Putting down a deposit for a used car
Looking to save by using a deposit for a used car? See your options and compare user car loans now.
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
If you're looking to buy a used vehicle, you may be wondering if you need to leave a deposit.
Both private sellers and used car dealerships may ask for a deposit, so it's important to know how much you're required to put down, whether you're entitled to a refund, or if you need to leave a deposit at all.
Read through the guide to see where you stand before you make your purchase.
Do I need to leave a deposit?
Types of deposits for used cars
There are two types of deposits that you can be asked for when buying a used car:
- A holding deposit essentially "holds" the vehicle for you but you're in no way obliged to follow-through with the purchase
- It may go towards the purchase price but this needs to be decided between you and the seller
- You need to agree whether this deposit is refundable (get this in writing)
- Will generally only apply for a limited time
- You commit to purchasing the vehicle
- It's usually non-refundable, but you should confirm this with the seller
- You sign a contract that outlines all terms and conditions relating to the sale
What to do if you leave a deposit
Can I get my deposit back?
Here are the cooling off periods by state:
- Queensland. A cooling-off-period of one day applies to all used car sales. You must cancel in writing.
- NSW. A one-day cooling-off period only applies when you are purchasing the car under a credit contract, that is, using finance arranged with the dealer. You must cancel in writing and the dealer can charge you $250 or 2% of the cars value, whichever is less.
- Victoria. A cooling-off period of three business days, excluding weekends and public holidays, applies to cars and motorbikes purchased from licensed motor car traders. You lose this period if you opt for delivery during the three-day period. The dealer can keep $100 or 1% of the purchase price, whichever is greater.
- Tasmania. No cooling-off period applies.
- South Australia. You're entitled to a two-day cooling-off period in SA. If you cancel during this period, the seller can keep $100 or 2% of the purchase price, whichever is less.
- Western Australia. No cooling-off period applies.
- Northern Territory. No cooling-off period applies.
- ACT. After you've signed the purchase agreement you're entitled to a cooling-off period of three days. If you cancel during this time (must be cancelled in writing) the seller can charge you $100 or 1% of the purchase price, whichever is greater.
Found your car? Compare your loan options
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
More guides on Finder
What to do after a car accident
Would you know what to do if you were involved in a car accident? This guide looks at the steps to take after an accident has occurred, from securing the scene to making a claim with your insurer.
Jetstar Friday Fare Frenzy: Fares from $45
When is it? How much are tickets? What's included? We cover everything you need to know.
Virgin Australia’s new economy fares explained: How much can you save?
Everything you need to know about the changes to economy fares.
10 costs you don’t even know about until you buy a home
When I bought my first house, I cried, because I didn't know about stamp duty, one of many costs you don't learn about until you buy a home.
First Home Buyer’s e-Course Module 5: Compare loans
How to get your finance sorted BEFORE you start property shopping, so you know exactly how much you have to spend and what your budget is.
Telstra’s giving away free calls across Australia: Why this matters
Here's what you need to know about Telstra's shift to making payphones completely free to use.
Virgin Australia Happy Hour: Fares from $49 for 2022
Here's everything you need to know when booking flights in Virgin Australia's Happy Hour sale.
RelayPay cryptocurrency card and app
FInd out about how RelayPay works, what cryptos and fiat currencies it supports, the fees for using it and safety information.
Business car loans
If you're after a business car, compare your vehicle finance and car loan options and get your business on the road.
Binance Smart Chain (BSC) beginner’s guide
How to get started on Binance's DeFi-optimised blockchain, including how to use it, what you can do on BSC and pros and cons.
Car Loan OffersImportant Information*
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.88% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.69% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Ask an Expert