Buying a Low Cost Car—What to Know

Budget Car FAQs

Important Used Car Concepts

Popular Models to Consider when Choosing a Used Car


Budget Car FAQs

Why buy a car under $10,000?

Cars under $10,000 have reached a level of depreciation, but certainly not their ‘use by’ date! The economic benefit of this to the budget-conscious car buyer is that they can purchase an inexpensive car with a lot more features than when buying a newer car.

TIP: Almost all cars depreciate in value and the newer the car, the faster they depreciate! By buying a low-cost but quality and reliable used vehicle, you can direct the money you save to other uses.

What should I look for in a great low cost car?

When looking for a low cost car, think about what is going to suit your needs, whether you’re a first car buyer or looking for a budget family car. For example, if you have a big family then a vehicle with lots of seats and leg room to accommodate the growing children. Or do you need something like an SUV – perhaps one of our small SUVs - that can go off road on the weekends? Younger drivers and pensioners may prefer a small car that is easier to park and more economical to run. We also have a great range of cars under $5,000!

TIP: Always endeavor to buy as many safety features as possible for the price range you’re looking in.

Can I buy a cheap car that will still be reliable?

Absolutely! It is a lack of good maintenance that makes a car unreliable. No matter the age or mileage of the vehicle, we always try and source used cars with the best service history. An economically-priced car that’s been well-maintained can give reliable service for many years.

TIP: When buying a used car, always try and ascertain the service history of the vehicle.

Does a vehicle from Low Cost Cars include a warranty and servicing?

Any quality car sold with a Roadworthy Certificate from Bendigo's Low Cost Cars, also comes with a warranty. As a courtesy to our clients, the option of servicing is also available.

Are there additional costs when buying a car from Low Cost Cars, Bendigo?

The price displayed on the window tag (Form 5) at Low Cost Cars is a drive-away price. The price of our used cars is inclusive of GST, stamp duty, transfer fee and all roadworthy expenses.

Do I have to pay stamp duty on a used car?

Stamp duty is a tax levied by State Governments in Australia and is payable on both new and used cars, whether purchased privately or from a dealer. In Victoria, the stamp duty is less for used cars than new cars—another advantage and cost-saving when buying a second-hand vehicle! The rate of stamp duty is 4.2 per cent ($4.20 per $100) when buying a used car, so you can use this to estimate the amount of tax you will need to pay when budgeting to buy your car.

Example: If the car you buy is $6,000, you will need to pay $252 in stamp duty.

What should I know about mileage when buying a second hand car?

Mileage is not as significant an issue as a vehicle’s condition and service records. If the used car you’re considering buying is in great condition and has been well serviced over the years, you should not be deterred by high mileage. Many second-hand cars—particularly cars under $5,000—will have a number of miles on the odometer.

Can I buy a good car under $5000?

At first, you may think your options are limited when looking for an inexpensive car under $5,000. First car buyers often have this misapprehension, but there is actually a wealth of vehicles available to you on such a budget. An older Holden or Ford often makes a good choice—they have longevity built into their DNA!

What is a Roadworthy Certificate and will I need a one?

A Roadworthy Certificate is issued after an inspection of a used car or vehicle to ensure that key components have not worn or deteriorated, and that it’s safe for normal road use. A Certificate of Roadworthiness is legally required when:

  • second-hand car or other vehicle is sold
  • used vehicle is to be re-registered
  • some cases, to clear a vehicle defect.

It can only be issued by a licensed vehicle tester. Most vehicles at Low Cost Cars are sold with a Roadworthy Certificate.


Important Used Car Concepts

What is ABS?

ABS stands for Anti-lock Braking System. ABS makes sure that in hard braking conditions the wheels won’t lock—a dangerous situation which causes the car to slide or skid—but rather ensures the vehicle can still be steered.

What is Power steering?

Power steering assists the manoeuvring or steering of a car so that there is no effort in parking or slow moving. Power steering can be either hydraulic or electrically assisted.

What do I need to know about airbags when buying a used car?

Now that airbags have become something of a standard, many used cars—even cars under $5,000—will have airbags available. The most important considerations with airbags are how many airbags and where they are placed. The more airbags that deploy in an accident, the safer you should be from serious injury. Buying an economically-priced car doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this safety feature.

Is Electronic Stability Control (ESC) important?

Electronic Stability Control helps a driver to avoid crashing by reducing the danger of skidding, or losing control as a result of over-steering. ESC becomes active when a driver loses control of the car. Any feature that adds to safety is always beneficial in the event of an unpredictable driving situation.


Popular Models to Consider when Choosing a Used Car

Why is the Ford Territory a good choice for a second hand car?

The Ford Territory has the reliability of a Ford motor car, low maintenance costs, and is both comfortable and safe to drive. The Territory is available in both 5-seater and 7-seater configurations making it an excellent family car. Not only is the Ford Territory a practical towing vehicle, it has easily obtainable parts which can make it a more inexpensive used car from a maintenance perspective.

You may be interested to read the comments about the Ford Territory in this Choice article on used car safety rankings.

Why are SUVs so popular?

You may have noticed that SUVs are a fast growing section of the Australian car market. There are many reasons for this, including their ability to offer great visibility, good seating, a comfortable ride for a variety of family sizes, and the flexibility to accommodate pets, equipment for sports and a host of other interests. With all these factors in mind, it’s easy to understand why the SUV has also become such a popular choice of used car. Options such as the larger Ford Territory model or small SUVs, like the Mazda Tribute, Mitsubishi Outlander and Toyota Rav 4, mean there’s a second-hand SUV to suit just about every family size, budget and transport requirement.

How does the Toyota Camry rate for reliability?

The Toyota Camry—as with the range of Toyota cars—is a vehicle offering all the creature comforts together with outstanding reliability. The Toyota Camry is an economical car available in either a manual or 4-door automatic transmission. It makes for easy motoring with a dependability that will make you question the need for an RACV membership!

Are European cars too expensive to maintain as a second-hand car?

It’s widely considered that European cars are too expensive for the budget-conscious used car buyer. Why? Because people think parts and maintenance will ultimately be much more expensive for this type of vehicle. Happily, this belief is something of a myth! Parts and maintenance are not necessarily more costly than for Australian or other non-European car makes and models, and overall maintenance costs can even be lower due to extended service intervals.

Generally, European cars represent great value for money on the used car market as the depreciation from their new car price tends to be significantly higher. Indeed, buying a second-hand European car may be your opportunity to own and enjoy a prestige car offering greater safety, more features and superior comfort to an Australian counterpart.

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