Tips on Buying a Used Car in New Zealand

So you are looking to buying your first car or perhaps wanting to upgrade because you have a young family and the current one just doesn’t suit your needs any longer, Whatever the reason, buying a used car in New Zealand can be complicated, like any large investment, you don’t want to make a costly mistake and the worst that can happen when buying a used car is buying a lemon.

There are many factors that must be taken into consideration before making any decision, and it’s important to remember your rights when purchasing privately. There are many platforms that are available to purchase a used car and Pacific Auto Traders Auckland are often asked how they can avoid car buying drama. There are common stories we hear time and time again from our customers, before engaging us, they explain how they have lost thousands by purchasing a car that is riddled with problems and a majority of these transactions are through private sales.

Here we will go through some tips on how to buy a used car safely in NZ:

Do your market research!

Knowing the car price in NZ will save you thousands! Check market value on car dealer websites, car guide sites and car forums. There are many car valuation tools available online that can help give an idea of what your used car is worth so it’s important to do some research before starting negotiations with anyone.

Test Drive and Inspections

It’s important to test drive a car before purchase, the car may seem like a good deal but you really need to try it out and see how it drives for yourself. You can never be too careful when purchasing second hand cars especially if they are from private sellers as there will not be an exchange of warranty. Ensure that you go over documents and make sure the details about the owner of the vehicle matches that on the licence. Normal wear and tear is to be expected but major car damages such as rust or oil leaks should not be taken lightly.

A full car inspection is a must! If you are purchasing from a car dealer, they will normally have their own in-house mechanic available for inspections and test drives so it’s important that you take advantage of this opportunity. Having said that, it is important to be aware that the mechanics are also employed by the dealership so it is also a good idea to bring a friend or family member that you trust with car knowledge to the inspection.

If buying from a private seller, it’s important not to get too attached and ensure your head is in the game when inspecting their car. An independent car tester will be more expensive but they are worth every penny! Their report should include an itemized list of all repairs or faults, so if it is a genuine sale any seller will not oppose to having a qualified mechanic access their vehicle before purchase.

Check service history and documents

It is a good idea to check the vehicle’s service history and other important documents. Has the car been serviced at the dealership or a reputable car service garage? If there is no service history paperwork, then it could mean that car has not had any car servicing and this should sound the alarm bells.

Vehicles that have been serviced regularly will generally be in better condition than those with no service history so it’s important to take note of how old car inspection documents are as well. If possible, check if spare keys exist for the car and registration papers are up to date.

Does the price reflect what is on offer

If a car is on sale for a significantly lower price that it’s competitors, then question if it’s too good to be true. Most of the time this is a red flag and the cheap price is often there to drive up interest to cover up something more sinister. Perhaps the car has been in an major accident before or has been written off or covering up a mechanical failure that is expensive to repair.

Can you afford the increase your budget and purchase a more modern vehicle

There is no doubt that buying a used car privately is cheaper than buying brand new or buying used from a dealer. However, there are also risks involved when buying used and the older the car, the more risks you take on. If you are thinking of buying a used car more than 10 years old, then it is recommended that you understand what to look out for, otherwise we recommend purchasing a car 2-3 years old in order to minimize risks.

How can we help you?

We specialize in buying cars online like buy car, car to buy and car for sale. We know what it’s like when wanting that perfect car or truck so if you would like some tips on how to purchase your next used vehicle feel free to contact us.