Buying guide

Buying from a car dealer

We’ll help you understand the benefits of buying from a dealer.

Buying your car from a dealer or private seller can be two very different experiences – each with their pros and cons. You can relax though, we’ll help you understand the differences and benefits of each. Starting with the key points to consider when buying from a dealer.

  • Buying your car from a dealer means you’re covered by the laws that dealers must abide by, including the Consumer Guarantees Act and the Fair Trading Act, among others.
  • Dealers are required to provide all of the correct information you’d have to find yourself in a private sale, including the number of owners, odometer reading as well as quality, safety and any faults. Plus, they’re experts in these details and should be able to answer any questions you have.
  • If the car you buy has debts owing, the dealer will be liable (unless it was specifically pointed out to you in writing prior to the sale).
  • Some cars purchased through a dealer come with a guarantee or warranty, which means the dealer is liable if anything goes wrong with the car within a certain period of time.
  • Some dealers also offer additional services such as car servicing, finance and insurance.
  • On the downside, cars purchased from a dealer may be more expensive than those of private sellers.
  • Our dealer directory tells you which dealers are in your region and provides their contact details.

Five more top tips

Feeling better informed about what to expect from your car dealer interactions? To give you a little extra help, here’s a few other top tips to consider:

  • Do your research – know the history of the car before you buy.
  • Know your finance – what can you realistically afford? Look at finance rates.
  • Inspection and test drive – give the car a thorough check and observe how it drives.
  • Always get a mechanical inspection – even when buying from a car dealer.
  • Negotiate – get the best price possible.

These are the important things to be aware of when preparing to buy your car from a dealer, but what if you’re travelling a different path and looking to purchase your next car from a private seller? Our tips on what to expect when buying from a private seller is the place to look.