It’s a new year, and for some of us, it’s probably time to upgrade our old cars. No matter where you are in Australia, this basic guide on buying a car in 2017 should help you get the ball rolling so you can get behind the wheel of a new ride, ready for the year ahead.

What’s Your Budget

Whether you have an idea of what you want, or you’re hoping for inspiration on the hunt, you’ll first need to work out what you can afford. You can use our loan calculator to work out what the repayments would be but remember to take into account servicing, running costs and insurance.

You can also apply for a pre-approved loan and shop with the confidence of knowing exactly what you can afford.

New or Used Car

There’s all the usual pros and cons between new and used cars. A new car is less likely to need mechanical work, run more smoothly, have more tech features and have that wonderful new car smell. While a second-hand car will often save you a good deal off the price, so long as you can find one in good condition with low kilometres on the clock.

It’s up to you to work out whether you’re better off with a new or used car. However, if you are leaning towards a second-hand vehicle and you’re interested in doing some Uber driving on the side, you’ll need to consider Uber’s requirements, such as the car being less than 10 years old and it must be in reasonably good condition.

The flip side to this is if you don’t want to do any Uber driving, cars older than 10 years may now be that little bit cheaper. When you negotiate on the price you could always throw in a “…yeah, but I could never use it as an Uber car.”

Research & Narrow Down

If you have an idea of what you want, whether it’s a sedan, hatchback, 4×4 or SUV, do some research on what’s available in your preference and what your options are. Narrow down cars with known problems, poor fuel economy, or ones that lack performance in areas you need.

You don’t have to work out exactly what you want, just narrow down the list to the point that you don’t have to test drive everything in your price range.

Test Driving

While it’s tempting on the test drive to just cruise around and enjoy yourself, remember you need to test the car for any detectable faults or problems. Try to drive on the kind of roads you’ll be using the car on, adjust the seats, test the brakes and turns, and listen for noises from the engine. If you can, try to bring someone with a bit of car knowledge or drop into a trustworthy mechanic for a look over.


Once you’ve found the right car for you, make sure you play it cool. In the dealership or handling a private sale, everyone becomes a salesman when there are thousands of dollars at play. Remember all your research about market value, running costs, and don’t ignore any problems or aesthetic issues.

Once you’ve come to an agreement, if you’ve arranged a pre-approved loan with us you will most likely be able to process the payment and transfer of ownership rather quickly, getting yourself behind the wheel sooner rather than later.

Call us on 1300 889 669 to talk about what you’re looking for in 2017 and we’ll let you know what you can afford today.