Of course, if you’re buying new (or used) from a dealer, you’ll be entitled to a warranty under Australian Consumer Protection laws (about 3 years of protection for non-user-caused errors – but this is flexible). If you’re lucky, you’ll be one of the 73% whose problems were fully covered. If you’re not? You’ll be one of the 22% who were either not covered at all or only partially covered due to various definitions of manufacturer’s error, user error or time frames.

It can be even cheaper to buy directly from a private owner (check redbook to know the value of what you’re looking at) but then you get no warranty at all. It’s a gamble. You might get a lemon that sputters and dies within a month, or you might get a solid car that has the same amount of problems as a near-new car for a fraction of the cost.

You can reduce your risk by requesting a private seller get an inspection done by your state authority first or pay for/inspect it yourself if you’re mechanically inclined. Also, seriously consider checking the PPSR to make sure the car is owned by the person who’s selling it.

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