Things to check before buying a used car

Purchasing a used car can be fun for some people, and confusing for others. If you are considering buying a used car for the first time, we recommend you read this article so that you are fully aware of what to look for and can confidently eliminate any daunting factors.


You don’t have to be a car expert to know when you are being ripped off, but if you are unsure about the motoring industry, then it would be advisable to bring a friend along who knows cars who can aid in your car inspection. It always helps to get a trusted second opinion, after all, a car has lots of working parts that need maintenance.

Don’t forget to check the service history

If the previous owner did their homework then there should be a record of all the services that the vehicle had unless the car was self-serviced. A service history can give you a good indication on the repairs and maintenance that has been done on the vehicle and you can get a better idea of the vehicles condition.

Know your budget

Always take the cost of petrol into account. If you are on a tight budget, try and fade away from buying a massive petrol guzzler where you get 5km per litre because this could cripple your budget faster than you can think.

If you have a specific car in mind, you need to ask yourself what do the replacement parts for this specific car cost? Is the service plan expensive? Does it have lots of electronics that could possibly need replacing? What do the tyres cost? How big is the engine and what is the fuel economy like? Do your research online and try answer all these questions before buying a car that you might regret.


Know what you want

After you have your budget allocated for your vehicle, you need to know what type of vehicle you want to buy. It won’t benefit you if you buy a small hatchback but you like transporting your bicycle around for weekend rides. If you like travelling then it would help to buy a vehicle with a larger boot. Know your needs and think clearly about what features you need your car to have.


Check the mileage


When buying a used car it is imperative that you check the mileage on the odometer, as this determines the cars true age. If the price and mileage is high for a newer model then it’s probably not the best idea to spend so much money on that specific car.

Check the exterior and interior

It’s always good to give the body a thorough inspection, for dents and rust, as this can give you a good indication of whether the car has been looked after well or not. Naturally over a period of time the body of a car will deteriorate and won’t look brand new, but make sure all the panels line up properly and that all the doors and windows open and close as they should.



If the vehicle has an on-board computer, make sure that all the functionality works and that the air conditioner, electric windows and all the other electronics are fully functional.


Engine inspection

This is probably the most important part of the car, so be sure to give the engine a proper inspection. Check that there are no leaks or corrosion, and that the gaskets, brake fluid, reservoir and belts don’t look deteriorated, as this could mean possible replacement in the near future.


Test drive

This is the fun part, but ultimately the deciding factor for whether the car lives up to your standards or not. Taking the car for a test drive will allow you to test the brakes and the clutch as well as the smoothness of the gearbox. You will get a good indication of what state the shocks are in and whether the suspension is operational.


Buying a car doesn’t have to be a nightmare, just be sure to do your homework and always get a second opinion from a trusted friend. For more tips on buying a used car check out Some Second Hand Car Buying Tips.

If you’re looking to buy a used vehicle then visit for good deals on cars and bikes in your area.

Struan Langlands

Digital Marketing Channel Co-ordinator @ Junk Mail Publishing. My family, work, cars and sport are the 4 things that I am most passionate about and motivate me. I am a full blooded Petrol Head and always ready for a sport debate. "The day you think there is no improvements to be made is a sad one for any player." ~Lionel Messi

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