Things to Look Out for When Buying a Used Vehicle

Buying a car is a huge investment and when you decide to go for a second-hand vehicle, it can be pretty scary. How do you know if the car is in good condition? How long is it going to last you? Is it going to cost you a load of money to fix up and maintain? All these questions and more can be answered pretty easily when you know what to look out for. When you`re buying used, make sure you chat to the salesperson and ask any questions you need to, to understand what your options are. When you`re looking online, dealerships like Park City Chevrolet usually provide quite a lot of information on the available cars. Here are some important things to look out for when you`re buying a used vehicle.

How Does it Feel?

Before you buy any car, new or used, it`s important to take it for a spin yourself. Getting a feel for any vehicle you want to buy will help you to decide whether or not it`s right for you. Even if a second-hand car is in perfect nick, that doesn`t mean it`s going to be your perfect fit.

Test the car out at different speeds, get a feel for the clutch and brakes, test the indicator and wipers and other basic elements of the car. You`ll also want to feel comfortable driving the car – since you`ll be driving it for a few years – so your comfort and satisfaction with every aspect is a key point to look out for. Once you`ve driven the car and feel happy with it, you`ll want to start checking out a few other important things.

What`s the Mileage Like?

It`s hard to say what “good” mileage on a used vehicle might be since this will depend on a few things and influence how much you`ll be paying for your car. However, keep in mind that as a general rule, the higher the mileage, the more wear and tear the car will have on it and the more likely it is to have a few issues. Lower mileage is always better but shop around within your budget and you`ll soon realize what`s a good deal and what simply isn`t.

Has it Been in An Accident?

This doesn`t necessarily have to be a deal breaker, but it can have serious implications on the car. If the car has been in an accident, you`ll want to consider a few things.

Find out if the vehicle has any serious mechanical damage, and thus if it is completely safe and roadworthy. You can also ask if the price has been adjusted accordingly and if you might be able to get a better deal on the vehicle, especially if it has any cosmetic damage as a result of the accident.

Was the Vehicle Stolen?

This might seem extreme but believe that it has happened before and there`s no sense in believing it could never happen to you. Whether you`re buying privately or from a dealership, you have the right to find out about these details of the car.

You`ll be able to find this out by using the car`s VIN number (which should be provided to you) to get a check on the status of the vehicle. You should be able to find out whether the car was stolen in the past and recovered as well.

What Does the Service History Tell You?

When buying a used car, you should be provided with a service history booklet which will tell you about how the car has been serviced in previous years. Check out whether it was serviced regularly (about once per year is recommended) and whether the services were done at registered and recognised service centres. This will also make you a little better informed about the state of the car.

Where Are You Buying From?

This might not seem like a big deal but choosing to buy privately versus through a registered dealership can have quite an impact on the outcome of your deal.

Both options have pros and cons, and you`ll need to consider your priorities before you make a decision. Buying through a private seller will often give you a better and cheaper deal, so this is a great option if you`re on a stricter budget. However, buying through a dealer can give you the peace of mind that things have been checked out and you`re buying your car through professionals.

Physical Checks

Of course, some of the most important checks you`ll want to perform are the physical ones which will tell you everything you need to know about the state and functioning of the vehicle you`re looking to purchase. If you don`t feel qualified to check these issues out yourself, you might want to have a mechanic take a look at the car before you make any decisions.

First of all, you`ll want to check the engine (one of the most important aspects) and make sure there aren`t any leaks in the car. You`ll also want to pay attention to the colours and amount of smoke that comes from the exhaust pipe since this can be indicative of burning oil or other issues.

Don`t forget to check out the gearbox and clutch too, the wheels and tyres, and the state of the interior of the car as well.


Once you`ve performed all these checks and asked all the questions you need to ask, you should have all the information you need to make an informed decision on your car.

While it might seem like a lengthy process and a lot of effort, it will be worth the trouble to know you`ve spent your money on a second-hand vehicle that`s in great condition and won`t be giving you any trouble in the near future. Keep in mind that all cars will need regular maintenance, brand new or used, so keeping up to date with services and repairs will always be a priority.