Car Yards Melbourne – The Monzi Guide

Need car yards Melbourne? Monzi is here to give you the low-down on finding your next set of wheels. We’ll cover all the tips and tricks that’ll have you driving around in your dream car in no time. Let’s go!

Car yards Melbourne blurred aerial view of car dealership

Car yards Melbourne

Melbourne is home to an extensive range of car dealerships, selling both new cars and used vehicles. If you’re a Melbourne resident looking for a new car, you won’t be short on options.

One thing you will find though is that finding the right car can be really difficult. There are dozens of car makers who each offer a range of models. Even once you’ve settled on that you have to decide between manual or automatic, new or used and petrol or diesel.

In short, your head’s going to be spinning.

To ensure you can walk into your local dealership with a clear mind and an idea of what you want, Monzi has put together this guide covering all the key decisions you’ll need to make.

Finding the right car for your situation: know your budget

While we all want to buy the flashiest, fastest or most comfortable car possible, it’s important to remember what your car is used for. At the end of the day, it only needs to get you from A to B. Ideally, it will do this in a reliable fashion.

Before you start researching your options, it’s important to know what you can afford to spend. In order to do this you’ll need to have a clear understanding of your financial situation. So, consider the balance between your saving, income and expenses. This information will then help inform your research (new vs used, etc.).

If you are looking to make a budget, ASIC’s MoneySmart budget planner is a free online resource that could come in handy. It will help categorise your income and expenses so you know exactly where your money’s going.

How do I choose the right car?

There is no simple, one-size-fits-all answer to this question because ultimately, everyone is different. We each have different preferences, uses, needs and financial situations which will help define our choice of car.

Not only that, with the sheer range of choice on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why it’s important to narrow down your search as much as possible.

To help get the ball rolling, key considerations may include:

  • Manual or automatic: you can often get manual cars at a better price. However, if you only have an automatic licence, this won’t be an option.
  • Big or small: A big car will be roomier, however, it will use more fuel and registration and insurance cost will be higher too.
  • New or second-hand: while a new car may last longer, you will save money buying second-hand. And more often than not, you won’t even notice the difference.
  • Colour: aesthetics are important but this should only be a minor consideration. Price, size and fuel economy should all carry more weight.

Tips for sticking to your budget

While making a budget is a great first step, it will be utterly meaningless if you don’t stick to it. Moreover, exceeding your budget can potentially compromise your financial situation and create issues down the line.

While it sticking to your budget may sound like common sense, you’d be surprised at how tricky it can be. Especially if you find your dream car at a price that’s slightly higher than you can afford.

Ultimately, discipline and self-control are key. Tips for sticking to your budget include:

  • Save, save, save: the more you save, the more you can afford to spend (potentially). Not only that, you can pay more upfront thereby reducing your future interest repayments.
  • Set a maximum price: there’s only so much you can afford to spend. Set a maximum and abide by it. One or two thousand dollars more might not seem like a lot but it can come back to bite you in the future.
  • Bargain: try to talk the dealer into offering a lower price. If you’re a serious buyer, they may be willing to make a deal.

Are car yards Melbourne my only option?

Not at all.

While most people will buy their cars from car yards in Melbourne simply for the ease of purchase and finance options offered, they’re not the only place you can buy a car from.

Your alternative options include private sellers and auctions.

Private sales

A private sale is when you buy the car directly from its owner. Typically, the car will be listed online or in the local classifieds. You will need to pay upfront, meaning you will either need to have the money saved or you will need to take out a personal loan.

If you do buy privately, ensure you take the car for a test drive and ask the current owner to provide the following paperwork:

  • Current registration
  • Safety check and roadworthy certificate
  • Proof of ownership.

Car auctions

If this sounds appealing to you, do your research and find a local auction. They typically take place fairly regularly and there is often a great selection of cars on offer. While you may be able to score a bargain, there are no inspections or test-drives so it can be risky.

Car yards Melbourne: do I want new or used?

While we’ve already covered it briefly, the age old debate when it comes to buying a car is: should you buy a new car from a dealership or a second-hand one from used car yards Melbourne?

In short, both come with their advantages and disadvantages which means you’re going to have to decide what it is you value.

As a quick note, remember that not all used cars are created equal. They can vary significantly in age, kilometres travelled, wear and tear and service history. So, do a thorough audit of the car’s key information before purchase.

In any case, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of new and used cars.

Why you should buy a new car

The benefits of a new car come down to the fact that it is exactly that, new! That means there’s no wear and tear and it should be in mint condition.

More specifically, the benefits include:

  • Maintenance should be minimal and typically it will be covered by the warranty
  • Customisable: you can select various features and the colour
  • A range of new technology and gadgets often come as standard.
  • Top-notch safety features: brake assist, reversing camera, etc.
  • Typically more fuel efficient

Why you shouldn’t buy a new car

  • They’re more expensive
  • Depreciation: this is the major con of buying a new car. New cars may lose up to 40% of their value within three years of purchase.
  • You may have to follow a strict servicing routine (including who services the car) in order to maintain the warranty’s validity.
  • May be more expensive to insure.

The upside of buying second-hand

While buying a used car may be riskier, with a bit of research, you can potentially find a reliable car for a great price.

Other benefits include:

  • You can potentially save yourself a ton of money.
  • You don’t have to worry about the significant depreciation that occurs early in the car’s life.
  • There’s a huge range to choose from. With the internet and the number of car yards Melbourne, you can potentially find a range of different makes, models and ages at a price that suits you.
  • It may be cheaper to ensure a used car.

The issues with buying second-hand

The issues with buying second-hand cars are the risks that you must take on. These issues apply generally and should be considered before purchase.

Obviously, the presence of these risks will be determined by a number of factors including the age of the car, wear and tear and the manufacturer.

These issues may include:

  • More frequent maintenance may be required meaning costs can add up.
  • When you purchase the car, you have limited knowledge of past performance, how well the car has been maintained or how it has been driven.
  • Depending on the car’s age and manufacturer, finding replacement parts may be difficult or expensive.
  • Second-hand cars may be less fuel-efficient thereby costing you money.

Best car dealers Melbourne

There are a ton of car yards in Melbourne. As such, it can be difficult to pinpoint who the best are. Like with any product, there will be good and bad dealers and it’s up to you to make the right choice.

At the end of the day, dealers are there to make a sale. So, before making any purchase ensure it is all above board.

Most importantly, ensure the dealer is licenced. In Victoria, car traders are required to apply for a licence. As such, a dealer operating without a licence would be a serious red flag.

Other steps you should take before purchase include:

  • Complete an inspection: check the interior, exterior and under the bonnet for signs of rust, wear or other issues.
  • Take it for a test drive
  • Check the car’s service history and make sure there is no money owed on the car via a PPSR check
  • Get the VIN number: the 17 digit code typically located on the driver’s door is necessary to check the car’s history.

Car yards Melbourne: completing a proper inspection

If you’re buying a second-hand car, completing a thorough inspection is critical.

Similarly, if you’re buying a new car, inspect it thoroughly and take it for a test drive. There should be fewer issues and in any case, they should be covered by warranty. However, doing your due diligence is never a bad idea.

If you’re looking for a checklist on how to inspect a vehicle, try to tick the following boxes.


  • Check the paintwork: are there bubbles or differences in colour? These may indicate rust or that the car was in an accident.
  • Do the doors, windows and boot close properly?
  • Are all the panels in place?
  • Check the tread on the tyres: uneven wear on the tyres can indicate a steering or suspension problem.


  • Is the upholstery in good condition?
  • Test the seats: are they comfortable and adjustable?
  • Ensure that all the lights and accessories in the car are operating properly: may include windows, air conditioning, windscreen wipers and radio.

Under the bonnet

  • Check the oil levels and ensure it’s the correct colour. Discoloured oil may indicate an engine problem
  • Remove the radiator cap in order to check the coolant. Make sure it’s clean and bright in colour.
  • Look at the battery for signs of corrosion or rust

Start the engine

  • Does it sound normal? Are there any irregular noises (e.g. rattling)?
  • Check that the amount of exhaust is normal.
  • Look underneath the car for signs of an oil leak.

Car yards western suburbs Melbourne

Located in Melbourne’s westerns suburbs and looking for a new set of wheels? There are plenty of great car dealerships in your area that can help you score a great deal.

Whether you’re looking to buy a new or used car, there’s something for everyone. Most major car makers have dealerships in the western suburbs while there’s a range of top-notch second-hand sellers too.

Do your research and find the car that’s right for you. There’s a good chance you won’t have to travel too far.

Where can I buy cars online Australia?

If you don’t want to head down to one of the many Melbourne car yards to purchase your car, that’s okay. There are a number of online car buying websites that you can access.

In Australia, Car Sales is undoubtedly the most popular website with up to 200,000 listings. You can sort by price, make, model and location making it easy to find your dream car.

While they may not have the same range of Car Sales, other online options may include CarsGuide, Drive or classifieds websites such as Gumtree.

Finally, these websites allow you to access listings nation-wide. While a car may be available at a great price, if it is located in another city or state, the onus will be on you to organise transport.

Is there a cooling off period when buying a used car in Victoria?


If you buy a car from a licenced car dealer in Victoria, you are entitled to a cooling off period of three business days (this excludes weekends and public holidays). In this period, you may change your mind and back out of the purchase.

If, during the cooling off period, you decide that the car is not for you, contact your dealer immediately. You will need to provide written notice that you intend to terminate the sale agreement.

Terminating the agreement may come at a cost however. If you’ve bought from a car yard Melbourne, the dealer may be entitled to keep $400 or 2% of the purchase price, whichever is greater.

Keep in mind that the cooling off period does not apply to private sales or commercial vehicles.

Do car yards Melbourne sell four-wheel drive cars?

Yes, of course.

In fact there are a number of 4 x 4 card yards Melbourne who deal exclusively in four-wheel drives.

Whether you’re looking to replace your work ute or keen to get off the beaten track, there may be a vehicle that suits your needs.

Like with all cars, you can access and range of makes and models that come in a variety of different ages. Shop around, do your research and you may be able to score yourself a great deal.

Is financing a car a good idea?

Potentially, as long as it is affordable for you.

In an ideal world, you will have enough money saved to buy your car outright. Borrowing money comes with interest which means the cost will be greater.

Obviously, having the cash on hand to buy a car outright may not always be possible. In this case, you will either need to continue saving or take out a loan.

The main benefit of financing a car is that the costs will be spread over a long-period into a series of manageable repayments. This will however, come at the cost of interest. Ultimately, you will need to decide if this is right for you.

Is it better to finance a car through car yards Melbourne or a bank?

If you’re buying a loan and financing it via credit, you’ll have two options. You can either take out a car loan through a bank or access dealer-arranged finance.

A car loan is simple. It’s just a type of secured loan used to purchase your car offered by a lender or bank. The loan is secured by the car and is typically repaid over a number of years.

Finance through a dealer is essentially the same thing, however, they’ll do the work for you. You will need to fill out a credit application and from there, they will approach lenders on your behalf. Typically, this process will be quicker than applying for a car loan.

Ultimately, the the best choice for you will depend on your circumstances and what’s on offer. Typically, the best car loan option will be the one that saves you more money, although this is often difficult to calculate.

Should I take out a loan to buy a car?

At the end of the day, it will come down to your financial situation and what you feel you can manage. As a result, Monzi cannot say definitely what is right for your circumstances.

If you do opt to take out a car loan, there are a few things you should consider first in order to get the best deal. These include:

  • How much do you need to borrow: this may affect the interest rate applied as well as the type of loan you are applying for (secured or unsecured).
  • The term: how long will you be making repayments for? Shorter is typically better, however, payments spread over a long period may be more affordable for you.
  • The interest rate: the lower the better. The interest rate determines the amount you will pay on top of the principal amount you borrowed.
  • Fixed or variable: variable loans may offer the option to modify your repayments or pay the loan off sooner. With a fixed loan, your repayments will be locked in.

Moreover, you could potentially use Monzi’s lender-finder service to apply for the following loans:

Small personal loan$300 to $2,000Unsecured
Medium personal loan$2,001 to $4,600Secured
Large personal loan$5,000 to $10,0000Secured

Not sure where to begin? Read our guide to finding out how much you can borrow with a car loan. Alternatively, find out the difference between a novated lease vs. car loan.

Car yards Melbourne: take care

If we can leave you with one piece of advice, it would be “don’t rush in.” Buying a car is one of the largest financial commitments you will make in your life. So, it’s crucial that you make the right decision.

Do you research, know what you want and don’t feel pressured to buy. Take your time and find the best car for you. Follow this and you can potentially find the car of your dreams at the right price.

Begin your search today!

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