When you decide to buy a used car, that’s when you know that you’ll have to exert double the effort than you usually do, had you purchased a brand new car instead. Today, there’s nothing wrong with buying used cars for as long as you know for sure that you aren’t cheated off your money. Yes, you may be paying less, but this doesn’t mean that you should also be given less in terms of quality. Used cars can be just as good an investment as a brand new vehicle for as long as you know what you’re looking for.

To avoid the pitfalls of used car purchases, you must give yourself ample time to inspect the vehicle. Here’s how you can check used cars before buying:

1. Test Drive The Car

This first tip is one of the most obvious that anyone can ever do when buying a used car. Never say “yes” to a vehicle without first giving it a test drive. Not only will you know if this is the right one for you, but you’ll also have an overall feel as to what it’s going to be like in the car. Plus, it gives you a sense also as to any mechanical defects it may have as you drive.

An excellent tip to follow when taking out the car for a test drive is this. Drive the car at 40mph to 50mph, and step on the brake firmly. Be as smooth as you drive. Watch out for the following effects:

  • If there’s a vibration on the brake pedal, this means there’s a problem on the brake rotors or that it may also need new pads.
  • If the car swerves whenever you brake, it can also be a sign that you have worn out steering components, or your brake calipers are faulty.

Click here to learn more about other things that you should be on the lookout for as you test drive the used car that you’re leaning on buying.

2. Bring A Friend With You

Don’t shop alone. Bring a friend with you, especially one that has more experience with cars. This tip is also crucial to apply for those of you who are first-timers with car shopping. Because you’re still naïve, chances are, you also have no idea yet as to what you should look out for in the car. In this case, you’re giving the car salesperson a lovely and smooth time with luring you into the sale.

If you’ve got a friend that’s an auto mechanic, then choose to bring that friend as well. They can be accommodating in inspecting the car for you, so you don’t fall prey to any hidden defects that may be costly in the future.

Inspect The Car Body

3.  Inspect The Car’s Body

Another one of the most critical parts of a car that you should pay close attention to is the body. Before you make any decision on which car will be your final purchase, be sure that it’s presented to you in an immaculate state. That way, you can inspect the surface and check for any physical defects on the car’s body, like the following:

  • Scratches
  • Dents
  • Rust, from too much exposure to the rain
  • Discoloration, which means exposure to acid rain or repainting

Read More: 5 Best Electric Family Cars On The Market

4. Check Under The Hood

Open up the hood of the car. Before you take a good look at everything on the engine bay, be sure that it’s spotless. That way, you’ll also be able to see wires that look frayed or broken plastic pieces. Also do check for the adequate levels of the following essential fluids in the car:

  • Brake fluid
  • Oil
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Coolant

Here are also pointers to watch out for, depending on whether or not your car is old or new.

  • If the car is relatively new, the engine bay should typically smell of rubber, gas, plastic, and oil. There may also be odors coming from the belts and hoses of the car. The overall smell can be likened to that of the smell of new tires.
  • If the car is quite older, they will have that smell of oil and gas. But, none of these should be too overpowering, such that they become foul odors. If the scent is too strong, it’s worth checking for leaks.


A car can be one of the most expensive investments that you’ll ever purchase in your lifetime, next to your house. The same principle can apply, though you may be paying less in cash with a used car, buying a used car can even be a trickier purchase. The bottom line is that when you bring home a used car, you’ll need to give yourself that assurance that your vehicle isn’t something that you will only regret. It’s a car that you know you will cherish for many years to come in your life.


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