Buying your next vehicle is a difficult decision – it’s a lot of money, you want to take your time and choose the right car for you. No one can tell you what you should buy; this guide is designed to help you consider all the things in your decision to end up with the right car for you.
The BigBox difference comes from the idea of focusing first on what you want, and providing you with that car as quickly as possible. We will give you our best price first. We will give you the biggest possible range of used cars to choose from and we will help you choose, buy and enjoy with a minimum of fuss. Haggle free and with a full tank of fuel.
There are more brands available in Australia than most markets in the world!
In fact, there are over 60 major carmakers to choose from!
Depreciation is the largest cost in any cars lifetime, but you may not notice it until it’s time to trade your car in for the next one.
How a car depreciates can be influenced by how popular it is and how much it’s worth new. Generally speaking, very expensive cars tend to depreciate a lot in their first year, but then prices flatten out fairly quickly and, depending on the exclusiveness of the model, can come back up in value when they become collectible or rare.
Cars that are very popular depreciate slower initially, because of the demand among everyday drivers. A more standard vehicle will lose value more steeply as they age because it is competing with many different cars in the used car market.
When you’re looking at purchasing a car, it’s sometimes better to go for the middle or top-of-the-range models of a particular vehicle – if your can afford it on your budget.
In a few years, as a used car, the extra features should translate into a higher selling price.
Capped price servicing is pretty common these days, but not all brands in Australia are available with capped price programs. Capped Price Service programs are designed to give you peace of mind by ensuring you know from service to service what the cost will be. It’s also worth considering how long you’ll keep your car for – some capped price service programs end after a certain period of time (usually say 3 years), while some are available for the ‘lifetime’ of the car and might still be applicable. If anything does happen to go wrong you can rest assured with the BigBoxCars roadside assist that comes standard for 12 months with any purchase.
Fuel costs will obviously vary depending on what type of car you’re looking at, the type of fuel and size of the engine, so it’s important to know what you want out of a car. If it is not listed in the cars servicing books, a quick google search of the make / model will provide you the fuel economy figures.
There are two categories when creating fuel usage figures: Urban and Extra-Urban. Together, these are combined to create an average for the cars.
Urban figures are tested in heavy traffic and short distances like in a drive through the city. Extra Urban testing is done on longer distances at higher speeds, with less traffic like you would see on a highway.
In a previous era, stylish cars and safe cars were once exclusive of each other. Nowadays, budget hatchbacks, thrill-seeking sports cars and even commercial vehicles like utes, once neglected from everything but the most basic of options, are now getting the full treatment of active and passive safety features.
Ideally in a car ranking for safety, you want a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating. ANCAP is an independent body that crash tests vehicle safety features and assigns them a star rating. Newer cars have to pass more stringent tests than ever before, so a higher star score today is worth a lot more than say the same score, from perhaps, five or ten years ago.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that certain features are worth extra! Some safety features are standard on all cars. For example, electronic stability control is mandatory on all cars built and complied in Australia after 2011.
The next step is getting your car legally on the road. If you buy a car at a dealership, they’ll have the facilities to register and/or transfer your vehicle – if they don’t, or you buy privately, you’ll have to take it to a Queensland Transport service centre.
Registration costs will vary, and the more powerful your car is; the more you’ll be charged. For example, a four-cylinder car will cost much less than a V8 to register, while a hybrid or electric car will cost even less.
To register a car in Queensland, you need to provide a safety certificate from an authorised inspection station.
To drive an unregistered car, you can apply for a permit as long as you’re driving it straight home or to a mechanic to have it inspected.
Used cars are anything that have been registered and owned previously, and you can find them anywhere from car dealers to the classifieds, to your neighbours front yard with a ‘For Sale’ sign on the windshield.
Have a look for a comprehensive service history, a few late or skipped services might not have caused problems for the last owner – but that could spell trouble for you now, especially if you’re looking for a used luxury car or a car with lots of complicated engineering.
Make sure you test out all the features of a used car, from seeing if the tyres have even tread wear, to whether the windscreen wipers work, to seeing if the boot stays open by itself. Be sure to ask if the vehicle has undergone a mechanical check by the dealership and ask to see what this check covers. It is also worth asking what sort of reconditioning has been done to the car. At BigBoxCars we supply you with an independent car history report that will give you all this info.
Don’t be so quick to trust anyone selling “on behalf of a friend.” Make sure that the name on the title of the car matches the details of the person selling it to you.
Warranties by carmakers generally run from 3 years up to 7 years, and sometimes up to the ‘lifetime’ of the vehicle. Some brands have longer programs than others, so it pays to compare as it all boils down to peace of mind. With younger or 'near new' used cars, this means the factory warranty is still applicable, but in any case BigBoxCars gives you a 48HR money back guarantee.
Warranties from dealers and third-parties can be mixed blessing. They’re a good idea in the sense that you can pay only a few hundred dollars (some are even free) and receive even more protection, especially on used cars. But some dealer warranties (usually the ‘free’ ones) have very strict terms and conditions that make it difficult to make a warranty claim down the line, or might tie you to servicing with the dealership for the term of the warranty.
Make sure you read all the fine print, including what your obligations under the warranty are: Do you have to service your car at a specific service centre? Can you claim on the warranty interstate? Are there any additional costs you’re liable for in case of a warranty claim? Can you transfer any remaining warranty if you sell or pass on your car?
Getting finance is a great way to get into your perfect vehicle, and sometimes the only way – because very few people have the money lying around to just spend on a car.
To get finance, you have to be an Australian citizen/permanent resident or have a valid working visa. If you are or have been in the process of bankruptcy or have outstanding faults on your credit history, your finance options will be more limited, but even if you don’t have a perfect credit file, it’s worth having a chat with a finance or business manager to see what you can do.
Financing through your bank, the dealership or a third party like CarBeagle is a common question. Dealerships tend to be specialists in automotive financing and can simplify repayment options or tailor a solution to your specific scenario. It certainly simplifies the process when you take delivery of the car when it is all done in house.
One of the steps of moving onto your next car is in selling your old car. There are a few options to do this, depending on how much time and effort you want to go to.
The easiest way is to have a car dealership assess your trade in. Normally they can do this while you are perusing your new car or on a test drive. When selling your car to a dealership, there is no need to get a safety certificate and any finance owing can be paid out through the dealership. Often, your trade in will be used as part-payment towards your new car. At BigBoxCars our mission is to give a fair and competitive price for every vehicle brought to us when you're looking to sell your car.
The more DIY option and time consuming way is to sell privately. You can go through a number of third party sites – like Gumtree, Carsguide or Carsales. You will need to get a safety certificate to prove the car is roadworthy, take some good quality photo’s and write an informative description of the car to give it the best chance to get a good price.
Your car will cost a lot of money, so it’s important that you know everything about what you’re buying.
In addition to the official word from a dealer or any brochures, get opinions from friends, online and industry reviews (especially used car and long-term reviews) to get the bigger picture of what a particular model is like on the road before you test drive it for yourself.
Facebook and Google are also a good way to check out a dealership – do they seem attentive and show lots of photo’s of happy customers, how are their reviews on customers who deal with them?
It’s a big investment, often one of the largest in your lifetime, so it is well worth the time to find the car that fits your lifestyle. Buying a car should be fun, and once you get on the road you’ll have the satisfaction that your new vehicle will be the ultimate addition to your driveway.
The next time you need to have your vehicle serviced, visit BigBoxCars Service & Tyres and put your mind at ease whilst our professional technicians take the time to ensure your tyres are well-cared for, and that you’ll be traveling smoothly and safely.
A better way to buy and sell used cars.