If you live in Adelaide and are looking buy a used car, there’s a lot to consider. Buying used cars is often harder than buying new. Buying used cars requires a lot of forethought and research if you want to make sure you’re getting the right deal. Whether you’re in Adelaide, Unley or the hills, we’ll show you the best insights into finding the best used car for you.

1. Set a budget

With everything in life, we can’t always get what we want. We can, however, budget consciously and get a used car that we truly need. Figure out how much you’re able to spend on a used car as well as its upkeep, insurance and other extras like repairs. Then you’ll be ready to take a look at the Adelaide used cars for sale market. Some of the larger markets such as Adelaide Vehicle Centre in Cheltenham can show you hundreds of cars all on the one lot.

2. Decide if you want a certified used or not

Did you know that not all used cars are created equal? Sure, all used cars may have had a prior owner, but some cars come “certified pre-owned” or certified used. These are usually later models and are refurbished by dealers. They have lower Kms than most other used cars and may also have a manufacturer’s warranty attached. It’s worth looking into if you want to buy used without going through the rigmarole of buying privately.

3. Buying private? Ask plenty of questions

If you are buying privately and you have a shortlist of cars to choose from, you should meet the seller in person to ask a lot of questions. You should ask questions about ownership: how many owners has the car had? Does it have any existing damage? What is its repair history? The owner should have an up to date logbook and its service history. This will show you straight away how well the car is maintained. You should also ask for the roadworthy certificate and other registration papers.

4. Inspect the car

You should also inspect the engine for rust and build-ups and the bodywork for any obvious signs of wear. If you want an independent evaluation, ask a knowledgeable friend, mechanic or RAA representative to help. You should also check the Vehicle Identification Number against the Personal Property Securities Register to ensure it’s not stolen or a write-off. You should also check the registration with Transport SA if that’s all in order.

5. Test drive – always

You won’t know how well a used car handles without test driving first. You should test drive it around corners, straights and in all kinds of speeds from backstreets to highways. This way you’ll know if there are any obvious mechanical or electrical problems. You may also feel for quirks such as under/oversteer, brake wear and acceleration issues. Use the time to check if all the internals are working, such as the A/C, sound system and so on. It’s definitely worth it if you want to make certain you’re buying something that won’t break down after you drive off – especially if you’re buying from a private seller.

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