buyers checklist


Buyer's Checklist

Once you’re ready to buy, use this handy checklist to make sure you've covered all the bases, including insurance and finance, and you're clear about what happens next.

Paying for your new car

The one thing you're definitely going to need to buy your car is money.

Whether you're paying from your savings or borrowing money through a financial institution or through your dealer, once the deal is done you'll need to be able to move quickly.

Type of payment accepted

Before you arrange to sign the contract, check with the car dealer or car owner about your payment options, and when they expect to receive the full amount. Personal cheques are not as common these days, and not everyone will be comfortable accepting one for such a big purchase, anyway. So be prepared to arrange a bank transfer or money order.

If you’re buying a new car you will most likely need to pay a deposit with full payment finalised once the car is delivered.

If you're borrowing money

Taking out a loan can be a great way to get the car of your dreams sooner. But you need to make sure you can manage repayments and any unexpected costs. This is particularly the case if your car is second hand and not covered by a warranty.

If you're confident that a loan is the option best suited to your situation, you can save money educating yourself and gathering information on finance. Many websites are available to help you understand different types of loans and finance calculators. If you would like to find out more about different finance options available to you, your local dealership could also be a useful source of information.


You'll need to factor the cost of insurance into your budget. Most new car owners will take on a comprehensive policy to protect their investment, while third-party property insurance may suit people with used cars of lesser value.

Either way, you'll still require Compulsory Third Party (CTP) personal injury insurance before you can register a vehicle. In some states, this cover is provided as part of your registration, while in others you will need to choose your insurer or organise this yourself.

A large number of reputable dealers are well versed with vehicle insurance options and have established relationships with major insurance providers that you can leverage when you purchase a vehicle. Read more about Insurance.

Is your research watertight?

When it comes to important purchases such as a car, the more you know the better. Take the time to research car websites, talk to dealers or other car experts and read independent car reviews on the web or in newspapers or specialist auto magazines. You could also check whether the accessories you want are available with the car you are most interested in.

There's a huge amount of information that's easily available. Buying a new car knowing you've got the best one for your situation and budget will give you real peace of mind.

Mechanical checks for used cars

Brand new cars go through a series of comprehensive checks and balances before the new owner is handed the keys.

But if you're buying second hand, it's not as easy to know whether the vehicle is safe and road-worthy. It may also have had major bodywork to cover up an accident.

When buying a used car, one of the smartest investments you can make is to get the vehicle checked by a professional car expert.

Buying a second hand car from a reputable franchised dealer will help ensure the vehicle has been comprehensively checked. Most dealers undertake a 100 point mechanical and safety check.

If you do find yourself buying second hand on the open market, it will pay to have an independent safety and road-worthy inspection.