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Buying from a car dealer or private seller

Buying from a licensed dealer

Some things to consider or discuss with your dealerdisclaimer:

  • In some but not all states, licensed dealers are required to guarantee that nobody else has a claim over the vehicle. You could  check on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) website whether anyone has registered a security interest over the vehicle.
  • Chances are you’ll be offered different deals by different dealerships, so consider checking out a few different ones before deciding. You could also use online sites to get a better view of prices in your area. Also, consider timing your purchase to take advantage of any promotional deals.
  • Find out about any extra dealer costs. Watch out for the ‘Dealer Delivery Fees’, or the ‘Dealer Origination Fee’ which is the fee charged for doing your loan paperwork.
  • Be sure to ask for the total on-road costs (the driveaway price) to try to avoid the risk of hidden costs or extras.
  • Consider checking the build date and compliance plate of the vehicle you're looking at, to make sure it’s as new as advertised.
  • If you’re buying a used car from a dealer, check if the vehicle is still covered under the manufacturer warranty.

Buying from a private seller or at an auction

Some things you should consider aredisclaimer:

  • This may be a more affordable option than a licensed dealer in some cases, but you should investigate whether there is a warranty or ‘cooling off period’ with it. If you’re buying at an auction, you should consider that you may not be able to test drive, or in some cases (such as online auctions) even inspect the car. If you do get the opportunity to inspect, check the car thoroughly for everything from the windscreen wipers to the tyre tread, and even the jack and spare tyre in the boot and everything in between.
  • Find out if someone else has a security interest over the vehicle. You can find out more at the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) website.
  • Even if the car has a roadworthy certificate, consider whether you (or someone who knows cars) should inspect it carefully. You could consider organising an independent inspection.
  • Ask for owner history, accident history as well as service history (including the service record or receipts). Consider ordering a car history report (there may be a cost) which may include information about the vehicledisclaimer such as:
    • Reported insurance claims
    • Written off records
    • Finance owing
    • Odometer check
    • Stolen vehicle check
    • Registration details
  • Check that the kilometres done on the car are average or ideally lower than average. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2014, an estimate of the typical mileage was around 13,000 kilometres per yeardisclaimer.

All applications for credit are subject to ANZ’s credit assessment criteria. Terms and conditions are available on application. Fees and charges apply. Australian credit licence number 234527.

The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives financial situation or needs.  By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations.  You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.


The information and topics covered in a car history report may vary. Before you order a report, check that it contains the information you need.


Australian Bureau of Statistics, McCrindle Research, "Getting to Work", 2014.