What to Look Out for When Buying a Used Car


If you are in the market for a car to replace your existing one, then buying a used car can be a good move. You won’t be paying new car prices, and if you choose one that has been looked after, you will be getting a good deal.

However, the world of used cars can be difficult if you don’t know what could be wrong. Here are a few tips on what you should be aware of when choosing a used car.

Trade versus Private

When you start looking for cars for sale, check to see if they are a trade or private sellers. If you are looking for a car with only one or more previous owner, you might be better off seeking a private seller for your car. In most cases, they will be looked after and have fewer owners. However, you should still be aware of possible issues.

Trade sellers usually have a high turnover of vehicles that they purchase from other places such as auctions. Although they are still a good way to get a used car, they might not have all the information about the cars history.


One of the most important things about buying a used car is the documentation. You should be aware of the cars history to get a good idea about its condition. Don’t be afraid to ask for as much information as possible including service history and garage repairs.

If there is limited documentation available, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid using the car, but you will need to take more care regarding its condition.

Outside the Car

When you first arrive to view the car, you should take a good look around the outside. Examine the bodywork to look for any areas that might have been resprayed or touched-up. It is best that you don’t check out a car if it is raining or has just rained because it can mask any issues with the paintwork.

Check around the doors, wings and the windows for any evidence of bubbling paint or rust. You should also look underneath for rust or any evidence of welding or repair. You can also see the condition of the exhaust and the underside of the engine.

Inside the Car

When you get inside the car, check the lining on the roof and the general condition. Cars that have done a lot of miles will usually see high wear on the seats and the floor. Start the car and leave it running while you check out the rest of the interior.

Make sure you try all the switches and handles to see that everything works. Try the air conditioning, windscreen wipers, and heaters, as well.


If you see any problems, you should decide on whether you should still buy the car or not. If you think that it can be easily fixed and everything else is good, then it might be worth the effort, though you should haggle the price down to compensate. However, make sure it’s not beyond economical repair.

With these things in mind, you should be able to get the perfect used car for your needs.


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