Points to Consider When Buying a Used Car

Know what type of vehicle is allowed.  The prohibited vehicle condition restricts provisional (P1 and P2) drivers from driving certain high performance vehicles.

Prohibited vehicles are those with

  • Eight or more cylinders (except diesel)
  • A turbocharged engine (diesel exempt).
  • A supercharged engine (diesel exempt).
  • Engine performance modifications that require an engineer’s certificate.
  • Certain high performance six cylinder engines. Visit the P1/P2 – High performance vehicle restrictions page on www.rta.nsw.gov.au/registration/index.html


Know what you want.  Do your research; consider what type of car will suit, whether manual or automatic, what the car will be used for, running costs (including maintenance and repairs) and level of safety.

 Know what to check.  Check the vehicle’s identity; its VIN (vehicle identification number), Chassis Number on pre 1989 vehicles, engine number, compliance number plate, and check to see whether the vehicle has money owing on it.

 Personal Property Security Register www.ppsr.gov.au

Tel: 1300 007 777

Statistically, there is a one in five chance that vehicles offered for private sale in NSW will be carrying a debt for which the new owner could become liable. Before buying a car privately, buyers should contact the Personal Property Securities Register. PPSR can advise if a motor vehicle, is carrying a debt, and could be repossessed.

 Know how it drives.  Take the vehicle for a test drive, but before you do, make sure the seller has an insurance policy that will cover it if there is a crash.  Listen for odd noises and rattles check the engine and how it runs, and check the brakes and the steering.

Is your car worthy? When deciding between cars, choose the one with the highest Used Car Safety Rating. Visit www.ancap.com.au or www.mynrma.com.au

 Pre Purchase Safety Inspections

A comprehensive pre-purchase safety inspection and an authorised inspection (pink slip) will ensure your car is in good enough shape to be driven on the road.  Ensure that all faults are repaired before you take possession of the vehicle.

 Buying a vehicle privately carries a real safety risk because the seller does not have to make sure the car is safe. A licensed dealer on the other hand must ensure the vehicle they sell is roadworthy. All MTA inspection stations have been rigorously checked to ensure that every inspection is done professionally and competently.

One of the advantages of the MTA’s pre purchase vehicle inspection is that once the report is done, it can be emailed to the customer and there is no need to wait for a posted hardcopy. Purchasing from a “Licenced Motor Dealer“ has many safeguards. 


Helpful Websites:

Roads & Maritime Services       www.rta.nsw.gov.au

NRMA                                                 www.mynrma.com.au

NSW Office of Fair Trading         www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

PPSR                                                     www.ppsr.gov.au  Tel: 1300 007 777

Motor Traders Authority            www.mtansw.com.au

The Red Book                                    www.redbook.com.au

ANCAP Vehicle Safety Review  www.ancap.com.au





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