What to Look Out for When Buying a Car

Whether you're on the hunt for your first car, or you're ready to upgrade to a newer model, you'll need to consider more than just the price on the windscreen.

Cars never stop costing you money, so before you part with your precious cash, make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. The last thing you want is for your dream car to turn into a financial nightmare.

Here are some costs to consider as your ponder your choices:

Purchase and maintenance

The car you buy will be determined by what you want and what you need—but most of all, what you can afford. Yes, the purchase price is important, but so is the car's cost over its expected lifetime.

Consider this: while a new car can be more expensive to buy, it should be cheaper to service. Conversely, a used car will likely be cheaper up-front, but will probably need more maintenance.

Vehicle inspection

Before you buy a used car, get a professional to inspect it (even if you know a bit about cars). It could be your local mechanic; it could be a pre-purchase vehicle inspection through your local motoring club. Whoever you choose, just make sure they know what they're talking about.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty can be a large one-off cost and is calculated on the price of the car you're buying. Be mindful that each city or state has different stamp duty costs depending on what type of vehicle you're purchasing (e.g. small car, ute, hybrid). Also note if you're buying a new car, some dealers may add stamp duty on top of the purchase price.

Roadside assistance

Roadside assistance is a service that the motor vehicle club in your city or state offers its members. While you'll need to pay an annual membership fee, you will be covered in the event of a break-down. You'll also get discounts on accommodation, theme park tickets, car hire etc.


When you first buy your car, you'll need to factor in registration transfer (and registration renewal if it's about to expire). Registration fees vary from city and state, but your local vehicle registration centre will be able to tell you what you're due. Just remember, this is a large ongoing cost you need to budget for every year.


Something you hope you'll never use, but something you'll never want to be without. While third party insurance is compulsory for all car owners, it's advisable to take out insurance that covers fire, theft and accidents.

We offer three different levels of car insurance cover to suit your needs and budget — Comprehensive, Third Party Property, Fire & Theft and Third Party Property Only.

Take a look at our plans to find out more and ask for a quote today