There is no doubt about it – Jet skis are great fun. What isn’t fun is buying a second-hand jet ski and realising there were a few things you should have checked first. Getting a second-hand jet ski isn’t a bad thing, it can be a lot easier on your wallet, but as the saying goes, if you buy cheap you may have to buy twice.  Let’s looks at a few things you should consider before buying a used jet-ski.


Where are you allowed to use it?

Not all waterways allow the use of a jet ski.  If you have a particular spot in mind for jet skiing, you’ll want to make sure you are actually allowed to ride it there.


Are you allowed to use it?

You might be surprised to learn that you need a licence to drive a jet ski. Just because you’re driving it for fun doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously. According to Maritime Safety a jet ski is classified as a Personal Watercraft (PWC):

Personal Watercraft means a powered ship that—
(a) has a fully enclosed hull that does not take on water if capsized; and
(b) is designed to be operated by a person standing, crouching or kneeling on it or sitting astride it.


Therefore, you must:



All PWCs must be registered. See your local Transport and Main Roads customer service centre.


The motor

As a lot of jet skis are driven on salt water they are prone to corrosion if the owner/operator hasn’t been careful to clean it after each use.  Make sure you examine it closely, if it does show any corrosion you are better not to purchase it as if there is damage on the outside of the engine it is a fair bet it’ll be on the inside as well.


Test its ability to start

It the seller is reluctant to let you start it or makes up a story that it starts great but needs a new battery, either get a battery to test it with or walk away. You should be able to test it for a minimum of a minute in water.


Water leaks

While you are testing the engine in water use that time to also check for any water leaks that might be coming from the hull, the head or the exhaust. Water leaks are a good indication that there has been previous damage to the jet ski and if it has been properly taken care of with regular servicing.


Loose wires

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Loose wires on a craft that goes into water is bad news. Check the terminals to make sure they are secure and that there are no bare wires sticking out. This can cause the engine to stop unexpectedly or cause shocks.


Check the head colour

If the engine has ever overheated in the past it will be evident in the colour of the head.  If the engine is white and the head a slight tan colour it means that the jet ski has been put under a lot of pressure in the past and it might have some serious damage.


At National Finance Solutions, we pride ourselves on being one of Australia’s most trusted finance brokers. We proudly provide an outstanding range of services, specialising in leisure asset finance at the most competitive rates. If you need a loan to buy a new car or caravan for your next Aussie holiday, the team at National Finance Solutions will work hard to quickly source the funds you need at a rate you can afford. Call National Finance Solutions on 1300 13 50 50 or get an online quote today.