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What To Look For When Buying A Used Car

Buying a used car is a great option if you are on a budget or want something that is not as expensive as brand new. As soon as a car leaves the garage, it depreciates in value. Thus, it could cost you a lot less to buy a car that is just one-year-old that has low mileage. You could get a great deal and save a lot of money. Yet, there are some things to know about buying a used car to ensure you get a good deal. From maintenance to records, there is a checklist of things you will want to discover about the used car before handing over your money. To learn more about the importance of car maintenance click here. For more on what to look for when buying a used car, keep reading.

Accident records

You will want to know if the car you are looking at buying has been involved in a car crash or accident. This could impact the longevity of the car as well as how it performs. It may have not been repaired properly, which could leave you with a huge repair bill. If the car was involved in a bad crash, the insurance may be extremely high in comparison to the same model that is accident-free. Thus, always ask to check its records before considering the purchase. 

Check its engine 

This is perhaps the most important step, as engine repairs can be expensive. Firstly, pop the bonnet and check for any leaks, burnt oil or antifreeze smells, signs of poor repair work, or any modifications. Engine or radiator leaks can be a sign of a serious issue. Look underneath the car as well to make sure everything is nice and dry. Once you’re satisfied with the way the engine looks, it’s time to try it out. Once you’ve started the engine, listen for any rattles or loud noises and check there’s no smoke coming from the exhaust. 

While looking at some engines can reveal obvious issues, others aren’t as clear. If they’re available, check the car’s records for signs of things like previous accidents or flood damage and for proof that the car has been through regular maintenance.

Low mileage

You can find many great deals on used cars with low mileage. Really, you are getting a bargain if a car is in great shape and has hardly any miles on the clock. Low mileage and low cost are the ideal combinations, but of course, you can’t always have it all. Be sure to compare the mileage with your reputation and reliability research – a well-maintained model with no notable mechanical faults and high mileage is going to be a better bet than a car with fewer miles but lots of reported issues. 

If you’re buying privately be wary of any cars with suspiciously low mileage for their age. Car clocking is still possible, even with digital odometers. Make a note of the mileage before you buy the car to use as evidence if needed.

Smaller cars over big cars

If your aim is to save money, hence why you are opting for a used car over a brand new one, then you may benefit from getting a smaller car. Although not everyone likes smaller cars, they can save you a lot of money as they are much cheaper to run. They need and use less fuel, which will save you money on petrol. 

Check the tires

Tires are often the last thing we check, but they are a very important aspect to look over when buying a used car. Used cars will have wear and tear, no matter if they are almost new or old. Once they have been used, they will show signs of wear. Things to look out for with tires include large bulges and tears. These can be dangerous as well as costly. New tires can sometimes be very expensive to replace. The last thing you want is to have to pay out hundreds of dollars for new tires when you have already paid for the car. 

Look over its exterior

As important as the car parts and what’s under the hood counts, so does the appearance of the car. Chips and dents will be costly to fix and may cause the car to rust. Small blemishes can be easy to remove. But, those that cause deterioration to the car can become a problem. Steer clear of severe rust damage. Even if it looks like repair work has been done, once corrosion has started it is difficult to stop. Looking at the body panels, any uneven paintwork could be a sign of previous body repairs.


You may be looking at buying a used car from a manufacturer you have never purchased from before. Before even going to look at the car in person, you should look at online reviews or ask friends and family. Honest opinions from those who have driven the car will tell you about its performance, reliability, and fuel economy. Reviews will give you a better idea of the car and what to expect before going to look at it. Buying a car is a big commitment and you want to make sure you get it right. While a new model of car may have glowing reviews, you might find that older versions of the same model were less reliable. This way you won’t waste your time and know what to expect when you turn up to the garage or seller.

When you have ticked off all of these things, you will also want to test drive the car. You will want to make sure it drives well, is comfortable, and the right car for you. The car may look great but once you drive it around, you may change your mind on the purchase. Always make sure to drive it before handing over your money.