Buying a used car is probably one of the best car-related investments you can make. Not only can you get a good car at nearly half the price of a new car, but you can also walk away with a car that’s guaranteed to last you for a good while.
Though, you can’t just walk into a used car dealer and drive out with your ‘new’ used car that fast. You have to take some… precautions first. That mainly involves checking out condition of the car itself.
Used cars are typically in great condition, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t avoid checking that car for anything strange or ‘out of place.’ Actually taking the time to check over your car before buying gives you a chance to see if it’s really worth using as a car—and, not to mention, saves you money in the end.
So, are there things to check when buying a used car? Of course, there are plenty. In this short article, we’re going to take a look at some of the things that you do need to check before you buy a used car.
Things to check when buying a used car
One of the first things you need to do, when you’re about to check the car, is see if the car is on leveled ground. That helps you see if there’s anything significant sagging from the car. It also helps you easily check the tires, so you can see if all of the tires are in good condition.
Although seemingly insignificant, it’s still important to check the car’s paint job. You should check for any scratches, dents and/or rust spots. If you need to look closer at the paint job, check each side of the car to see if the car had a previous paint job. Some of the indicators of a past paint job includes waviness along the edges and some roughness that might be residue from tape.
Check the trunk, too. The trunk should be completely free of any rust or water damage from potential cracks and/or holes in its foundation. If there’s wear, it should just be regular wear and not indicative of a bigger problem.
Now, look under the hood for any signs of damage, rust and/or dents. If you spot any of that particular damage, it’s a telltale sign of a poorly cared for car. The fenders should have their VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) decals in tact; if they’re not there, it’s likely they were replaced at some point.
Other parts of the car, such as its hoses and belts, should be in working order and not have any cracks. The radiator hoses should be firm and in good condition—not soft and in so-so condition. Take a look inside of the car to find out how the seats and upholstery look; it should look like it only needs a cleaning, rather than an entire replacement. If you do find any tears, rips or other forms of damage, you might need to get it replaced—if you choose to buy that car!
Of course, check the car’s odometer to see its current mileage, as the odometer can help indicate the car’s age through its mileage. For this, check the advice of your car dealer to make a decision, if you don’t feel you can make the call on your own.
And, let’s not forget to test drive the car to see if there are any other things to check when buying a used car. Test driving is probably the best way for you to see for yourself, since you’re checking out that car in action!