Be Confident About Your Purchase With This Used Car Inspection Checklist!

Here’s a Used Car Inspection Checklist You Can Use for Your Next Buy

Buying a used car can be risky, no matter the model. Read on for a used car inspection checklist to learn what to look for in your next purchase!

Are you thinking about buying a used car? If so, you should know the process is a little engaging as compared to buying a new vehicle. A used car has bee on the road; thus, you have to inspect it for flaws and defects before committing to the sale.

How do you get the used car of your dreams without compromising on comfort, reliability, and affordability? Keep reading for a used car inspection checklist that will teach you what to look for before completing the purchase.

Identify Reliable Models

A car’s reliability will determine how satisfied you’ll be with it over the years. It will also affect the resale value when you choose to replace the vehicle. Some models are known to last longer than others, which makes them the perfect choice.

The reliable models aren’t prone to trouble and won’t require constant repairs. As such, you should check reliability records before making a purchase. 

Also, look at the reliability history charts of different models; it will give you more details on how the vehicle has held up in general. Once you know the trouble spots of your preferred model, you can pay attention to them during the inspection.

Take Your Time

Vehicles aren’t cheap, and you should be sure of what you’re buying before you make any payment. Don’t rush into buying a car and live with regrets afterward.

Irrespective of the type or model of the car you want to buy, research and negotiate to ensure you get a reliable used car of your choice at a fair price. If possible, get information about the model you want and how the used versions fair in the market today.

If you’re looking to buy a used limousine, check out this post to learn about the history of used limo sales and why you should consider investing in one of the used models.

Check the Window Sticker 

Dealers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to post a buyer’s guide in every used vehicle they offer for sale. It contains information such as the percentage of repair costs (if any) the dealer is required to pay, and whether the vehicle is getting sold with a warranty. 

Your dealer must adhere to the information in the guide, such that if the vehicle is under warranty, he or she has to honor that. Before any sale, the guide must get altered to reflect any negotiated changes in the coverage.

Do a Thorough Inspection

Even if you are buying from a trusted dealer, do a thorough inspection of the car. Don’t inspect the car at night since floodlights can make a car look shiny and hide the defects. 

Look for dents, scratches, and rust on the body panel. Unlike rusts, scratches and minor cosmetic flaws aren’t an issue. Also, open the doors and observe the hinges; if they’re loose, the car has been in use for long. 

Check if there’re cracks or large pocked areas on the glass that will worsen and lead to costly repairs. All the lights should be functioning normally whereas tires should be matching, and worn evenly.

Inspect the boot, dash, and electronics thoroughly. The rubbers of the horses and belts shouldn’t be rock hard but firm and supple. Check the oil level, exhaust smoke, gasket condition, and leaks in the engine. The gear change should be smooth.

A milky or rusty coolant in the radiator is a sign of a problem. A greasy or black tailpipe indicates it’s burning oil.

Is there oil, coolant, gasoline, and transmission fluid marks where the vehicle was recently parked? They signal a leak.

See an Independent Mechanic 

Your dealer should have no problem with you taking the car for inspection. A mechanic can perform diagnostics on the car to detect any anomaly. 

Your mechanic should give a written report of the car’s condition, including problems found and their repair costs. If there’re issues and you still decide to buy the car, you can ask for a discount that will cover the repair costs. 

But if the issues are major, you should avoid the car even if it’s the price is tempting. If you don’t know any mechanic or repair shop where you can find a mechanic, seek a referral from a trusted friend or ask around for a reliable auto-parts store. 

Always make sure the mechanic is AAA certified if you’re meeting them for the first time. 

Determine a Fair Purchase Price

Compare prices for the same make and model with several dealers to make sure you’re being charged a fair price. You can use an online source to compare prices. The vehicle’s condition and mileage play a role in its price, but you can always get a better deal if you try different dealers.

Check Out the Vehicle Identification Number(VIN)

The VIN can tell you a lot about the car. You’ll see if the used vehicle records and titles match the information in the VIN. It can also tell you if there’s any recall on the vehicle due to safety concerns.

However, if the vehicle is older, recently announced, or wasn’t recalled for safety-related reasons, its information may not be available in the VIN. You can check it through the National Highway Traffic Administration or any other VIN decoder available online. 

Opt for a Certified Preowned(CPO) Vehicle

They get subjected to a security screening and a detailed inspection process. The program can provide extended warranties, which may include benefits like roadside assistance program or special funding. 

A certified used car has undergone rigorous inspections and has met certain criteria regarding its mileage and age as per the manufacturers’ indications. These cars also come with a vehicle history report, roadside assistance programs, and more. However, they’re more expensive than non-CPO but are worth it anyway. 

Take a Test Drive

This is an option you can’t ignore because you can identify the problems you wouldn’t notice during the inspection. Try driving the car at different speeds. Listen for any irritating rattles or engine noise.

Is the steering wheel responding promptly when you turn it? Are the brakes and clutch responsive and in good working order?

Follow the Used Car Inspection Checklist for a Smooth Sale

Once you check out the used car inspection checklist, you’re now ready to buy the used car of your choice. Remember to engage an experienced mechanic so they can inspect the car for you and give an unbiased opinion of its physical state.

Need more information about various models before buying? Check out our website for useful insights.


~ by velofinds on April 29, 2019.