What To Check When Buying Used Cars

What To Check When Buying Used Cars

Buying used cars is recommended, especially if your budget is limited. Of course, these second-hand units are not to be underestimated. If they came from responsible owners, you could expect that their quality and performance are still maintained.

However, you shouldn’t be too careless whenever you are planning to buy one. There are some things that you need to check out before you make the final purchase. The deal should not be something that you will regret later on. 

Things You Need To Check When Buying A Used Car

Interior And Exterior

The first thing that you need to inspect is the exterior and interior of the vehicle. The reason for this is quite simple: you need to find if there are damages and flaws present. 

Specifically, you need to look out for rust, dents, and scratches. You can ignore the small ones, but don’t ever let the larger flaws escape your eyes. 

Also, it would really be great if you can check the alignment of the panels. If they are not, then there’s a good chance that the vehicle experienced an accident, but was not prepared properly. Try to open and close the doors, trunk, and hood. See if they operate smoothly. Make sure that you assess the paint of the vehicle. If there’s an overspray or mismatch in color, the paint job is not good.

Be mindful of the upholstery, as well. Check if there are signs of wear and tear in the car seat and flooring.


You should also check the mileage of the used car. You need this information to decide whether the unit will be a good purchase or not. 

On average, most cars will cover up to 20,000 km per year. You can quickly determine the mileage of the vehicle by dividing the number indicated in its odometer by its age. Cars that have high mileage are usually susceptible to wear-and-tear and other issues on its mechanical part. 

But this doesn’t mean that units with high mileage are bad. If the vehicle is still in excellent condition despite having an extensive driving mileage, it means that it has been taken care of properly. Meanwhile, lower mileage doesn’t automatically indicate that the car is in good shape. 


It would also be prudent if you check if there are leaking fluids in the car. If they are present, then that’s a sign that the vehicle requires immediate repair. 

If the fluid is black, then the one that is leaking is oil. If it’s pink, yellow, or green, it is possible that there’s leaking of antifreeze. Meanwhile, a reddish fluid means that the power-steering or transmission is losing some of their liquid.


Another essential part of the car that you should check is the tire. One of the qualities of a high-quality tire is the evenness of the tread’s width. Specifically, all wheels should have equal dimensions. If you have noticed that the drive wheels are worn out severely.

Drivers that drive roughly usually incur stress on the outside portion of front tires, specifically on the edge of their sidewalls. 


A car will not operate without a good engine. The latter is its heart; hence, it should be taken care of properly. 

The sound of the engine can already tell you if it is still on its top shape. Irregular noises are a sign that there’s a problem with some of its parts. If there’s oil on the engine or in the flooring of its compartment, then that’s a red flag that you need to address to the owner of the vehicle. 

Do A Test Drive

By doing a test drive, you will be able to assess the overall condition of the car. Specifically, it will tell you if the vehicle is suited for your driving preferences. 

You need to have a good “feel” about how the car operates. Check if the steering wheel is still doing fine. Also, pay attention to the dashboard. Make sure that all the warning lights are functional. If they don’t, then that’s an issue that you have to deal with. 

Whenever starting the engine, always be keen on clicking and tapping noises. They are indicators that there’s a problem in the engine of the vehicle. 

Once driving, try to hit on different roads and speeds. In this way, you can determine the proficiency of the transmission. Be mindful of strange noises when braking.