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Buying a Used Car? Then Follow This Inspection Checklist

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Buying a Used Car? Then Follow This Inspection Checklist

No one likes paying top dollar for a new car. The only thing worse is knowing that when you drive the car off the lot, it will suffer a huge depreciation. This is one of the main reasons people are increasingly buying used over new cars.

Buying used can be a good investment provided you conducted a thorough check. Doing a proper check before purchase can save you a world of trouble later.

Let’s have a look at some pros and cons of buying a used car.

Pros of Buying a Used Car

  • New cars start losing their value the moment they are taken out for a spin. Cars will lose 65% of their value in the first five three years of ownership according to studies. A used car will still lose its value over time, but it does so at a much slower pace.
  • It is a lot cheaper. You will be spending a lot less on price tag of your vehicle.
  • You will save money on insurance, tags and registration.

Cons of Buying a Used Car

  • Typically, when someone is selling a car it’s because it has a problem. When you buy a used car, you are embracing the problem. Find out what that problem is and then weigh it against the cost of repair.
  • Used cars don’t come with warranties. If you find a problem with the car, you are on your own.
  • You can change a few accessories and the paint of the car, but don’t expect to turn it into what it was when it was originally purchased.

Most of the cons can be minimized or eliminated with a thorough check. This is why it’s so important. Here are a few things you should check for before signing anything.

Things you should check for:

  • Check on the tread of the tires. Check if they are worn out evenly and if they match in brand and size.
  • For a vehicle that has wheels with spokes, look through the openings on the front wheels for the disc rotors.
  • Look for fluids under the car, with the engine turned on and off.
  • Squat on the front corners of the car and look along its sides for ripples which are indications of body repair work.
  • Close and open all trunks and doors. Ensure they operate smoothly.
  • Verify if the brake lights, turn signals and the headlights function properly.
  • Run the engine and open the hood. Try to figure out if there are any ticks, hisses or knocks.
  • Check the hinges and door edges for rust.
  • Check for rust underneath the trunk.
  • Check the controls for the air conditioning, heater and the CD player. Do they function as required?
  • Keep the doors of the car open for some time. This should rid it of any artificial smells and help you identify the flavor you will actually have to live with.

That is it for the pre-test drive inspection checklist. Now you are all set for the test drive.

Remember, buying a used car can be a cost-effective way to get the car that you want. Just make sure that you are careful and diligent with your checks. Cars are an investment after all.

Best of luck!

Categories: used cars