What To Check For When Buying A Used Car

I could slap myself, I really could. I wish I consulted Google for the things I’m about to tell you. I didn’t so here I am trying to save you from making the mistake I made. Here’s what to check for when buying a used car.

If you’re a new car owner or thinking about buying a used car or even a new one there are a few things you’ll want to check out. Especially before you negotiate price and hand over your hard-earned deposit.

Before I start the list you’ll need to enlist the services of a mechanic, someone who really knows cars and is someone you can trust. You’ll need the mechanic or whoever you choose to go with you to check on all the things I’m about to tell you.


First on the list is the brakes/brake pads/disc pads. On any motorized vehicle brakes are extremely important and faulty brakes or worn brakes can be tragic if you’re not aware. It’s the first thing I’d suggest you get checked before you decide to make the purchase. If you’ve done your checks and find that the brake pads are intact you’re good to go. If not, you should alert your salesperson and have it fixed. When buying directly from an individual that might not be feasible as they’ll often want to sell the car as it is, this is where you negotiate and get them to lower the price to offset the cost to fix all the things you’ll need to mend.

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Engine Oil

Secondly, there is engine oil. Typically when a company provides a full servicing of a vehicle it will include an engine oil and filter change, remember that. So it is imperative that you check the oil and filters on a new vehicle. Many claim to service the vehicle before you are handed the keys and that may very not be true and you’re not likely to notice until it’s past the warranty date. On a used car, however, while it is still important to check there’s not much that can be done. Like I said earlier the owner might not want to do anything else to the car so all you can do is negotiate for a lower price if you find that the engine oil needs changing.


Thirdly, check the tyres. Pay close attention to the wear on them. You don’t want old worn tyres with little to no threading.


Lastly, check the shocks/shock absorbers. This is especially for the used vehicles. Shock absorbers are expensive especially the struts and you don’t want to leave the car mart thinking you have an a-ok vehicle only to find out 3 months later that you need shocks. That would be a shock in itself as a first-time car owner.

When buying a car you should be offered a checklist with the rundown of all the other vitals you should check before you take the vehicle home. I can’t list them all here but I tried to cover the more expensive ones and the ones that are not listed on the checklist. After doing all your checks though ensure that you save money for your car, a little car emergency fund. That way no matter what comes up you’ll be mentally and financially prepared and can still smile at the end of the day.

Hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have a car in the comments and if you do, what has having a car taught you?

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