Things You Want to Check When Buying a Used Car

Are you thinking or planning to get a used car? If yes, then it’s a great idea. It helps you save a lot of money compared to if you are buying a new car.

However, getting a used car comes with its hassles. Not to worry, here you’ll find a list of things to check when you want to buy a used car.

Review the Vehicle’s History

Reviewing to know a vehicle’s history reveals a lot. This helps you decide whether or not you’re going for the vehicle. How do you check your vehicle’s history? Look up the vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to examine the car’s history.

The VIN comprises 17 numbers and letters usually found on the front corner where the windshield and dashboard meet or on the driver’s door. When a car’s VIN is looked up, it reveals car registration details, recalls, theft, damage, and more. You can even do a VIN check to find insurance rates.

There are bodies like Carfax that used the VIN to know accident history if the used car had been flooded or not. The VIN is unique to each vehicle. Make sure you review the VIN history to know the car’s past before buying a used car. By doing this, you avoid purchasing a lemon. 

Inspect for Rust and Paint Damages

Look around the car with eyes open to catch rust and paint damage. Even though minor rust patches are easily repairable, this may be a pointer to halt purchase if you encounter significant rust damage. 

On the other hand, you should inspect whether the painting on the car you intend to buy is still looking good. Check thoroughly for chipped paint and body filler under the color, hiding any significant damage. Note that a car with a bad paint job will cost you additional money to fix.

Scrutinize the car’s undercarriage to see if the vehicle is experiencing rust. Most vehicles that have been flooded have problems with rust. When a vehicle has a problem with rust or a bad paint job, there will be additional costs of fixing it.

Examine the Vehicle’s Frame

Always check the vehicle frame to see if the car has no problems with its stands, trying to see how the door is attached to the edge. Accidents could damage the vehicle’s structure and distort the ideal frame.

If you notice any significant damage to the car’s frame, you should let the car go. That may be a substantial sign that all is not well with the vehicle and you might end up not enjoying it.

Check the Engine and Other Components Under the Hood

Before doing this, please make sure the engine is off and cool. Look out for oil leaks, coolant leakage, and burnt oil smell. It’s also essential, if you can, to check the oil with a dipstick for low oil levels and dirty oil or oil mixed with coolant. A vital action you should do is to start the car engine when it’s cold. That way, you’ll be able to catch any battery problems. A bad/old battery will need a boost to start after it cools. Take note also of blue smoke and loud sounds when the engine comes on; these are red flags. A licensed technician can help you do all this. For example, the Peugeot Mechanic Servicing provides services for Peugeot vehicles in Brisbane.

Scan the Car Electronics

Verify the car electronics such as the air condition, radio, various meters like the odometer, the engine rev, the engine temperature work properly. If all these things have defects, don’t buy.

Use the Odometer to Confirm Car Mileage

The odometer measures the distance the car has covered. It is important to confirm the miles the car has covered. The larger the number, the more care you should take in buying the car. Why? There is more wear and tear on older engines. When you look up the VIN, you see the actual distance traveled by the car.

Check Vehicle Upholstery

Torn upholstery is something you should avoid when inspecting your used cars in sacramento. Examine the seats thoroughly. Because torn seats, damaged headrest, or other damaged upholstery means additional costs spent on the vehicle.

It Is Important to Test Drive the Car

After all the checks, it is crucial to test drive the car you want to buy. Test driving ensures that you know what faults are available in the vehicle. When you try to drive, a lot of hidden defects show up.

No matter the tests and inspections you have carried out on your car, test drive the vehicle to know what exactly is wrong with the car.

Buy Only from Trustworthy Used Car Dealers

Buying from trustworthy car dealers is the best way to get your used vehicles. Search for car dealers that have a reputation for selling good used cars.


If the precautions mentioned above are taken before buying a used car, you get good value for your money. A bonus tip is to go to your dealer with a mechanic to help run the inspection better.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


  1. Thanks for pointing out that test driving is very crucial when planning to buy a used car. I’ve been thinking about looking for used Nissan cars because I’ve always wanted to experience owning a car from a Japanese brand. According some of my friends, it really does feel a bit different to drive one.


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