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How to Buy a Car

There is an ever increasing range of methods one can employ when buying a car in Australia. Historically hitting the tarmac and going from car yard to car yard was pretty much the only avenue open to most car buyers. Dealing with slippery salespeople and spending mutiple weekends trudging around the car dealerships was pretty much the standard course of action for any prospective car buyer.

Now, however, there are other options which are well worth considering. Some may save you time and/or money, others may save you hassle and aggravation whilst other options simply might not suit your particular requirements. In any case, we’ve put together a list of the top ways to buy a new car in Australia!

  • OK number one way to buy a car? Use a car buying service! Of course there may be some bias but if you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense… using an expert in the industry, someone who has buying power and ongoing relationships with car dealers should only be of benefit to the buyer. If you do decide to buy car through a buying service, make sure you check out their credentials including licensing, how long they’ve been around and whether they are recommended by trusted institutions.
  • Car auctions. Of course this option is only available if you want top buy a used car but can be a great method for getting a good deal. The obvious pitfalls include not being able to take your time to fully inspect and test-drive and being forced to compete in a competitive environment. This option is only recommended for seasoned car buyers.
  • Car dealers. Dealers will generally stock a wide range of vehicles (including both new and used cars) and this is often the best way to actually get a feel for the type of cars available before you buy. The downside is that dealers need to be able to afford all those flashy, shiny cars and maintain a pristine looking dealership – they do this by maximising their profit in each car you buy. However saying that, as long as you’re prepared to negotiate and have done your homework, car dealers can be a great way to secure that new set of wheels.
  • Private purchase. Again this only applies to used car buyers and can result in an extremely satisfactory buying experience or.. a horror story! Whilst private sellers will often advertise prices that look like a great buy, cars may not be always what they seem! Completely unregulated and genuinely convinced that their car is superior to the rest of the market, all to often the reality doesn’t quite match the sales pitch. The key with car buying privately, is to take a healthy dose of scepticism along with you, take your time, pay for an independent inspection and REVs check and shop around.
  • Other methods… can you buy car online? Not in Australia as yet but no doubt this will eventually change. Car Supermarkets are big overseas but franchising restrictions have reduced the impact of this type of car buying downunder. Buying ex-lease cars, buying from informal road side "gatherings" and buying through importing are all possibilities but should probably be left as a last resort.