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You’re looking for a used car in Caboolture but don’t want to buy a lemon. You’re wondering if you can spend less than you would on a new car while still getting something safe and reliable. It is, but you must be prepared to do some research.

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you find a used cars brisbane you’ll love for years – and kilometres – to come.

Before you buy a used car

Take your time and do your research on the various makes and models, and keep the following in mind:

  • Your financial situation. Determine how much you can afford to spend. The Red Book will advise you on the value of the vehicle or vehicles you are considering based on their year and model.
  • Your requirements. What will you do with the car? If you mostly drive in the city, a four-wheel drive vehicle is unnecessary.
  • Safety. Examine the used car safety ratings, which are based on actual accidents.
  • Security. How simple is it to steal or break into the vehicle? What security features does the vehicle have? Check the car security ratings provided by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
  • Insurance premiums. These will differ depending on the model. Get some quotes after you’ve narrowed down your options.
  • Environment. Examine the vehicle’s fuel consumption and emissions rating. The Green Vehicle Guide can assist you in this regard.
  • Private sale, auction, or dealer Choose where and how you want to purchase the vehicle. See what we have to say about these alternatives later in this article.
  • Regulations. Check your state or territory’s regulations for buying and selling used cars, including how to ensure the car is free of debt. This is covered in greater detail later in the article.

Going shopping

  • If you are unsure about inspecting the vehicle yourself, you can arrange for an independent expert inspection through your state’s motoring organisation. This is usually not possible if you buy at auction.
  • If you find a car that meets your requirements, make sure it is free of debt. If you purchase the car from a dealer, they are legally required to guarantee that it is debt-free. Check the national Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) for private sales – this has replaced numerous existing asset registers across Australia, including the Register of Encumbered Vehicles or REVS. Make a note of the vehicle identification number (VIN) or chassis number. There is a small fee of a few dollars per search, which can be paid with Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.
  • Don’t sign anything until you’re completely satisfied with the car and its price.
  • Inquire about the vehicle’s history, such as how many previous owners it has had. Has it been in any accidents? What is the range? What is the cost of filling the tank? Is the vehicle currently insured and registered? What kind of security features does it have?

Following the sale

  • Arrange insurance after you’ve purchased the vehicle and before you drive it anywhere.
  • Transfer ownership of the registration to you. This is usually required within a few days of purchasing the vehicle.

Dealer, auction, or private transaction?

The Advantages of Buying from a Dealer

Purchasing a used car from a dealer is typically more expensive than purchasing privately, but there are some advantages:

  • They are required to provide a statutory warranty in some states and under certain conditions. This can frequently exclude parts such as the radio, air conditioning, and battery, so make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered.
  • They must guarantee that no money is owed on the car.
  • They are usually required to display a form on the dashboard or windscreen that contains basic information such as the year of manufacture, odometer reading, and warranty details.
  • You can exchange your old vehicle.

What to Think About When Buying at an Auction

You might be able to get a good deal at an auction, but you really need to know about used cars in Caboolture and their values.

  • An inspection or even a test drive is usually not possible.
  • You’ll have to rely solely on visual checks.
  • Because auctions differ from state to state, you should check with the auction house about warranty and money owed.

What to do when buying a used car on your own

Buying a car privately is usually less expensive than buying from a dealer, but you have to rely on your own judgement a lot more because you won’t have any protection like statutory warranty.

  • If you’re not sure, have the vehicle inspected by your state’s motor vehicle authority.
  • Call the vehicle title registry or REV’s in the state where the car is registered to see if there is any money owed on it.

Car markets are very similar to private sales. They bring private sellers and buyers together in one location, allowing you to look at a variety of vehicles without having to drive all over town. You won’t be able to have the car inspected on the same day, but you should be able to go for a test drive.

What to look for when purchasing a used car

When inspecting a car, there is a lot to look at. It’s a good idea to bring someone with you because two heads are always better than one. Also, inspect the vehicle in broad daylight, where marks, dents, and other flaws are easily visible. Here’s a checklist to get you started:


  • Make certain that the seller is the owner in a private sale. Request to see their driver’s licence and compare the information to the registration papers.
  • Examine the car’s compliance plate, which is usually located on the firewall between the engine compartment and the interior.
  • Compare the VIN number, date of manufacture, engine number (which is stamped on the engine) and number plates on the registration papers. If any of the information does not match, request an explanation. It could indicate that the vehicle was stolen or that the engine was replaced without notifying the registration authority.
  • Check to see if you are entitled to a certificate of roadworthiness. In some states, the seller is required to provide it.


  • Examine the paintwork for bubbles and colour variations that could indicate rust or an accident. Check suspicious areas for body filler with a fridge magnet; the magnet will not stick to filler.
  • Panels that do not appear to fit properly, as well as doors, the boot, the lid, and windows that do not open and close properly, can indicate that the vehicle has been in an accident.
  • Examine the tyres, including the spare, for sufficient tread (at least 3-4mm) and uneven wear (which can show a problem with the steering or suspension).
  • Look for oil leaks under the car.

Under the hood

  • Examine the dipstick. Grey or milky oil could be an indication of serious engine problems.
  • Remove the radiator cap and inspect the coolant. It should be colourful and spotless. The presence of oil in the coolant can also indicate serious engine problems.
  • Check for corrosion and other damage to the radiator cooling fans, as well as the battery and its mounting platform.


  • Examine the upholstery, trim, and carpets for signs of wear.
  • Check the condition of the seatbelts.
  • Check to see if the seats are still comfortable.
  • Check that all lights, equipment, and accessories (such as air conditioning, windshield wipers, power windows, wing mirrors, spare tyre, central locking, and a car radio) are present and functional.
  • Look for rust under the carpet if possible, and don’t forget to check the boot.
  • Check that the jack and toolkit are in good working order.
  • If necessary, request the security PIN for the car radio.

Begin the engine.

  • Start the engine and let it idle with the bonnet open.
  • When starting the engine and idling, keep an eye out for exhaust fumes.
  • Excessive exhaust noise can indicate rust and the need for a new muffler.
  • Look for any unusual engine noises, such as rattling or knocking.
  • Look for any indications of leaks.
  • Remove the oil filler cap: fumes could indicate engine trouble.

On the highway

  • Take a test drive in the car, preferably on quiet roads where you can concentrate on the car rather than on the traffic. Before you go, make sure the car is adequately insured, and take your time – one lap around the block isn’t enough.
  • Check that the engine runs smoothly when cruising, accelerating, and decelerating on flat and uphill roads.
  • All of the gears should shift smoothly up and down.
  • Keep an eye on the dashboard for any warning lights and the temperature gauge.
  • Driving over speed humps is a good way to check for rattling or other body noises.
  • Check the exhaust for smoke – accelerating uphill is a good test.
  • There should be no more than 5cm of play in the steering wheel.
  • On a straight road, let go of the steering wheel to see if the car pulls to one side, which could indicate a problem with the suspension or misaligned steering.
  • Check the brakes several times (checking for traffic behind you first). The car should not pull to one side, and the brake pedal should be firm to the touch.
  • How is the rear visibility? The IAG Reversing Visibility Index will come in handy.

What kind of warranty do I get when I buy a used car? Is there a waiting period?

For the sale of used cars in Caboolture, each state and territory has its own set of rules. For more information, contact your state’s motoring organisation, fair trading, or consumer affairs department.

ACT Warranty – When you buy a car from a dealer, it comes with a three-month or 5000km statutory warranty if it is less than ten years old and hasn’t travelled more than 160,000km (whichever occurs first)

Cooling off period – After signing the purchase agreement, you have three days to cancel it. If you wish to cancel the contract during the cooling-off period, you must do so in writing, and the dealer may charge you $100 or 1% of the purchase price, whichever is greater.

Northern Territory Warranty – When purchased from a dealer, a car that is less than ten years old and has travelled less than 160,000 kilometres is covered by a three-month or 5000 km statutory warranty (whichever happens first). The same warranty applies to a motorcycle that is under five years old and has travelled less than 30,000 kilometres.

Cooling-off period – The Northern Territory has no cooling-off period.

NSW Warranty – When you buy a car from a dealer, it comes with a three-month or 5000km statutory warranty if it is less than ten years old and hasn’t travelled more than 160,000km (whichever occurs first). This is also true for demonstrator vehicles.

Cooling-off period – Once you’ve signed the purchase agreement, you have a one-day cooling-off period, but only if you also arrange credit with the dealer. If you decide to withdraw from the deal during the cooling-off period, you must provide written notice; otherwise, the dealer may charge you $250 or 2% of the car’s value, whichever is less.

Queensland Warranty – There are two types of warranties in Queensland:

Class A: If the vehicle has fewer than 160,000km and is less than 10 years old, car dealers in Queensland are required to provide a three-month or 5000km (whichever comes first) statutory warranty.

Class B: There is a one-month or 1000km (whichever comes first) statutory warranty if the car has travelled more than 160,000km or is more than ten years old.

Cooling-off period – After signing the purchase agreement, you have a one-day cooling-off period. A non-refundable deposit of no more than $100 may be charged by the dealer. You must cancel the contract in writing if you wish to do so.

South Australia Warranty – When you buy from a dealer, you will receive statutory warranty from the date of purchase. If the car costs between $3001 and $6000, it is covered for the first 3000km or two months, whichever comes first. If the vehicle costs more than $6000, it is covered for the first 5000 kilometres or three months, whichever comes first.

Cooling-off period – When purchasing from a dealer, you have a two-day cooling-off period. If you decide to cancel your purchase within the cooling-off period, the dealer is entitled to keep the non-refundable portion of your deposit ($100 or 2%, whichever is less).

Tasmania Warranty – When purchased from a dealer, a car that is less than seven years old and has travelled less than 120,000km is covered by a three-month or 3000km statutory warranty (whichever occurs first). The same warranty applies to motorcycles, trikes, or scooters that have travelled fewer than 150,000 kilometres and are less than three years old.

There is no cooling-off period once you have signed the purchase agreement.

Victoria Warranty – When you buy a car from a dealer, it comes with a three-month or 5000km (whichever comes first) statutory warranty if it is less than ten years old and has travelled less than 160,000km.

Cooling-off period – When purchasing from a dealer, you have three business days after signing the purchase agreement to cancel the transaction. If you change your mind within the three-day period, you must notify the dealer in writing. They are allowed to keep a portion of the deposit ($100 or 1% of the purchase price, whichever is greater).

Western Australia Warranty – When you buy a car from a dealer, it comes with a three-month or 5000km statutory warranty if it is less than ten years old and has travelled no more than 150,000km (whichever comes first). A car between 10 and 12 years old with 150,000 to 180,000km on the clock has a one-month or 1500km statutory warranty (whichever comes first).

There is no cooling-off period once you have signed the purchase agreement.



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