Get our top ten tips

Here are our top ten tips for helping you buy the right vehicle:

Buy the car that best suits your needs and your budget. Always research the market first so that you know what to expect in terms of value for money. 
Visit our car selector to help narrow down what you’re looking for. 
Shop around for competitive finance before going car shopping. Never accept a loan or finance agreement just because it’s quick, easy or convenient. The interest rate may be much higher than what you could get from other providers. Where possible you should consider obtaining finance before hand or be aware of rates of finance available before you visit a dealership.
It is risky to buy from an unlicensed dealer or a private seller. They are unregulated and there is little legal protection in the event of a problem. Licensed dealers must offer a cooling-off period and Statutory Warranty on most used vehicles they sell. Always make sure the vehicle actually exists, is available and meets your expectations. It is buyer beware when buying a car, to find out more about how you can protect your interests, contact RACQ’s Motoring Advice Service
Choose a car with a high ANCAP or Used Car Safety Rating and comprehensive safety features.
Always have a used car inspected by a qualified mechanic before you buy it. A safety certificate or Statutory Warranty isn’t a substitute for a vehicle inspection. Make an independent inspection part of the contract and make sure the wording allows you the right not to purchase if the inspection is unsatisfactory. Most importantly don’t accept the car unless you are satisfied with its condition.
Ignore any promise, warranty or guarantee that isn’t in writing as it is difficult to enforce.
If buying privately, check the Personal Property Security Register online or by phoning 1300 007 777 to determine if there is any money owing on the vehicle or if it is listed as stolen or written off. The search certificate will also provide information about the vehicle's features that should be confirmed to ensure it's the correct vehicle. If there is money owing on the vehicle, don’t buy it if there is any doubt it won’t be paid as you will not get clear title to the vehicle and it could be repossessed.
Never sign an incomplete contract. Always read and be sure you understand it before signing. Also be sure it is the car you want, can afford and that it is in  a condition you will accept. 

With new vehicles, specify the car’s colour and delivery date on the contract. If a dealer does not deliver as agreed, depending on the terms of sale the contract may be terminated and deposit money refunded, particularly if the deficiency cannot be appropriately remedied by the dealer. 

If the dealer's standard contract does not make provision for your specific requirements then you may need to insist on certain wording being inserted into the contract to protect your interests.

Always get a copy of any contract, warranty documents and for used vehicles, the safety certificate. Remember to check the safety certificate is current, has sufficient remaining life to complete the registration transfer and all vehicle details are correct

Compulsory Third Party insurance (CTP) is part of your car's registration in Queensland, but you’ll need more protection. CTP insurance only covers personal injuries sustained by passengers in your vehicle, not at fault drivers and other users. CTP Insurance does not cover damage caused to or by your vehicle. You should have Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance or Third Party Property insurance as well. 

Learn more about insurance.

We'd like to hear from you

Do you have questions or comments about the motoring advice and information provided on this page?

Email us your feedback now

You may also be interested in...