7 Things New Car Buyers Should Check

7 Things New Car Buyers Should Check

Posted by Motorama in Buyer Advice

Buying a new car is always exciting, and in all the rush you can overlook some important things. Of course the professional sales team at Motorama is there to guide you along the way, yet it doesn’t hurt to come prepared and know what to look for. We’ve listed six important things you should definitely check before you put your signature on the contract.


We’ve written an interesting blog about the difference between Build Date, Compliance Date and Model Year for good reason. A lot of customers find this confusing and don’t understand what sets them apart.

In short, the Build Date is the month and year the vehicle rolled of the production line, the Compliance Date is the moment when it completed the check for the requirements of the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) ,and the Model Year, refers to the production cycle the car belongs to.

Keep these three dates in mind when looking at your new car and you’ll be able to get the complete picture. This could definitely play an important role in the sales price and in due course, the resale value.  For example, the older model cars may have a higher level of discount applied to them as they are older stock that needs to be sold, or may miss features of the newer, updated model.

Spare tyre

No matter what car you drive or how you drive it, eventually getting a flat tyre is inevitable. Usually it’s not a big deal and changing a tyre isn’t very complicated, but one thing is necessary: a spare tyre. In the past practically every car came with a full size spare in the trunk, but especially hatchbacks and smaller sedan nowadays only come with a ‘Space Saver’ spare tyre.

Of course it’s cheaper to not include a full size spare tyre and it also takes less space – hence the name – but the disadvantage is that they’re limited to 80km/h. No problem is you’re close to home, but on a road trip in the hinterland this can become a bit of a hassle. Especially if you’re towing. Therefore it’s smart to check what kind of spare tyre comes with your new car and decide if you would want to upgrade. Read our Quick Guide to Spare Tyres to get all the ins-and-outs.


The problem with most test drives is that you will make them during the day. At Motorama we do offer you to take the car overnight if possible, but if you’re short for time, that might not work for you. Yet two things you definitely need to check before buying a new car are inside and outside lighting. The first to see if the headlights – especially the high beams – are adequate for your use, and the second to see how the instrument panel looks at night.

If you’re mostly driving in the city you might not need you’re headlights that bad, but head out to the countryside and it gets very, very dark at night. It’s out there that you don’t want to be surprised by a crossing kangaroo and so you need a good high beam to spot wildlife a couple hundred metres out. It’s important your headlights are adjusted correctly, but what kind of lights your new car comes with  - HID, LED or halogen – can make a difference as well.

On the inside, it’s more a comfort thing, as not being able to dim that bright LCD display in the middle could become annoying in the middle of the night. Check if you can dim the instrument panel as well or perhaps even change the colour scheme of the interior lights. It makes for a more personal experience inside and eases the eyes.


Any car will depreciate in value, except if you are in the lucky position to buy an exclusive, limited edition supercar of course. But in that case, you probably won’t be reading this article. Some cars depreciate faster and more than others and that’s something to check before you buy one.

If it’s a completely new model it’s hard to get a good history, but you can check other cars from the specific brand and see how they are holding up on the second hand market. If there is a previous model of the new car you’re planning on buying, check the original sticker price and have a look what the years in combination with amount of kilometres have done with the resale value. Unfortunately you can’t calculate the trade in value of your car beforehand as there are many more factors that can change this amount.  It is worth taking into consideration the popularity when the car is new, the body style, engine and grade level.  Even the number of accessories you add when purchasing your car new can certainly make a difference in the deprecation.


Luckily cars aren’t like iPhones that change model every year and where everybody always wants the latest version, but it’s still a good thing to check what the manufacturer has in the product pipeline. A facelifted or even completely overhauled model might be on its way and that could mean the previous model goes in run-out. Alternatively, you might want to check the options or upgrades on the new model and wait for that one to be released. Visit the manufacturers website to see if there is any news or keep on eye out on a range of automotive websites to read the latest news. Secrets are hard to keep in the car industry.

Retail Sale Events

Like every other business in the retail industry, car manufacturers & car dealers love to put their products on sale. Whether it be an End of Financial Year deal, Christmas special, New Year give-away, Mid-Year sale or any other occasion, there is generally always a sale on. If you’ve narrowed down the model line / car you think is for you, it is worth watching it for a few months (if you have time) to see what offers come out on it.  Generally, car manufacturer offers run for a month to 3 months, so if there is no offer on during the current month, waiting for the new month to tick over could get you a better deal.  Conversely, the offer may also end and not be extended.


All dealerships have a fleet of demonstrators – these are cars that the dealer has registered to the business for use in customer test drives, they could be service loan cars or even staff or management drive cars. It is worth asking your sales person what demonstrators they have on as they will represent a saving over buying a brand new model. Usually you will have less choice with colours, and most demonstrators will come with a few to a few thousand kilometres on the odometer. Because the dealership has used and owned these, they typically will be cheaper than a brand new model, and maybe an option to get your dream car if you can’t quite afford the exact one brand new.

Now that you know what to look out for when buying a new car, visit one of our dealerships and have a chat with our friendly and knowledgeable sales teams.