Top 7 things I wish I knew before buying a used jet ski

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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, updated on August 23rd, 2023       

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Buying a jet ski is a great idea, especially if you are living by the seaside. Let’s go through what you should know before buying a jet ski.

Buying a jet ski that has already been used can be a bit friendlier with your pockets. However, there are some things you need to take into consideration before going further with this purchase.

The first thing you need to think about is whether the area in which you are planning to use this jet ski is allows for it. 

The title

You need to have a title. If the person you are buying the jet ski from doesn’t have one, it is better not to go any further with the purchase. If it doesn’t have a title, you will not be able to use the vehicle. If the watercraft does have a title, make sure you check the VIN or the HIN number to see if it matches the one on the title.

The motor

The motor needs to be inspected closely. If it shows any signs of corrosion, it is best to step away. This phenomenon appears due to salt water. If the watercraft shows signs of corrosion on the outside, it will most likely be spread on the inside.

Starting the jet ski

If the person you are buying it from comes up with the story that the watercraft works great, but that it needs a battery, you can either get that battery or walk away. You should be able to test it for at least 1 minute in the water.

Water leaks

While the engine is running, you should look for any water leaks that may come from the hull, the head or the exhaust. If there are water leaks, it means that there might have been previous damage. This way, you will also be able to tell if the watercraft has been taken care of properly and been given a regular service. 

Loose wires

If there are any, your jet ski could stop when you don’t even expect it. Check the terminals to make sure that they are secure and see if there are no bare wires that are hanging out, causing the electronics to enter a shock.

Check the colour of the head

If the engine has overheated in the past, it will make the head turn into a different colour. The engine may be white and the head can be slightly tanned. It means that the engine has been put under a great deal of pressure and that there might be some serious damage to it.

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