The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make Buying a Car

Buying a new or used car is a big decision. Whether you buy through a dealer or privately, there are plenty of mistakes you can make. Here’s our guide to the most common car buying mistakes, and how you can avoid them.

1. Not negotiating a good deal

There’s an old saying that ‘you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate’. Both car dealers and private sellers are trying to get the best deal for themselves, not for you. Your job is to get the best deal on price and anything else you can. For example, on dealer servicing, warranties, accessories and delivery.

You should do your market research so you know a good deal. Always be prepared to negotiate with sellers on price and other extras.

You can read our top negotiating tips here and here.

2. Getting talked into a bad finance deal

There’s no point negotiating a good deal on price if you undo it by having a bad car finance deal. Car dealers usually only have one or two lenders, and arrange finance where the terms are loaded in their favour. Don’t get pressured by a sleazy dealership Business Manager into dealer-arranged finance. Instead, research and organise your own finance. Or better still, get a specialist car finance broker like us to do it on your behalf.

You should also make sure you read and understand all the terms of your car finance deal before you sign.

3. Buying a lemon

There’s no point negotiating a great price and a great finance deal if you end up buying a lemon. It will just cost you more money and be an ongoing headache. If you’re buying a used car, your chances of buying a lemon are higher. Just because a car looks good on the surface doesn’t mean it is mechanically sound.

You should always get a used car independently inspected by a mechanic before you decide to buy it. You should also go for a thorough test drive.

4. Getting talked into extras that you don’t want or need

Dealers make money on any extras that they can upsell to you, like window tinting, upholstery products and insurance. You’ll often be able to negotiate better deals yourself. Don’t get pressured into optional extras that you don’t want or need.

5. Not checking ownership if you buy privately

Check the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR) if you’re buying privately. It will show you if a car has money owing on it or has ever been written off after an accident.

6. Not being prepared to walk away

Car dealers will use all kinds of tactics to get you to buy. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the deal doesn’t feel right. There are plenty of cars on the market. Walking away can even be a great negotiating tactic to get an even better deal.

How we can help

If you’re looking to buy any car and you need finance, talk to us. We’re finance brokers. We can make sure you get a great deal.

Don’t use dealer-arranged finance or try to arrange it yourself. If you do, you’ll end up paying a lot more. We arrange car finance for a living. We work for our clients, not for lenders.

Call 1300 301 051 during business hours to speak with one of our experienced brokers.


Fill in $ amount, Get Instant Quote, Drive your car!