What to look for when buying a used car

There comes a time in our lives when we have to let go of our beloved old motors and start to look to new roads ahead in a new trusty vehicle. We know it can be hard to let go of your beloved motor that has carried you on so many happy journeys; we like to look at it as if we’re entering a new journey with a trusted partner by our side. Once you’ve got over the initial shock of having to depart with your trusted steed, you’ll start to realise that there is a lot to be done when looking to buy a used car. Let’s start by taking a look at the basics and some tips and advice on what you need to be doing to find the perfect used car for you.


Like anything in life the more you plan and research your new used car purchase the better you will be prepared to make an informed decision that will help you further down the road. It’s all about applying good research and learning about what you need to look for when inspecting a new car no matter where you have bought it be it craigslist used cars or autotrader used cars you need to ensure you are well prepared. You need to learn how to spot potential problems and determine how reliable the car you’re looking at actually is. As they say ‘Knowledge is power’ and when shopping for a used car it is no exception.

Do your homework

As we’ve just mentioned the more prepared you are the less trouble you will find with your car further down the road. There are ways you can reduce the risk of buying a problematic car and here are just a few of them. You can start by identifying models with a good reliability record before you begin shopping, you can speak to friends and families for their recommendations or spend sometime online looking at reviews that have been left by customers. There are various publications online which can aid you with this such as consumer Reports’ annual subscriber survey provides exclusive real-world reliability information that can help you narrow your selections. There are also some great data driven charts out there which can help you indentify the best models such as the reliability-history charts that accompany most of the car model pages to get a more detailed view at how specific vehicles have held up in 17 trouble areas, as well as overall. If the car you’re interested in is known to have certain trouble spots, you know to pay special attention to those components during inspection. Once you have identified the model of car you may be interested in; you can then start to look at common problems that may incur in these cars and try indentify any of these problems when looking for cheap used cars for sale by owner

Check all of the documents

When buying a new or used car; all vehicles should come with a full service history book or log. This will give you an idea of how often the car has been serviced and the problems it has experienced in the past. Check whether the road worthy status is up to date, that all of the taxes have been paid on the vehicle and most importantly that the seller has the title documents for the vehicle. Also check the stickers on the window. The Federal Trade Commission requires dealers to post a Buyer’s Guide in every used vehicle offered for sale whether this vehicle be new or used. Usually attached to a window, it must contain certain information, including whether the vehicle is being sold “as is” or with a warranty, and what percentage of repair costs (if any) the dealer is obligated to pay. The Guide information overrides any contrary provisions in your sales contract. In other words, if the Guide says that the vehicle is covered by a warranty, the dealer must honor that warranty. If any changes in coverage are negotiated, the Guide must be altered to reflect them before the sale.

Interior and Exterior inspection.

You should conduct a thorough search of both the interior and exterior of the car. You want to be looking for any faults that you have previously researched. The body work of the car should be in good order and try to avoid any cars that contain a large amount of rust. The interior of the car should also give you a good idea of how well the car has been looked after. Of course you will also want to inspect and listen to the engine to make sure it’s all in working order.

Get professional help.

We all love to think we can do most things ourselves but sometimes it’s best to get the professionals involved. Hiring a professional mechanic to do an independent inspection of the car before it’s bought will ensure that you have all of the bases covered.








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