Buying a used car from a private seller

Buying a car from a private seller may be cheaper than buying from a licensed motor car trader, but it offers less legal protection. For instance:

  • there is no cooling-off period
  • the car is not covered by a statutory warranty
  • it is your responsibility to check that the car is not stolen, has money owing on it, or is on the written-off vehicles register. For more information, view our Used car vehicle status check page.

Tips on how to avoid buying a stolen vehicle

Be wary if the:

  • seller asks for payment (or a large portion of the payment) in cash
  • seller offers to bring the car to you, or is waiting for you outside the address he or she has given you and does not go inside
  • asking price is significantly below market value.

Also, check that the person selling the car is its owner. Ask for identification.

Last updated: 23/07/2014

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