car “as is”. It is not uncommon for people to request a Roadworthy Certificate or Safety Inspection Report for peace of mind.

It is also important to complete a PPSR check before visiting. This will give you an indication if there is finance on the vehicle and could affect the sale. These checks usually cost about $15 and can be done through https://www.ppsr.gov.au


Step 3: Buying your Car

Now that you’ve test driven your car and are satisfied with the conditions it’s time to work out a price. Using free software like https://www.redbook.com.au to get a range of prices for your vehicle will help arm you with the tools to get the best deal. If a vendor is selling their car for well over the average price guide, they may have included extras which may need to be included in the cost.

Other costs involved may include Stamp Duty and Registration Transfer Fee’s. This is usually governed by each state so check with your local government site’s.


Other Steps: Buying your Car with Finance

If, like thousands of Aussies, you are buying your car using finance there are a few more things to take into consideration.

  • Check the Car with your financier
    • Most lenders will have rules or limitations about the age and kilometers of the car. They will be very up front about this as most won’t lend against the car if these criteria aren’t met.
  • Tell the Seller
    • You don’t have to disclose everything but to ensure the Anti-Money Laundering Laws aren’t breached the seller will have to provide the following documents
      • Photo ID (for Verification)
      • Bank Account Details (for funds transfer)
      • Registration Certificate (confirming they are the owner of the car)
      • Safety Inspection Report (this is always required but some states require this to change the rego over


Final Thoughts

Most people will only buy a few cars in their lifetime but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be as easy as buying a new pair of jeans. Using resources like Carsales and PPSR can help take the guesswork out of it.

If you don’t have the full amount you’re looking for and need finance, click here to apply for free quote to check your borrowing power.