What to Look for When Buying a Used Car 

Buying a car can be incredibly fun, or incredibly stressful, depending on the situation. On the one hand, getting a vehicle that’s new to you is exciting; on the other hand, there’s a lot of shopping around that needs to be done, and factors that need to be taken into consideration. This is especially true when you’re purchasing a used vehicle.

If you’re planning on buying a used vehicle soon, there are a few things you should look for, to make sure that you’re getting a car in good shape, and for a good value. You should never settle when buying a used vehicle, so utilize these tips and tricks to make sure that your experience yields exactly what you’re looking for. 

Check the Tires 

Before buying a vehicle, you should always check the condition of the tires. You may think you’re getting a good price on a car, but if the tires need to be replaced, then that’s a few hundred dollars that you’ll need to spend on top of the price for the vehicle. 

Inspect the Interior and Exterior 

Damaged or worn exteriors and interiors can diminish the value of a used car significantly. You may not care too much whether or not the vehicle has a pristine paint job and a healthy interior, but these things play a huge role in determining the value of a used vehicle. If you notice that the exterior or interior are in poor shape, make sure that you’re getting a discount on the vehicle.

Check the Maintenance History 

A car that has been properly maintained, with frequent check-ups and inspections, regular oil changes, and proper tire, belt, and fluid care, is a car that you want to have. Don’t be tricked into a slight discount for a car with a bad maintenance history, or you may get stuck with an expensive engine, transmission, or suspension repair. 

Look for Signs of Irreparable Wear and Tear 

Take a few minutes to visually inspect the vehicle, and get under the car if at all possible. Check for rust, damage to the vehicle’s frame, and mold and mildew in the trunk or interior. Any initial signs of serious and irreparable damage should be taken very seriously, and you should probably consider a different vehicle. 

Vehicle History Report 

Never purchase a used car without seeing the vehicle history report. It’s imperative that you know any and all accidents that the car has been in, so you can be assured that there is no hidden damage.

If you don’t feel comfortable checking these aspects of a used car by yourself, you can hire a mechanic to perform a pre-purchase used car inspection. Some auto shops, and almost all mobile mechanics will perform these inspections for a fair price, to make sure that there aren’t any red flags with the used car you’re considering purchasing.

About The Author

Brady Klopfer

Brady Klopfer is a freelance writer and editor from Los Angeles. You can read more of his work here https://medium.com/@BradyKlopfer.