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Buyer's Tips

A guide to inspecting and test driving a used car


You’ve probably already spent countless hours thinking about the kind of vehicle you want and researching which models best suit your lifestyle. You’re likely to have a few in your sights that meet most of your needs and more importantly fit into your budget. Now it’s time to learn more.


Test driving a used car is your opportunity to see how it handles in a range of different road and traffic conditions as well identifying any issues it might have. But testing your next ride begins before you even see the car.

Ask the seller the right questions

Successfully buying a used car starts with some simple yet important questions. These will help you discover any potential problems early so you don’t waste your time test driving or purchasing the wrong car.

  1. Ask about the features mentioned in the advertisement. genuine parts and accessories are best, as anything added by the owner may not have been installed correctly or may even affect the performance or safety of the vehicle.
  2. Ask if there are any scratches or dents in the exterior, chipped glass or damage to the interior.
  3. If you’re buying from a private seller, ask them why they’re selling and consider if their reason could be something that impacts you too.
  4. Most importantly ask them for the used car service history. checking service history tells you if it was serviced by a dealership, when the next service is due and what it’s expected to cost and also ask if it’s missed any scheduled servicing.

The full story

While talking to the car owner is a great start in determining the condition of a used vehicle, it’s possible to go further. We suggest a Personal Property Securities Register search for any vehicle you’re seriously considering. When you purchase a Toyota Certified Pre-Owned vehicle from a Toyota Dealership it comes with a CarHistory ® check included in the price.

A PPSR search generally includes:

  • Stolen vehicle check
  • Written-off check
  • Odometer wind-back check
  • Vehicle financial liability check
  • Registration details
  • First sale information
  • Flood and storm damage check


The test drive

Taking a car around the block isn’t sufficient, you need at least half an hour to test for everything you expect your new car to do. There’s a lot to remember so it may be good to bring a checklist along to ensure you’ve checked everything thoroughly.


Test how well the car changes gears, accelerates, stops and how well it handles the highway. See how the engine idles at a complete stop - if the car shakes or rattles it suggests it may have issues. Drive with the steering wheel perfectly straight and make sure the car stays that way too.


Get out of the car to make sure all the signal lights work and look for dents, scratches and signs of rust in the paintwork. Pay attention to any bad smells or smoke.


Check the internal electronics - the radio, heating and air conditioning and power windows. Look over the seats, carpet and boot for wear and tear.

Test Drive

A Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle means peace of mind

A Certified Pre-Owned Toyota is the best way to buy a used car. It eliminates many of the risks in buying a used car and includes many of the great services and assurances you expect from a new Toyota.

Every Certified Pre-Owned Toyota comes with:

  • Full service history
  • An independent CarHistory® background check
  • 1-year additional Toyota-backed Warranty
  • 90 point inspection by Toyota technicians
  • 1 year free Toyota Roadside Assist*
  • Get Guaranteed Future Value^ with a Toyota Access car loan

Learn More

  • Disclaimer

    * Terms and Conditions apply. Toyota Roadside Assist is administered by Toyota Finance, a division of Toyota Finance Australia Limited ABN 48 002 435 181, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 392536

    ^ The Guaranteed Future Value (GFV) is the minimum value of your Toyota at the end of your finance contract, as determined by Toyota Finance. If you decide to return your car to Toyota Finance at the end of your term, Toyota Finance will pay you the agreed GFV, which will be put against your final payment subject to fair wear and tear conditions and agreed kilometres being met. The information provided is general in nature. You should seek your own financial advice to determine whether Toyota Access is appropriate for your individual circumstances. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply. Toyota Access GFV products are available to approved customers of Toyota Finance, a division of Toyota Finance Australia Limited ABN 48 002 435 181, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 392536.

    # Applicable to pre-owned vehicles purchased as a Toyota Certified Pre-Owned (TCPO) vehicle on or after 01/01/2022. TCPO 2022 Warranty expires 1yr after sale, or 1 yr after the current New Vehicle Warranty expires (if applicable), or 10 years from date of registration in original owner’s name, or at 160,000kms (whichever occurs first). TCPO Warranty does not apply to vehicles used for commercial purpose (eg taxis or rideshare). See for T&Cs. This warranty does not limit and may not necessarily exceed your rights under the Australian Consumer Law.