5 Questions You Must Ask Your Dealership Before Buying a Used Vehicle

When purchasing a used vehicle, there are many things you need to consider and have checked by a professional mechanic.

But where do you start? Here are 5 things you can actually ask the dealership yourself, before you book in your pre-purchase used vehicle inspection.

1. Has an online PPSR check been performed on this vehicle?

The Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) can provide consumers with information about any outstanding money owed on the vehicle, or if the vehicle has been registered as stolen or if the car has previously been written off.

2. What warranty options are available for your used vehicle?

With drivers in Perth and Western Australia trading up their vehicles more frequently, there is a good chance that the used vehicle you’re looking at, is still covered under an extended manufacturer’s warranty, or an aftermarket warranty.

Ask the dealer for this information and then contact the manufacturer directly to discuss the coverage and any options for further extension.

3. Does the used vehicle have its logbook? Is it up to date?

Before booking a pre-purchase inspection, it is important to find out as much as you can about the vehicle’s repair and maintenance history. Ask the dealer for the vehicle logbook and check the service history.

The logbook will date when required maintenance is necessary. Check the sign off on repairs and maintenance and make sure that the dates or odometer reading at those service times match the manufacturer’s requirements. This is particularly important if you’re looking at purchasing or renewing your vehicle warranty, as late repair or maintenance can void your coverage.

4. Can I take the used-car for an extended test drive?

Car dealerships are generally located in busy and densely populated areas. This means that when you take the car for a standard test-drive, you won’t have the opportunity to test the acceleration to and maintenance of high speeds (such as driving on a freeway), or see if the engine is heating up over a longer drive.

An extended test drive will give you the opportunity to check these things, but will also help you decide if car is really is for you. Things to keep in mind when test driving a used vehicle:

  • Does it drive well for you?
  • Is it going to be comfortable for you when you’re on the road for longer periods of time?
  • How does the suspension feel in different driving environments.

5. Does the dealership offer a cooling off period when purchasing a secondhand vehicle?

Investing in a vehicle is a big decision and sometimes, circumstances can change or you may find a vehicle that suits your needs better, after you’ve already committed.

It’s good to know that some dealerships offer a 24 hour cooling off period. This means you could return the vehicle and get your money back within 24 hours after the initial purchase. Just make sure you check the terms with both the dealer, and your loan provider, if you’ve financed your purchase through a loan.