The Best Questions to Ask when Buying a Car

Bec ballarat car sales office

Buying a new car should be an enjoyable experience, but all too often it can be an anxious and scary ordeal. At Ballarat Car Sales, we care about the local community and founded our business on the principle of giving people straightforward, easy to understand advice with no pressure to buy, so customers may find the ideal car for their specific lifestyle and budget. 

Whilst we do our best to cater for all tastes, the reality is that we can’t always have the right car for everybody. This is why we have prepared an easy 4-question checklist of things to consider, to help avoid simple mistakes and potential pitfalls when it comes time to purchase your next vehicle.

1. Does the car suit your needs?

This may sound obvious, but ask yourself whether the car suits what you’re actually after. It’s very easy to get carried away by the latest gadgets, must-have items and special additions to your car, which can add up very quickly. Consider exactly what you need your new car to do – is it to ferry the kids to school, is it to tow a caravan, or is it simply for your day-to-day commute? Work out all the essential features and make sure that they’re on every car that makes your short-list.

2. Does it fit your budget?

Work out what you’re comfortable with spending and stick to it to this amount. With big-ticket items like cars, there are always other costs associated with the purchase that’s outside the actual item price. Consider “hidden costs” such as fuel usage per week, servicing costs per year and even insurance. If you’re looking at finance, do your research and shop around to understand what potential weekly payments may be. A good finance rate can save you a lot in the long run, so invest some time now and you’ll thank yourself later.

3. Have you taken it for a test drive?

Everyone has different preferences and uses their car slightly differently, so it’s imperative to “try before you buy”. Take the car for a test drive in the manner in which it’s going to be used. For example, if you’re going to be taxiing around the kids every morning, bring the kids with you and make sure school bags, sports equipment and everything all fits in comfortably. Check that it drives to your expectations and that you’re all comfortable in the seats. Consider the condition of the car – does it look like the previous owner cared for it? This can be a good indicator of whether or not the previous owner has looked after and serviced the car properly. Also, keep an eye out for any unusual noises, pay attention to gear changes, and if in doubt about anything else whilst you’re driving, always ask.

4. Was it checked by a professional?

Getting this done prior won’t cost a lot and can save you thousands in the long run. Have a mechanical inspection carried out by your local mechanic or get someone with good mechanical knowledge to come with you and check the car over before purchasing. If you’re considering buying a car that is privately owned, make sure that there is no outstanding finance or the car has not been previously written off by conducting a PPSR search online. A used car dealer like ours will have already checked this prior to reselling the vehicle.


So there you have it – four key things to check before buying your next car!


Just remember, when buying a car it’s completely okay to take your time, rather than rushing into a purchase you won’t be happy with. Don’t be fooled into thinking a deal must be taken on the spot; there will always be another car!

Remember – this is also supposed to be a fun time! It’s all about finding the right car for you and your family. If you do find a seller that you feel is trustworthy and will be there for you all the way, you’re definitely on the right track towards not only your next car, but care-free and happy motoring as well. Check out our current range here, and even book yourself in for a test drive today!

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