Buying a Used Car (Budget $15k - $22k. 3-5 Years Old. 60,000 or Less Km. Hybrid Preferred)

Looks like it’s best time to buy a used car, but where should I start?

Car sales looks decent, any ideas where to grab a bargain for used car? My budget is 15-22k can’t be older than 3-5 years old and less than 60km, hybrid preferred thanks.


  • +2

    Carsales is your friend

  • +2

    I wouldn't say now's the best time with the rise in used car prices due to covid drying up stock of new cars?? But if you need one you need one.

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  • +18

    Looks like it’s best time to buy a used car

    You must be new here? It is quite possibly one of the worst times in automotive history to buy a car…

    • Op could try a Vespa?

    • Could be from a parallel universe.

    • +3

      You don't become OzBargain's most prolific poster(Penalty Boxed user and Neil excepted) by having your finger on the pulse.

      • TIL

        Writing (posting) is not the same as Reading.

  • +1

    Looks like it’s best time to buy a used car

    are you talking about you're personal circumstances or in regards to the car market?

    If the former, congrats and if you can't wait then start looking.

    If the latter, then no, its still a terrible time to buy (a great time to sell like myself once lockdown lifts) with prices on used cars about 30% higher than their pre-pandemic values. This is without taking into account normal depreciation and ageing of cars over last 18-24 months so the appreciation is astonishing and I'd expect a somewhat decent fall in prices the second borders are freely opened up and people can spend their money elsewhere.

    Either way when you come to buy, please only use Carsales (for the love of god) if you want to have a somewhat decent transaction (yes i know that it has its risks, and plenty of people have sold/bought cars successfully on Gumtree/FB (incl myself), but that's where to majority of scams/dodgy sellers lie). Make sure to DYOR, test-drive with a knowledgeable friend/family member, and get a mechanic to inspect if you're all happy right before handing over the cash.

    Whilst his opinions are polarising and can be affronting, John Cadogan is straight-forward and honest car reviewer and is someone I trust 100% (I have personal experience with him). Whilst some enthusiasts (myself included) may not align with all his views (particularly in regards to niche performance vehicles), on the whole he's probably the most trustworthy person on the automotive scene and we'd largely concur with the opinions he expresses. IMO, check out the cars & brands he recommends and buy from there.

    Given your budget and specification (esp Hybrids), there's a slightly risker option that you could consider, involving importing a car from Japan. For this you'd use an accredited importer (Import Monster/JSpec/Prestige Motorsport) and work with them to bring in a car from the auctions there, for which they charge about $1-1.5k.
    This is what I'm planning on doing soon, and will be looking at the Honda Fit (Jazz), Nissan Note (No Local Eqv) or Mazda Axela (3), which are all importable to Australia as their local equivalents had no hybrid models locally sold. There's some for sale at dealers locally but they've all added healthy margins on top, so importers are the way to go (also allows you to specify exact condition/colour/grade you like). Jspec gives a good expected cost on arrival (incl their fee) to which you should add another 1.5k to cover all onroads/rego.

    Average JSpec Values (All Grade 4+, 40-80k km, >2016 model year) (All prices landed and complied):
    Honda Fit: $17,200
    Mazda Axela: $21,400
    Nissan Note: $18,400

    Note: The NOTE is series-hybrid, and not a parallel-hybrid (i.e. petrol generator charges batteries, without direct link to wheels)

    These are all quite suitable options for yourself, and are what I'm planning to import myself for a daily run-around. They're nearly at the top of the local Japanese sales charts are proven reliable (The Note is the best seller there) as well as being super efficient (all under 3.5L/100km). The first 2 have a small advantage of being recognisable models (blend in very well) whilst also having replacement body parts in the event of a fender-bender, but they'll all suffer some disadvantage being that instrument displays will have some Japanese on them, and insurance will be slightly more expensive.

    • Hi JDMcarfan,

      what is your experience in insuring one of these imported vehicles? i am looking into a hybrid corolla wagon either sourced locally here or from an importer but my concern is regarding the insurance. My current car vw passet and it is with woolworth full comprehensive for like $450, but i've heard stories where people pay thousands for imported vehicles.

      are you able to recommend an insurer so i can ring and get a few quotes thank you.

      • the cheapo insurers (Budget,Woolies) won't touch these are they run of a fixed database that's effectively limited to Australian-delivered models.
        The bigger insurers, particularly NRMA have most of the vehicles in their database already and you can otherwise call them up and get a quote for them.
        My family has been with NRMA for 20+ years with lifelong NCD, so our premiums are only 25% more than the cheap insurers but for most other people they'd be like 50-100% more. Imported models from my research were about 10% more than their local eqv, with the slight extra cost easily offset by fuel savings.

        I'm going to be starting this process in the next few weeks so will be happily to fill you in further later

        • will you be importing an vehicle yourself or go through an importer, as i am keen to learn about the process and the costs involved thank you

  • +3

    Bargain on a used car?


  • +5

    Wow. Just wow.

    I put in all of your filter requirements into carsales and was left with 1 result. This is it

    Good luck op.

    • Nope, 5 results

      But yeah…

      • Nope. 1 result. Remember we don't recommend buying cars interstate. OP is in NSW. Some in your list are more than 5 years old.

        • Both wrong. 2 results

          You missed this one

          Not sure why the other 2 cars showing when I have it location specific but oh well

  • Cooked…

  • +1

    Very few No bargains around at the moment. Plenty of cars around.

    If you have no idea, pay a bit extra and get one from a dealer, with a warranty.

    You want a hybrid, but what else do you want the car for? If it’s just driving to work you might be better to just get a smaller car. Cheaper up front.

  • OP need to update criteria. :D

  • +1

    I calculated like 20 000km/year and it'd take me 6 years to break even with a Camry petrol model. So if it's on fuel costs alone you want to be driving it longer than that. If it's for other reasons then go for it.

    • +3

      You'd be surprised of the real-world fuel use of the petrol, plus the hybrid is a better drive

  • Have you considered importing?
    Can get a few year old Mazda 3 or suzuki swift in hybrid for that budget.

    Else could look vw polo 1.2 turbo, if want a decent built car with low fuel use. They use to be 21-22k for demo, how covid has ruined prices

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