Expert tips for buying a used Holden Commodore Sportwagon

Where Can I Find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.

The VIN can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label (1), on the compliance plate in the engine bay (2) or on the passenger side windshield (3), or on one of the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed) (4). See the image below:

Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card/Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration certificate


Holden is an Australian icon known for producing vehicles with grunt and style. Since 1978, its iconic Commodore model has been a staple on our roads. And if you're after a high-performing and spacious used Holden, check out the Sportwagon.

What are the benefits of buying a used Sportwagon?

Buying a used Sportwagon enables you to save money and reduce depreciation costs.

Australian built and designed Holden Commodore Sportwagons come with a number of benefits. Powered by 3.6-litre engines, they deliver on power and practicality without the V8 fuel bills.

If you're looking to buy used, you can rest assured knowing that Holden's dealer network is widespread, while spare parts for Commodores tend to be easy to source and are also reasonably priced.1 Mechanics are familiar with this popular model and any repairs or upgrades will likely be swift and uncomplicated.

Other standard benefits of Sportwagons include:

  • Collapsible seating and large boots for extra luggage space
  • 5-speed automatic transmission
  • Large interiors, which comfortably seat five adults
  • Fuel efficient
  • Equipped with self-parking systems
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Dual front airbags, side airbags and head-protecting side curtains 2,3

Are Holden Commodore Sportwagons safe? 

All Commodore Sportwagon variants, including those with V6, V8 and LPG engines, built from 31 August 2009-2013 hold a 5-star Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) safety rating.4

The majority of Sportwagons include safety features such as anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution and electronic stability control. Advanced seat belt reminders are fitted to the front seats, while a three-point seat belt is fitted to the centre rear seat to provide better protection than a two-point (lap) seat belt.

What to check before purchasing a used Holden Commodore Sportwagon:

Buying a used Sportwagon enables you to save money and avoid the significant depreciation that comes with purchasing new. Make sure you conduct the necessary vehicle checks before purchase to help ensure you don't drive away with a lemon:

  • Oil leaks at the rear of the engine and a low dipstick level may indicate oil consumption problems.
  • Check for any rattles when test driving, as they may indicate that the vehicle has spent a significant amount of time on uneven country or dirt roads.
  • Wear and tear in the boot may indicate that the vehicle has been owned by a sales representative and was used as a commercial vehicle.
  • Check the panels for rust in case the wagon has been consistently exposed to rain or has undergone low-quality panel repairs.

If any of the above issues are apparent on the Sportwagon you're looking into, either move on or bargain the price down.

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Everyone has a Holden story

To the dismay of many, Holden recently announced that it would no longer be manufacturing vehicles in Australia.

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"The end of Holden making cars in Australia is a very sad day for the workers and for every Australian. It is the end of an era," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters regarding the closure. "Everyone has a Holden story." 5

Although the beloved Commodore will no longer be produced on home soil, you can still have your own Holden story. For those who're after space and performance, a used Sportwagon is a great option. Just make sure you take the following precautions to ensure you're getting a good deal:

  1. Have the vehicle undergo a thorough mechanical check
  2. Take it for a test drive
  3. Invest in a Car History report
  4. Insure the vehicle and transfer the registration before you drive it home

You can check the reported history of a used Holden Commodore Sportwagon by purchasing a Car History report. This will provide you with comprehensive information on a used vehicle's reported history, regardless of how many states and territories it has previously been registered in. Based on the wagon's registration or vehicle identification number (VIN), the CarHistory report can give you a national view of its history.

The report can inform you as to whether the wagon has been stolen or written-off, whether there is any finance owing, or if there's a potential odometer wind-back. It's vital that you check the history of any used vehicle you're planning on purchasing to ensure value for money and reliability.

1. CarsGuide. Used Holden Commodore review: 2006-2015. Accessed April 2018.

2. Sunshine Coast Daily. 2015 Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 road test review. 3 February 2015. Accessed April 2018

3. CarAdvice. 2016 Holden Commodore SV6 Sportwagon review. Accessed April 2018.

4. Ancap. Ancap safety ratings: Holden Commodore. Accessed April 2018.

5. Reuters. Australian car manufacturing ends as GM Holden closes plant. 20 October 2017. Accessed April 2018.

View a sample report >