Before you speak with the seller in person or on the phone, consider writing a list of important questions. This ensures you won’t forget anything and allows you to focus on the answers provided.
- Ask to see the seller’s driver license – does this match the name on the registration papers?
- If not, who is the rightful owner?
- Why are they selling?
- How long have they owned the car?
- Is there an outstanding loan on the car?
- If so, is the car secured against the loan?
- Has the vehicle been in any accidents or had any damage repaired on it? If yes, what and when?
- Does the seller have the ‘service book’ showing services completed, and stamped by the dealer/service center?
- Does the seller have copies of workshop invoices for any work or services carried out?
- Ask the seller to see the registration and any compulsory insurance (if applicable) papers. You will need these to record the vehicle details. How much registration and compulsory insurance (if applicable) is remaining?
- How many owners has the car had?
- How many kilometres has the car done?
- Is the car garaged?
- Ask the seller if the vehicle has a road worthy certificate. Make sure the road worthy certificate no more than 30 days old.
A preowned vehicle purchased from a Toyota dealer will have clear title and transparent answers to all the above. This is why private purchase holds more potential risks.