Essential Checklist For Buying a Used Car

So you want to know how to buy a used car for the first time? Well, it’s not too tricky. All that you need to do is to make sure that you’ve got the necessary checklist for safely looking at cars and you’ll be away. There’s a couple of different things you need to consider if you go and buy a used car because naturally, you don’t want to waste your money or find something ultimately unreliable. That’s why you need a checklist in place to help you buy a used car. With that being said, let’s take a look at the top considerations.

Mileage

The first thing that you’ll want to check out is mileage when buying a used car. Typically, you’ll see models that pick up around 10,000 miles or so. That’s about the standard for a car that’s being sold online or at a lot. If it’s got a mileage which is a lot more than 10,000 miles, make sure to ask about the service and MOT. You don’t want something that’s a month away from breaking down forever.

Overall Condition

Check the overall condition of the car before you take the time to buy it. Are there any scratches in the body, any damage to the tires, dents? If you can use the engine, does it sound healthy? These are all just basics to keep an eye out for because they really do make such a difference long term.

Paperwork

What paperwork comes with your vehicle? Do you get access to any kind of MOT certificate? The date of the last service? Latest repair paperwork? If your vehicle of choice doesn’t have a paper trail to speak of, that might be your cue that something is amiss, and you need to investigate it further. It can also be a major red flag too, especially if the owners don’t give a suitable answer as to why there’s no paperwork.

Tires

Now obviously, an important consideration for any kind of used car purchase is to check the tires and see how they look. Good tires will perform well and look correct. Check for inflation, if there’s tread, visible signs of damage, etc. You’ll want to be able to drive the car away if you make a purchase.

Electrics

Finally, the last thing you’ll want to do when it comes to your potential vehicle is to test the electrics. Do the lights work? Is the radio functional? What about the windows, the air con, etc? If the electrics are all in good condition, you won’t have any problem activating them.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing a used car requires you to examine things with a critical eye. You need to make sure that you run through this checklist as a bare minimum. If you’re looking for anything specific that’s not on the list, make sure you check it. Don’t be taken in by an easy smile or false promises of quality.

Simone Ribeiro
I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications.

Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

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