Safety tips for buyers

There are few simple steps you can follow to protect yourself online through every stage of the buying process.

Step 1: Searching for cars

Keep an eye out for significantly undervalued cars – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Step 2: Contacting the seller

  • Prepare some questions about the car to ask the seller to help verify that they are genuine and that the car is as described
  • Do not provide the seller with your personal identification details like a copy of your licence or banking information.

Step 3: Inspecting the car

  • Arrange to meet at a neutral location like a police station car park and try to take someone with you
  • Before you test drive the car, make sure your insurance covers test drives
  • Be wary of sellers asking for a deposit at this stage. If you do choose to put a deposit down, make sure you get a receipt stamped with the date and time.

Step 4: Making an offer

  • Before making an offer, make sure you know your limits when negotiating. What are you willing to pay?
  • Do your research and know the value of the car before making a deal. Visit for detailed vehicle information including price guides and valuations
  • Find out the legal status of the car before making an offer. Buying a CarFacts Report will give you peace-of-mind as you can quickly determine if the car has ever been recorded as stolen or written off, has any finance owing on it, or is suspected as having its odometer rolled back.

Step 5: Paying the seller

  • Use a method of payment that provides you with proof of purchase like a receipt or email confirmation directly from the provider
  • Ask for a signed receipt with the date and time to confirm payment
  • Never send cash in the mail
  • Check our security updates regularly for important information.

Step 6: Get the car insured

  • Make sure you have the car insured when you pick it up so you are covered for the drive home
  • When you buy a car from carsales you may be able to enjoy free 7 day comprehensive cover. Apply here.


Check out the video below on our top 10 online safety tips! 


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