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7 things to check before buying a used car

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Buying a used car is nothing like buying a new car. When someone else has used a car before you, then there are a couple of things you should look into to ensure you are settling for the right deal. When buying a car make sure that you have considered getting a pre purchase car inspection with qualified examiners. Here you'll be able to see if the car has any issues or not. 

Here are the top seven areas to focus on when buying a used car:

7 things to check before buying a used car (1)

1. Vehicle history

Perhaps the number one thing that should concern you with used cars is vehicle history. The history of the car covers the number of accidents it has been in, the odometer maintenance, mileage, among other things. The car dealers can give you’re the vehicle history report. Before you trust what is in it, be sure it contains the updated information.

2. VIN cloning

When checking a used car’s VIN digits, you have to be careful what you believe. The VIN of each car is placed by its manufacturer. In some cases, car dealers are malicious to clone the VIN of a car to hide some of the histories of the car. For example, if a car has been involved in too many accidents in the past, it may not sit well with the buyer. In this case, they can clone a VIN to convince you otherwise. Check well to confirm authenticity. From here, you are ready to get vehicle history for the used car you are buying.

3. The condition of the car

After checking the history of the car, there is a lot to derive from that data. The model, manufacturer, and previous activities of the vehicle will be clear to you. What you have to pay attention to is the condition of the car based on the history you have gathered. If it looks like too good of a deal, then you might want to revisit your options. It is not enough that the car is well polished and looks intact. Checking the condition of the car can help you anticipate future problems that have not been covered yet by previous repairs and servicing.  People do sell damaged cars online, so make sure you find out if the car had any damage and how it's been repaired. Take a close look at the car all around. Watch out for any rusty spots or paint chips that might incur more costs from you. Any dents, dings, and scratches can also be your bargaining power to get a cheaper price.

4. Tyre condition

The last thing you want is to replace the tyres of your car as soon as you have bought it. The tyre condition examination should begin with the tyre tread. Make sure all four tyres have an even wear. If some of the tyres are worn out more than others, then it could mean there are poor alignment and frame issues. If this is true, then you will have a car that pulls to the right or left when you drive.

5. Frame issues

As you examine the car, is it sitting on level ground? Make sure it is on a leveled ground so you can observe the balance of the entire framework. Check the undercarriage to see if anything is hanging out. Check the bumpers of the car as well as the inside the hood and trunk. Check out for any signs of the car being involved in an accident recently. Before you sign off on the car, consider taking it to one of your trusted mechanics or bringing a friend who knows a lot about cars with you to the viewing. This can help you discover some unseen issues that are not so obvious to the eye or your friend may think of checking something that you wouldn't have.

6. Upholstery

Before you consider test driving the car, you might want to consider the state of the upholstery. It may not be neat as that of a new car when you are viewing a used car, but that does not mean you need to settle for terrible. The interior fabric of the car, on the seat and seat belts can wear out badly. Any tears and stains can also be unpleasant to deal with. These factors are important because replacing a car’s upholstery can prove to be very expensive. Be sure to check the car out on the front and back seats.  It's also often a good indicator of how well the previous owner has looked after the car.  If they cared for the mechanics of the car properly, then the upholstery is usually cared for too.

7. Check the mileage

Just because it is a used car it doesn’t mean it should be a slug on the road. How far can the car go, with one gallon of fuel? The number on the odometer should guide you in calculating the mileage of the car. Take that number and divide it by the number of years of the car. If the mileage is very high, check the mechanical components. A very high mileage often translates to a lot of wear on the mechanical components of the car.  Make sure the cam belt has been replaced if the mileage is high too.  While on the issue of mileage, consider also the maneuverability, acceleration, braking, and suspension of the car. Always make sure you test drive the vehicle. Test driving will also make you aware of any blind spots of the car that you might have overlooked.


A used car is an amazing deal for car buyers. It can save you a lot of money that you would otherwise spend on a new car. Consider all the above factors to help narrow down to the best car for your needs and preferences.


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