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Buying a used car in the ACT

Your rights when you buy a second hand car in the ACT will depend on who you buy the car from.

If you buy from a dealer, there is legislation in the ACT which provides you with some protection:

  • A cooling off period
  • Guaranteed title
  • Warranties

You have three business days from buying the car to reconsider your decision. If you change your mind and no longer want the car, you must advise the dealer in writing within the three day cooling off period. You will not receive your entire deposit in this case. The dealer may keep $100 or 1% of the purchase price, whichever is greater.

When you buy from a dealer, you are guaranteed a good tile ie no monies are owed by anyone else on the car.

You will receive a 3 month or 5000km warranty from the dealer on all used cars less than 10 years old that have travelled less than 160,000 km. The warranty does not cover tyres, batteries, brake pads and wiper blades.

If you buy a second hand car privately, you have far less protection. There is no cooling off period or warranty.

Before you agree to buy a car privately, note the registration number, engine number and vehicle identification number. Once you have this information, contact the Personal Property Security Register to ensure there are no monies owed by anyone on the car eg someone who has failed to meet payments on a hire-purchase scheme.

If you have any concerns in relation to buying a second hand car, contact Access Canberra.


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