Car Buyer Assist

Hints & tips when buying a car

A motor vehicle is often one of the most expensive purchase a consumer ever makes—so, for obvious reasons, you want to get it right!

To ensure you wind up with the right car at the best possible price, here’s a list of helpful and informative resources of use to first-time buyers and experienced negotiators alike.

Different sales at a glance

Buying from a licensed motor dealer

The safest way to buy a used car in Queensland is to talk to a dealer. All dealers must have a licence, follow the code of conduct and give you your rights.

Buying a used car at auction

Auctions can be a cheaper but riskier option. Find out how to prepare for an auction, buy a restorable vehicle and finalise a sale.

Buying privately

Buying from a private individual is risky, and many of your normal consumer rights won’t apply. Find out how to protect yourself in a private sale by reading below.

Buying online

An online sale could be with a private individual or a motor dealer, so different rules may apply. Find out how to do your research and avoid scams.

Buying Privately

If you are buying privately, it’s important to note:

  • you are not entitled to the normal protection of the cooling-off period
  • you will not get statutory warranty
  • the seller is not bound by the same laws as licensed motor dealers
  • you cannot access the compensation claim fundif anything goes wrong.


What do you need to do to check you do not fall into any traps if buying privately?

Check the details on the registration certificate match the:

  • registered owner’s name
  • number plate
  • vehicle identification number (VIN) (or chassis number if the car was made before 1989)
  • engine number


You should also ensure:

  • the car, if registered, has a current safety certificate
  • you get a PPSR certificate to make sure there is no money owing on the car or go to for a full history check including insurance claims history.
  • the car is mechanically sound, by getting an independent inspection from a qualified person.

Dealing with a licensed motor vehicle dealer is a lot less risky than buying privately. You never know if the person buying the car is actually its owner or if there is money still owing on the car. You could end up shelling out for something that ends up being repossessed.

Want to know more? Head over to the Fair trading QLD website to view a detailed guide.

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Cairns Used Cars

  • Great range of used cars
  • Fast Finance
  • Extended Warranty
  • Professional Service

Contact Us:

Phone: 07 4047 4700
Address: Corner of Scott & Hannam Street Bungalow 4870