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Home/News/Buying Used Cars-A Simple Guide

Buying Used Cars-A Simple Guide

Buying Used Cars A Simple Guide

Buying used cars can often come with stress and gullibility. Maybe you don't know as much about cars as you would like, but that does not mean you should get a bad deal--especially for a used car. There are a lot of things to consider, like the vehicle history, warranty, and overall price. This is your guide to buying a used car in Perth, Western Australia.

Beginning the Search

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Identify and Set a Budget

Buying a car of any sort is a major purchase, so breaking down a budget and setting your terms before doing anything makes the whole process easier. In fact, this should be the first step since people who buy second-hand vehicles are often looking for cheaper options. The popular advice is that the entire purchase should not cost more than 20 percent of your income. Additionally, used cars often require a bit more maintenance during their use and you should take this into account when setting a budget. Besides the total cost, car buyers should also check for their money limits on monthly payments, the cost of insurance, taking out a loan, and the maintenance costs that are going to most likely accompany the vehicle. Once you consider the different ways money can come out of your pocket during the used car buying process, you can have a better idea of what vehicle to take home.

Make a List of Worthy Makes and Models


After completing the first step of the process (determining budget) you can then move onto selecting your favourite makes and models. Consider making a checklist that contains all your wants and needs in a vehicle.

Hondas and Toyotas are very popular makes, but they often go for a higher price. Meanwhile, Fords and Kias tend to have lower price tags. Still, you should buy a four-wheel vehicle that can check off all the notes on your checklist.

Make a Pros and Cons List

Car buyers often create a pros and cons list when considering which car to purchase. Doing this can speed up the buying process and help you come to a more thought-out and secure decision. Plus, having pros and cons could help give you an accurate idea of the sales price.

Consider Value for What You Get

As a consumer, you should be concerned about how much money you pay for what you get. The worst thing that could happen is you find a great car, pay a decent price, then drive away and you realize that it does not have the features you want or need. Used car dealers typically try to get you to pay more than what is fair so they can get some more money in their pocket. So, ask around and do some research about specific characteristics that could give dealers the advantage to run up the purchase price.

Find the Right Place to Buy Used Cars

Where you buy a used car is also one of the first things to do to prepare for buying a used vehicle. There are multiple ways of getting a used car. While some are more trustworthy than others, it comes down to your comfort level and what kind of car dealer you want to work with. At Westside Auto Wholesale we pride ourselves in providing the best customer experience that is available within the car industry in Perth and Australia.

Private Seller

A common way to buy and sell used vehicles is through the internet--commonly through a private seller. Making the purchase through a private transaction usually gives you a better purchase price because you don't have to deal with dealership fees.

Going with an independent transaction is very simple and straightforward. Basically, you pay and then drive. There can be some complications since there is virtually no regulation involved. For example, you must complete all identification and registration needs. Additionally, the sellers don't have a statutory warranty or coverage for your new car. Therefore, if you experience any issues from your drive home and beyond, you must cover the costs yourself.

There is a great advantage toward a private sale, but there are still many risks. The owner of the car could also be giving you faulty or misleading numbers and facts about the car's history. For this, you should always keep a second eye as you inspect the condition of the vehicle before you end up with it.

Independent Dealer

An independent dealer is a used car dealership that usually operates as a locally owned business. A perk about this kind of dealer is that they can handle the finance and purchase paperwork. With a private dealer, you have to do the process by word of mouth or unofficially without much security. Buying through an independent dealer or Car warehouse such as Westside Auto Wholesale is much more reliable.

Used Car Lots

Also known as used car superstores, used car lots offer a vast selection of vehicles. As a consumer, this is great because you can explore your options. The cars are often in good condition and the buying process is a bit more structured. You also get assistance with paperwork and can even get an extended warranty on purchase.

Once You've Found a Potential Winner

Check Vehicle History

The owner of a used car can only tell you so much about their motor vehicle in order to complete a successful sale. That's why it is critical you research the car's road history. If the report shows that it has gone through a lot of wear and tear, the car is most likely going to need a lot of attention. It is better to know sooner than later, particularly before you are on the road as its new owner.

If you know the car's VIN (vehicle identification number) and the license plate number, then you can do a simple site search on different websites with access to old road records. If you see something you are unsure about, ask the seller. The sellers are not always completely open about the vehicle history. Therefore, you need to be as informed as possible.

Accidents and Damage

When going through the vehicle history, check for accidents and damage. Though this kind of wear and tear is not a total deal-breaker, you should still consider the safety and costs that surround damaged vehicles. Overall, a professional mechanic or inspector can check over these things when they do a final inspection.


Seeing the "one owner" sign is always an attractive slogan to see. However, that does not mean it is always the truth. As a responsible consumer, it is your job to see how many people have bought the specific vehicle. At the end of the day, buying a used car with only one owner can drive up the sales price. Completing this step creates prices and negotiations that are fair.

Title Status

Doing a check for the title status is one of those major tips that could make or break a deal. With this check, you can see if the car has a branded title or if it has been moved around in multiple states. Branded titles typically mean that the car had been declared a total loss and ended up in undesirable situations, including a junk or salvage yard.

Buying a car means you should get the best value for what you get. If you see there is a branded title, you may want to either walk away or ask for a significant price reduction.

Service History

One of the other major tips for used car buying is to check the maintenance or service history. It gives you an accurate idea of how well take care of the vehicle is. Overall, this section can help determine the car's safety.


Many old cars have gone through different phases that may have required a recall. Though open recalls affect the overall safety of the vehicle, it is safe to pick a car with open recalls. You should just be sure that you get the adjustments first before you take the wheel. You can also request the seller makes the adjustments before completing the sale.

Contact the Seller

It is best to do all the vehicle research first before showing interest in the car. This can save you a lot of time by weeding out all the cars with safety and maintenance issues. Once you find a car that catches your interest, contact the seller. They can give you more information. If you still like what you are hearing, then set up a time to check the car out yourself.


Before getting into the motor vehicle, double-check to see that every item on your checklist is there. You should also test out all the buttons, lights, bells, and whistles. Basically, make sure that all is in order. It is also important to make note of the upkeep and overall appearance of the car.

Test Drive

The test drive is often the end-all-be-all of buying a car. When you sit in the seat, check how comfortable it makes you. Inspect how it adjusts and tips to conform to your body. Pay attention also to the noises the car makes when you turn it on. Does the body of the car shake at all? Does the motor sound smooth?

As you go for the test drive, go through a mental checklist of things that could make or break the deal, including manoeuvrability, the power of the motor, the functionality of the windows, and the precision of the steering wheel movements.

Get an Official Inspection

If you are confident in the car you have picked, it is time to have someone else take a look. A third-party mechanic is a bit costly--about $1000 0r $2000--but they can ensure that cars are covered and secure for use. They are able to conduct a thorough inspection and provide advice and tips about the vehicle price, the warranty, and overall safety. There are plenty of mechanics in Perth who can conduct pre-purchase inspections of motor vehicles.

Buying Your Used Car

Negotiate a Fair Transaction

The finance part of buying cars is possibly the trickiest. Before you begin a negotiation, look up how much money someone else bought the same or similar car for in Perth, Western Australia. This can guide you to a fair price and a reasonable warranty. Ultimately, you want a number that is satisfying for both you and the seller--though this can take a long period of time. Thanks to our huge buying power and stock range we are able to offer the best price from the start - NO HAGGLING required at Westside Auto Wholesale.

Complete the Paperwork

After settling on a price for the car, you need to complete the paperwork. Try to be as thorough as possible when reading the fine print. Some salespeople can slip in added costs that you did not agree upon, such as extra money for a statutory warranty.

Buying old cars through a private transaction is a bit more complicated since it requires a bill of sale. Additionally, it does not include a statutory warranty that most purchased cars have. Just make sure you get the proper registration required to drive in Perth, Western Australia.

After Your Sales Purchase


Most often, a statutory warranty comes with a car and its paperwork. All you need to do is sign your name and pay. On the other hand, you are responsible for being covered by car insurance. If you are able, try to purchase the best insurance policy because you have a used vehicle, and they are sometimes less trustworthy than new cars. Ultimately, you and your vehicle need to be covered before enjoying the open road.


Once you have your car, a statutory warranty, and the proper insurance, you may want to consider some add-ons. Things like new paint and upholstery are great to implement when you first purchase the vehicle. Your dealership may offer these services, but they are most likely cheaper at other places.

How Westside Auto Wholesale Can Help

Buying a used car can be a stressful experience, thankfully the team at Westside are Perth's Number one dealer. We have many years of experience in helping people into their next car. We also have over 1500 cars in our Bentley warehouse which gives us a bigger range and better buying power to give you the best price possible. Contact our friendly team today and start your next car-buying experience with us.

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