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Buying a used car? These are the five questions you need to ask your dealer

A used car can offer a major discount, but buyers need to make sure they’re getting a good deal. Image: Getty
A used car can offer a major discount, but buyers need to make sure they’re getting a good deal. Image: Getty

Car salesmen have held the position of the least-trusted profession in Australia since Roy Morgan began measuring this way back in 1976.

That’s more than 40 years.

And while it’s an impressive feat, if you’re in the market for a used car, it may not be a comforting figure.

Source: These are the main findings of a Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the nights of May 22-24, 2017, with 648 Australian men and women aged 14 and over.
Source: These are the main findings of a Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the nights of May 22-24, 2017, with 648 Australian men and women aged 14 and over.

But luckily there are five easy questions that will help you understand if you’re being sold a lemon by a used-car dealer, finder.com.au has revealed.

“Where did the vehicle come from?”

This is a good place to start, and the question will help prospective buyers understand the maintenance required in the future.

Second-hand traders are required to display information about the car’s manufacture, warranty details and odometer, but if buyers want information, the NRMA CarHistory Report shares information about what the car’s odometer reading should be, its safety rating, if the car has been stolen and any previous sale listings.

“Can I see the log book?”

This is one of the most important questions: the log book will highlight any interesting details about the vehicles industry like breakdowns or accidents. The log book will also include how frequently the car has been serviced. If periods between servicing are longer than six months, buyers might want to rethink the purchase.

“How long is the warranty?”

Buyers don’t want to run into major servicing issues early without a warranty, so the warranty is a crucial consideration.

Warranties tend to vary across makes and models and dealerships, so buyers need to make sure they’re getting the best deal and coverage for them.

“What are my financing options?”

Not all cars are created equal, and the same goes for car loans. And while it can be easy to just purchase the loan suggested by a dealer, this may not be the best option and can end up costing much more.

That’s why buyers need to consider taking out a loan through a bank or financier, finder.com.au recommended.

“Is this the best you can do?”

These are the seven magic words – buyers just need to be brave enough to say them.

It helps if buyers have done their research and even visited a few dealerships. As finder.com.au explained, if a dealer sees that a buyer knows what they’re talking about, they’re more likely to offer a better deal or at least throw in some accessories.

Bonus tip:

Come prepared with questions. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, but being prepared will help ensure buyers don’t forget their important questions.

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