27 things to consider before purchasing a car

When you’re purchasing a car, whether new or second-hand, there are just so many things to consider before you buy. If you’re ready to buy a new car to help you cruise through the next phase of your life, then this list should help you along the way.

You may have different priorities now, so be clear on what you need before going to the car yards. You can also make sure that you’ll make a wise purchase by looking at these “big questions”. 

Download the Australian Seniors Car Purchase Checklist print it out, or save it to your device, and make sure you capture all the information you’ll need to check off before purchasing a car. 

The big questions

1. Will a small, medium or large car suit your needs now and into the future?

2. What makes and models are within your budget?

3. Would you prefer a new, demo or used car?

Do your homework

4. How does the car rank on consumer review websites? Check out websites such as CarAdvice, CarsGuide and cars.com for user reviews, comparison tools and more.

5. Do you know someone who owns that make and model? It might be worth asking about the car’s pros and cons and checking online reviews for further information.

6. How have online and magazine guides reviewed the car?

Cover the practicalities

7. When can you take delivery of the car?

8. What will you do with your old car – trade it in, or sell privately?

9. Be sure to do the maths – can you afford this new car?

Extra questions for used cars

10. Do the details in the advertisement match up to what you see when inspecting the car?

11. Have the current owners had the car since it was new?

12. Does it pass a REVS check?

Safety features

13. Does the car have all the basic safety features: crumple zones to absorb the force of a crash, effective restraints, curtain airbags, and anti-lock braking systems?

14. How does you preferred car compare to other similar cars on ANCAP’s website?

15. Can you easily see around you while driving the car and use its signals and features?


16. Is getting in and out the car difficult for you or handled with ease?

17. Can you adjust seat heights, lumbar support and other settings?

18. Do you feel confident sitting behind the wheel?

The little touches

19. Have you considered the advantages of Bluetooth and an in-built navigation system?

20. Would rear parking cameras, cruise control and push-button entry make life easier?

21. Would you like heated seats and a heated steering wheel to make cold mornings a little more bearable?


22. How does the cost of the car and its fuel economy compare to others in its class?

23. What features are you willing to compromise on and what are the non-negotiables?

24. What costs are included in the package?

Extra value

25. Can you negotiate some additional inclusions?

26. Is fixed-price servicing available

27. Can you upgrade the interior free or at a reduced cost?

Protect your new car (and yourself) with a quality car insurance policy. Contact Australian Seniors today to find out more about our range of car insurance solutions.

Download the free Australian Seniors Car Purchase Checklist for all the information you’ll need before purchasing a car.