cars, utes

Hansy Mannil Jul 10, 2023

We do more to help you buy with confidence.

You've found your next car. Fantastic.

Only this car isn't in a car yard, it's in someone's front yard.

Buying a car privately (not from a car dealership) can offer you great variety and excellent value. However, to the uninitiated, the process of buying a car privately is complicated and risky.

In Australia, we are lucky to have a range of services available to help you make a good investment and buy with confidence.

If you're buying privately, we go beyond finance to make the process seamless. We help you take advantage of the services on offer, and take care of the little things you may not have considered, so you can buy with confidence and enjoy a smooth transaction.

Checks and inspections - your pre-purchase choices

If you're buying a car privately, it's your choice what level of checks and inspections you want to have done on the car. From the bare minimum required to legally buy or sell a car, through to comprehensive pre-purchase mechanical inspections – the choice is yours.

In our experience, you'll identify with one of the following questions;

Minimum Legal Requirements

If you're confident you're buying a car in satisfactory condition, the checks required to transfer ownership of a registered vehicle vary state-to-state.

While it's common practice to advertise cars for sale without safety or roadworthy certificates, in some states the law requires a safety certificate be made available before the car is advertised, in others before sale or before the transfer of registration occurs.

For detailed instructions on what is required to buy or sell a car in your state, check with your state authority.


Road Transport Authority


Roads & Maritime


Department of Transport


Transport & Motoring


Transport, Travel & Motoring


Department of State Growth (Transport)




Department of Transport

Unregistered vehicles

It is legal to buy an unregistered vehicle. To get the car home, you can either have the car towed or apply for a short-term Unregistered Driving Permit, which are distributed by the state authorities.

Optional but recommended checks

The requirements listed above are the bare minimum required by law. As the buyer, you are ultimately liable if the car you buy is stolen or has outstanding financial encumbrance. To protect yourself against repossession or other fraudulent activity, it's recommended you check the vehicle against the Property Securities Register (PPSR) to check for financial interests (encumbrances).

At just $29, a CarFacts report gives you a PPSR report plus a comprehensive picture of the car's history, including odometer records from Australia's largest VIN database, write-off history and more.

Financing your car?

If you're taking out a car loan or other finance option where the vehicle stands as security for the loan, a lender will require a finance inspection.

A finance inspection includes a check of registration, compliance plates, photos of the car and lender-approved reports to check for financial encumbrance (PPSR), odometer abnormalities or if the car has been previously written off or stolen.

More than a requirement for finance, a finance inspection is a valuable reassurance that everything is above board with the car you're purchasing.

At Stratton, finance checks by RedBook Inspect are included as part of our service, at no extra cost.

Like  Stratton, RedBook Inspect are part of the Carsales Network, so we're pleased to include finance inspections by RedBook Inspect as part of our standard service. The RedBook Inspect fleet of mobile mechanics provide both finance inspections and comprehensive pre-purchase vehicle inspections, Australia-wide.

Get a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection - for extra peace of mind

A comprehensive (mechanical) pre-purchase inspection goes beyond a visual inspection to determine the safety, integrity and condition of the vehicle and help you avoid any unpleasant surprises post-purchase.

A mechanical inspection generally includes checks on the engine, interior, exterior, tyres, wheels and brakes. The inspector will confirm there is a spare key, inspect the car for accident damage, take it for a road test, check the logbook and take photos of the vehicle.

As a client of  Stratton you can upgrade your finance inspection to a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection for just $150 with RedBook Inspect (normally $250).

We'll work with the seller, so you don't have to

With all the checks done, it's the little things that make the whole experience seamless.

Once you're satisfied with the outcome of the inspections, all that's left to do is agree on a sale price. It's a good bet the seller doesn't sell cars every day, so once you've agreed, your  Stratton consultant will work with them directly to collect identification, invoices, bank details and other documents required to get you on the road faster.

It's easy, it's transparent and it's a good experience for everyone - which is why  Stratton are the private sale specialists.

Let us help you get started

If you've found a car, get a 60 second finance quote, ask a question or call 1300 STRATTON (1300 787 288) to get started.

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Meet our partners

We partner with industry leaders to streamline the process, ensuring we get the keys in your hands more swiftly and efficiently.

Pepper Money









Thorn Group

Bank of Queensland



Get Capital



Capital Finance

Angle Finance

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