What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car has its advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage is the lower price but the disadvantage is it does not come with a warranty, which can be a big risk. However, you can reduce the risk factor in buying a used car by following the tips given below. Here, we tell you about things to look for when buying a used car. 

Exterior and Interior 

You need to check the complete exterior and interior of the vehicle. Some of the things that you need to check include dents, rust, and scratches. You can ignore small scratches or dents, but larger areas of damage are a big concern. You need to see the lineup of body panels. 

If the panels are uneven, there are chances the vehicle was damaged in an accident that the car owner or dealer is trying to hide. Inspect the interior for wear and tear and signs of unusual damage. 

Check under the Hood

The engine is the most important part of the vehicle. Open the front hood of the car and check the engine and its components.  Check for any leaks, signs of corrosion or broken hoses. Also, check the oil dipstick for discoloration. The engine oil should be brown and the transmission oil should be pink in color. 

Mechanical Inspection

A thorough inspection by a professional will tell you about problems that remained hidden after inspecting the exterior and interior. A good mechanic would be able to tell whether the vehicle has any underlying issues or what repairs you need to perform in the near future. An inspection report would also help you determine whether the car is worth its list price and also give you room for price negotiations. 

Tire Condition 

The tires are important components of the vehicle. If the tires are in bad condition you may have to replace them which would be an expensive thing to do. Check the tread of tires and ensure they are worn evenly. Extra wear or uneven treads is a sign of poor wheel alignment which could be a symptom of suspension, steering, or frame issues. 

Vehicle’s History

Get maximum information from the car owner, but don’t stop there. Conduct your own research, too. Running the Vehicle Identification Number will tell you information about the right owner and whether the car has been in an accident in the past. The vehicle history will also tell you whether there are any liens on the vehicle. 


Here, the mileage refers to the kilometers the car has traveled till now. A car with high mileage would have more wear and tear in its mechanical components. This does not mean a car with low mileage is a good buy. You need to check the maintenance records which will tell you whether the car maintenance and repairs were done on time which is essential to maintaining good condition of the car. 

Knowing what to look for in a used car can help you make an informed decision. It will also ensure you buy a used car that meets your needs, fits in your budget and is a true bang-for-buck deal for you.