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The 3 Biggest Worry Areas On A Second Hand Car

Buying a new car often means buying second hand. Nine times out of ten you can get a great car and a good deal, and for at least half the price of buying a brand new make and model. What’s not to like?! 

However, there’s also the rare time that a second hand car purchase brings trouble with it. Whether you’re buying in person or online, sometimes what looks like a good deal really isn’t at all. That’s why you should always check over these three areas before you agree to sign over any money. 

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The paintwork is the most obvious element of a car, with most dents, dings, and scratches able to be spotted from a mile away. Go all round the vehicle and check for issues like these, as well as signs the paintwork has been repaired in a shoddy and incomplete way. 

It’s OK if the car has had some paintwork maintenance, but you want to be sure it was done by someone with a skilled hand! And if you spot damaged paintwork, it’s not a total deal breaker, but it’s definitely something you can use to negotiate the price down. 


Before you buy a second hand car, make sure you do an all over visual inspection, both inside and out. You’ve already checked the paintwork, of course, but you need peace of mind over the rest of the car too. 

Above all else, check the windshield. Does it look like it’s in good condition? You don’t want it to look flimsy or like it’s thinning. If you buy anyway without making sure of this, it could mean visiting a mechanic for windshield repair sooner than you’d really like to. Windshield issues need addressing ASAP, after all. While you’re doing this check, make sure the windshield has been affixed properly into the car’s frame as well. 

And remember, if you’d like more clarity on the condition, ask the dealer. If they can’t give a straight answer, it might mean there’s something wrong – go with your gut! 


If the car has been around the block a few too many times, you don’t want to spend money on it. A high mileage could mean the car is in quite bad condition, even if it looks shiny and well cared for. You don’t want to be taken in by this image. Instead, you want to look below the surface and see what the clock has to say. 

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is average yearly mileage. Most cars do up to 10,000 miles per year, meaning a ten year old car might have around 100,000 miles on the clock. Some cars cope with a higher mileage, and some cars have been genuinely well cared for, but you always want to keep this number in mind as you carry out your pre-sale inspection. 

If you’re about to buy a second hand car, check on these worry areas first!