Buying a Used Car? Look for These Red Flags!

Buying a used car is a great way to save money and take advantage of depreciation but there are inherently more risks involved when a car has belonged to multiple owners.

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


Incomplete Paperwork

Specific paperwork is required to make your vehicle transaction legal. It serves as an agreement between buyer and seller. The correct paperwork ensures that the vehicle you are purchasing is legally registered and in fair condition. This includes a comprehensive service and repair history report.

Whether purchasing from a Dealer or in the private market you should expect to inspect from the seller, the service books and history of the car. A logbook that contains a full-service history with accompanying records and shows the most recent services is like gold when seeking to purchase a car.

Vehicle registration papers identifying the current registered owner or previous owner if purchasing from a dealer to ensure there is the correct legal title. Obtaining a PPSR Report will also identify if the car has been previously stolen, is an Economic Repairable Write-off or still has finance owing on it from the previous owners. Missing paperwork indicates that there may be some issues with the vehicle’s function or road history, so if the paperwork is incomplete, reconsider the deal.

Excessive Rust

Almost anything on a car can be fixed or replaced. The question is, should it be? When it comes to excessive rust, the answer is often no. While rusted out body panels can be replaced, it’s expensive and time-consuming. Rust on the frame means that the frame—the very bedrock of the car—is rotting away. Replacing a car’s frame, even if you just replace part of it, is expensive and runs the risk of weakening the car overall. While some rust is to be expected on a used car, look out for excessive rust with bits of metal flaking off, and avoid cars with rust in key areas. Let’s put it this way: some rust on the floor pan is OK, but if Fred Flintstone could drive the car, you’re better off walking away.

Warning Lights

We’ve all driven around for a week or two with the check engine light on in our car. After all, if the car is running it’s easy to overlook a light on the dashboard. And, sometimes those lights do come on because of a bad sensor or because we didn’t tighten the gas cap enough.

Still, if you’re looking to buy a used car that has a dashboard that looks like a Christmas tree, that’s enough of a red flag that you should reconsider. Sure, the lights could be on for a minor reason (again, that tricky gas cap), but they also could be on because of a bigger problem. If you really love the car, a trusty inspection from a professional inspector like German Precision can tell you if those lights are something to be concerned about.

New or Mismatched Paint

A freshly-painted accent wall in your living room is a good idea. On a car, however, you want all the paint colours to match, and fresh paint isn’t always a selling point. Like new or mismatched carpet, new or mismatched paint is an indicator that repairs have been made, which could mean that the car was in an accident. While some accident damage can be repaired, other accident damage can make owning that car a headache and a seller that’s trying to camouflage accident damage is not someone who you want to deal with.

Take a close look at any used car with fresh paint or paint that isn’t quite the same on all the body panels of the car.

Unlicensed Dealer

If you choose to purchase your next vehicle through a dealer, research the company and ask for proof of licence. Licence credentials ensure that you are purchasing from a dealer that is legally approved to sell you a vehicle. If a dealer is unable to provide you with proof of their licence, do not purchase a vehicle from them.

An Anti-Inspection Seller

Getting a prospective new car checked out by an independent mechanic is just good sense. While you’ll spend money ($250 or so) on the inspection, avoiding a used car lemon is more than worth it. Any upstanding used car seller should consent to have the car inspected by someone you choose. If the seller refuses to let you have the car inspected or insists you use their mechanic find someone else to buy from. Having a car inspected is a routine part of buying a used car, so sellers who refuse it may not be on the level. That’s a deal you can feel good about walking away from.

Smelly Interior Masked by Car Perfume

If a car’s interior is overly perfumed, the seller may be trying to hide mould or mildew smells. The vehicle may not be watertight if there are mould smells inside the car.

There are three common places where mildew smell can originate from:
• Dashboard — where water can build up as part of running your air-conditioning
• Body Leaking — in cracks from weatherstrips around doors and windows
• Leaking Drainage — such as those found in A/C and sunroofs

Alternatively, the previous owner may have been a smoker and caused odour damage to the interior upholstery.

Rectifying smells and damaged wet mouldy carpets and interiors is an expensive exercise.

In general, an excessive amount of air freshener in a used vehicle may be a reason to walk away from the deal.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: mynextcarbuyingadvocacy.com.au, autoversed.com

Don’t Only Trust Roadworthy Certificates When Buying a Used Car

You plan to buy a used car from a private seller. The car looks good to your untrained eyes, and after seeing the Roadworthy Certificate provided, you decide that this is your perfect car. Turns out, you can get that certification for $100. And that doesn’t guarantee that your ‘new’ used car is in top condition. Then you will end up paying more for reparations after learning the hard truth: your car is not roadworthy.

Make sure your armed with this information before you go and look at a vehicle, don’t learn this after the fact!

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


A roadworthy certificate proves your vehicle has passed a roadworthy test completed by an authorised roadworthy inspector. The roadworthy test is comprised of various criteria points that the vehicle must pass to qualify for a roadworthy certificate. These areas include:

• Tyres
• Brakes
• Steering
• Suspension
• Body (for rust or damage)
• Windscreen
• Lights

For example: A roadworthy inspector will check to make sure the tread level on the vehicle tyres are at an acceptable level and the brakes are correctly sized for the vehicle. If the vehicle does not pass these requirements, it will not receive a roadworthy certificate.

The roadworthy test is designed to make sure your vehicle is suitable for the roads as per the guidelines set out by the Department of Transport. However, it doesn’t test if your vehicle is healthy. For example, a roadworthy doesn’t include an inspection of your oil, motor or gearbox. For a comprehensive report of your vehicle’s health, you should book in for a full vehicle inspection.

What if the vehicle doesn’t pass the test?

If any item fails to meet the test standard, the tester will issue you with a rejection report. You are then given a period of seven days to get the items repaired and submit them for the second inspection. However, if the seven days elapse, then the test would be carried out all over again.

How much does a roadworthy inspection cost?

The cost of the inspection is not fixed as it generally depends on the age, model and condition of the vehicle being tested. Charges for the inspection will still be required if the vehicle does not pass the roadworthy test. The roadworthy certificate will be issued for the cost of the inspection if it passes the roadworthy test.

How long is the certificate valid?

A roadworthy is considered ‘current’ and valid for a period of 30 days from the date of issue before you present it at VicRoads (e.g. when you visit them to transfer or re-register a vehicle).

Note: This is NOT a guarantee that a vehicle with a roadworthy certificate will necessarily continue to remain in a roadworthy condition for 30 days from the date the certificate was issued.

Why you shouldn’t trust Roadworthy Certificates

The way it plays out is that a buyer will be interested in a car, typically in a private sale or a car yard, more often than not in a private sale. They’ll go look at the car and everything looks okay to their untrained eye, and then they will proceed to buy it. Straight after their purchase, they will take it to their mechanic to get it serviced and checked out.

Which is not okay. If you’re looking at buying a house you don’t buy a house and then get a building and pest inspection report AFTER to make sure that everything is the way it’s supposed to be, you get it done first.

A roadworthy inspection can be issued on a vehicle that is still working but has a blown head gasket. A roadworthy can be issued on a vehicle that has a gearbox which is still operating but is about to seize because it hasn’t been serviced ion 100,000k’s. A roadworthy certificate gives you no idea of the condition of the motor, the oil if it’s been serviced it is literally a piece of paper saying that the brakes aren’t undersized, that there’s no cracks in the windscreen and about 20 other things. You cannot rely on that when you’re spending your hard-earned money.

If you’re thinking of buying a used vehicle (especially a private sale because you have no come back) you must go and get a PRE PURCHASE CAR INSPECTION first to ensure there are no surprises after the fact. You can use these to negotiate the price but more importantly, you can have the peace of mind of any repairs that may be required.

Never trust a vehicle with your money based on the fact that it has a roadworthy certificate. For $250ish you can get a pre-purchase car inspection done on most vehicles which will give you peace of mind.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

source: autoking.com.au, australianmechanical.com.au, vicroads.vic.gov.au

When it comes to buying a used or second-hand car, it should come with a “Buyers Beware” pamphlet to make sure your car is not a lemon.

There are often some clear tell-tale signals and some not-so-clear signs that your potential new car isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

According to this study, about two-thirds of lemon cars will start to have problems within about a month of you buying it.

Buying a used car can save you a ton of money in the short term, but in the long run, you might be paying more in maintenance fees for repairing the car.

Here are some signs to tell that the car that you want is actually a lemon:

Continue reading “”

Best Questions to Ask Before You Buy That Used Car

When buying a used car privately, paperwork is all-important. The same is true when buying a used car from a dealer, and it can also be stressful. But if you go into it prepared and make sure you ask the right questions—of yourself and the dealer—it will be a lot easier. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions wherever you choose to buy, either. Although there’s no obligation for sellers to volunteer information about a car they’re selling, any questions you ask must be answered truthfully—otherwise, the vendor is breaking the law.

General Questions to Ask Yourself

1. How much can I afford to spend? Make sure you know your budget before you go looking. Also, this will help you decide if you need to look into financing or not.

2. How big of a car do I need? This will help you narrow it down based on things like how big your family is, if you will need to haul a lot of stuff, or if you will be driving it in narrow streets.

3. How will I use this car? Depending on your needs, you may need a specific kind or type of car.

4. Can I take it on a test drive? Always make sure you try the car before you buy it. Get some of our best tips on how to get the most out of your test drive here.

5. What fees will I pay in addition to the price? You will never pay just the listed price. There may be dealership fees, taxes, etc.

6. Dealer or private? A car dealer is generally the safest place to buy a used car, as there’s a degree of legal protection implied by its status as a business. A car dealer has an obligation to properly prepare a car before the sale, including verifying that its recorded mileage is correct.

7. Should I buy new or used? If you can afford a brand new car, it’s nice to treat yourself. However, buying a used car that’s only a year or two old will save you a lot on depreciation. Buying a car can easily become a very emotional decision, so be sure to keep a clear head and seek the advice of someone that you trust when you narrow down your car.

Questions to Ask the Seller/Dealer

1. Why are you selling the car? The seller could answer this question in a few ways. They might be ready for an upgrade or perhaps the car’s size doesn’t suit their lifestyle anymore. It’s good to know the reasons behind this change because you might run into the same issues down the line.

2. How long have you owned the car? If they recently purchased the vehicle and they are already selling it, take note as this could mean they ran into problems with the car.

3. Has it been in any accidents? In some cases, accidents are reported on a vehicle history report—but don’t assume these reports catch everything. If the car was in an accident, find out how it was damaged and how it was fixed.

4. What features don’t work the way they’re supposed to? Older used cars nearly always have something wrong with them. It might not be a deal-breaker—for example, if it’s a malfunctioning CD player. But other defects can come as annoying surprises, such as weak air conditioning, blown speakers or missing pixels in displays.

5. Is there any reason you wouldn’t drive the car coast-to-coast tomorrow? This is a fun question and sometimes throws the seller off balance. But if the answer is a resounding “No, there’s nothing wrong with the car,” that’s a nice vote of confidence.

6. What is the ownership history? “If the seller doesn’t really have many details about the car or only owned it a short time, that’s a warning sign,” Holthoff says. “I’m looking for a seller who really cared for the car for several years or more.” When searching for good used cars, he recommends using keywords like “original owner” or “service records” or even “garaged.”

7. How did you arrive at this price? If you’ve asked all the above questions, and you’re getting serious about buying the car, find out how the seller priced it. Many people simply pick a figure out of the air. If the seller says he or she used a pricing guide, you can double-check to see if the price is accurate.

8. Do you have the title in hand? If there’s a loan on the car from the bank, the seller might not have the title. Or they may not know where it is. These are problems that can be worked around, but it’s best to buy from someone who actually has the title of the car easily accessible.

9. Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection? It’s important that you take the car to a professional pre-purchase car inspector so you can get an expert’s opinion on what’s happening with the car under the hood. If the seller hesitates then this could be a red flag that there’s something they don’t want you to know.

As you can imagine, these questions will come in handy. Are you getting a good deal or buying someone else’s issues?

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: requestyourcar.com, canstarblue.com.au, carbuyer.co.uk, nerdwallet.com

Buying a Used Car: Common Car Selling Scams You Need to Know!

An online car scam is circulating Victoria and it has already had multiple people trying to buy a second-hand car that does not exist. Classified scams trick online shoppers on classified websites into thinking they are dealing with a legitimate contact but it is actually a scammer.

The public has been alerted by Victoria Police after 8 people fell for the scam, losing thousands of dollars after ‘buying’ the car advertised on a popular website. Someone claiming to be a member of the armed forces was advertising the car. 

You might think that scams disproportionately affect older generations. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) statistics show that ages between 25 and 55 are being hit the hardest.

So what you need to know before buying that dream car of yours?

Continue reading “Buying a Used Car: Common Car Selling Scams You Need to Know!”

Merry Christmas from German Precision!

We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for doing business with us. We really have appreciated your community support and spirit throughout this challenging year — like no other year before.
 
It has been fantastic working with you in 2020. Thank you sincerely for all your referrals from the many of you who have been with us for years and it has been fantastic to also welcome very many new customers. We look forward to seeing you all next year.
 
Now it is a time to relax and celebrate. From our family to yours, have a wonderful festive season filled with lots of joy, good health and may you be surrounded by the love of family and friends.
 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
 
Warm regards,
𝐆𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧/𝐏𝐫𝐞-𝐩𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐂𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤
 
Phone: 0421 083 390
Email: info@prepurchasecheck.com.au, germanprecision@outlook.com

How to Choose the Right Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection

There is no doubt that when buying a used car it is always beneficial to complete a pre-purchase vehicle inspection. It’s not on any history report and you can bet the seller won’t be willing to disclose any details that can harm his/her chances of selling the vehicle. With so many pre purchase inspectors out there, how do you choose the right pre purchase vehicle inspection for you?

So, when buying a used car you should never assume the seller will disclose any damages or problems with the vehicle. It is important to get the vehicle inspected by a reputable company or inspector which specialises in pre-purchase car inspections. But how does one go about finding and ultimately paying for the right pre-purchase auto inspection? Let’s take a look!

Find a qualified company or inspector to perform your pre-purchase auto inspection.

Qualifications: This is probably the most important item to check off your list when searching for a pre-purchase auto inspection. Call in and ask how their inspectors are selected and what is their experience. Ask what techniques they use to identify any potential problems with vehicles. Strict processes and procedures keep inspections consistent and avoid missing issues which as a result, could end up costing you a small fortune. The correct company should have standardised inspection procedures to keep things consistent.

At German Precision, we have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We provide really accurate inspection reports.

Make sure they are honest and professional.

Transparency and professionalism: First impressions are always important. Read through the website and make sure there is clear language on how the process works and if there are any hidden or added fees. Some companies will even charge you extra for basic things such as phone consultations or answering questions about your report.

Speaking of reports, make sure there is a clear sample of the report on the website as the last thing you need is to pay for pre-purchase auto inspection and never get a report. (Yes, it happens). We provide our customers with leading condition reports that include easy to read layouts and photos here. Make sure the information on the reports covers your needs and provides you with sufficient information to make a purchasing decision so you don’t end up with more unanswered questions.

A great reputation is a must.

Reputation: Reputation is everything in our day and age. Same goes for pre-purchase vehicle inspection companies. Consistent 5 stars reviews across multiple platforms is a great start. This can help you narrow down your search for a reputable company to help with your next used car purchase. You should avoid hiring someone with inconsistent reviews who spends more time responding to negative reviews than actually working.

German Precision has 5-star ratings across the board that speak for themselves. This, among other things, helps build a level of trust from the first interaction. Therefore, we know what it takes to provide and exceed customer expectations. I took the leap to start my own business, in which I can focus my attention to detail, experience, knowledge and level of care, on the subject vehicle, for YOUR benefit.

We hope we can help you out with your needs.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

source: motovise.com