Checklist for car buyers | RACQ

March 6, 2023
Follow these tips for a better car-buying experience: 

Get a PPSR check 

Before you hand over your hard-earned cash, make sure you get a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) car history check. This will tell you if your vehicle is debt-free and safe from repossession. 

Take the car for a test drive 

Make sure you take the car for a decent test drive over a range of different road conditions and speeds to ensure it drives and feels right.  

Before test driving any car, find out who is liable if an accident happens during the test drive and decide if you’re prepared to take the risk of possible financial responsibility. 

If a private seller refuses to let you test drive a car, walk away. There are plenty of cars on the market and it simply isn’t worth the risk. 

Bring along someone who has knowledge of cars 

If you don’t trust your own knowledge, bring someone who knows what they’re doing. You can also get a vehicle inspection from RACQ, which includes a comprehensive report on the car’s condition and notes any repairs that might be just around the corner. 

Check the service history 

If you can find a car that has a complete service history with it, then you’ll have a better idea what it's been through and what work has been done.  

Are there any illegal modifications? 

It can be extremely difficult to identify illegal modifications, so your best bet is to ensure you have a vehicle Inspection done on any vehicle you are keen to buy. You could be fined if your car has illegal modifications, the car could be impounded, and it could affect your ability to insure the car. 

Get insurance  

Before you drive away in your new set of wheels, make sure you’re insured. Many insurance companies will provide you with a cover note which gives you a short-term policy that covers the car as you drive it home.  

Do your paperwork 

If you’re buying privately, you'll need to submit the following items to the Department of Transport and Main Roads within 14 days of your purchase:

If you buy your new car from a dealer, they will lodge the documents with the Department of Transport and Main Roads for you. 

Avoiding a lemon

Just because a car looks good, doesn’t mean it’s in good mechanical order. 

It might look good from the outside, but that doesn’t mean everything is working properly.  

In Queensland, Safety Certificates are required by law to transfer a vehicle's registration. But make sure you know the difference between a Safety Certificate inspection and an RACQ vehicle inspection. 

Safety certificate inspections 

A safety certificate inspection is a basic safety check. It doesn’t identify every potentially serious and costly fault. So, a used car can have a valid safety certificate, but still need major repairs. 

RACQ vehicle inspections 

An RACQ vehicle inspection is more like a car health check. It checks for the current condition of the car and identifies major problems. For information or to book go to RACQ vehicle inspections.

Find out why RACQ Car Insurance is made for Queenslanders

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