What to Look for When Buying a Used Car?

Posted Monday, Apr 08, 2024

Things To Check When Buying A Used Car

Global car sales increased to approximately 75.3 million vehicles in 2023, compared to about 67.3 million units in the previous year. Purchasing a used car is a smart move for individuals seeking quality cars without spending too much money.

Before making the purchase you must know what to look for when buying a used car. We've got some tips to help you out!

Inspect The Car's Exterior And Interior

It is essential to inspect the car’s exterior and interior features before making a buying decision. Let’s explore what to check when buying second hand car in detail:

Exterior Features

  • Inspect the outside of the vehicle for dents, rust, and scratches.
  • Examine each body panel and the roof for dents and alignment.
  • Check the tires to ensure they match and have sufficient pressure.
  • Open and close the doors, hood, and trunk to check movement ease.
  • Look for paint overspray and color consistency on all parts.
  • Test the exterior lights to ensure they function properly.

Interior Features

  • Check the upholstery and ensure that the wear and tear is consistent with the car’s mileage.
  • Examine the seats for minimal rips and holes.
  • Inspect the instrument panel for any non-functioning bulbs.
  • Carefully examine each window for hairline cracks and damage signs.
  • Test the sound system.
  • Investigate any musty smells in the interior for signs of leaks or water damage.

Check The Mileage Of The Car

Getting a low mileage car seems like a good plan because it suggests the car hasn't been used much. But it could also mean the car mostly sat in a garage, causing issues like flat batteries and dry rotting tires.

If the mileage is very low (less than 8,000 per year) or very high (over 20,000 per year) ask the sales staff about the service history of that vehicle. It might have been a trade-in from one of their previous customers. You could learn valuable information on who owned it and how they used it. Keep in mind that a car's maintenance and repairs tell more about its condition than its mileage.

We're known for being fair and honest and we don’t want you to purchase a vehicle that requires a lot of repairs and reconditioning. At Honest Autos, each car comes with a free 30-day/1,000-mile warranty on the engine, transmission, coolant system, and A/C system (except for cars over 200,000 miles) to ensure your investment doesn’t go down the drain.

Leakage Check

If you notice any fluid leaking from the car, it's a sign that repairs may be needed. Take a look under the vehicle to check if a leakage is present. Different colors of fluids indicate different issues:

Color Issue
Black or dark brown Old oil or brake fluid leakage
Red Power steering fluid leakage
Blue Windshield wiper fluid leakage
Yellow Radiator coolant leakage
Green Antifreeze leakage

Review Vehicle History Report

It is important to check a vehicle’s history report before purchasing a second car to know potential issues and hidden costs. For instance, a car with a record of multiple accidents may have a lower resale value in the future than one with an accident free history. Accidents can often be minor in nature, creating opportunity for some buyers to get a better deal on a certain make or model. The key is to be aware of what you are buying. Proper due diligence prevents surprises down the road.

The vehicle history report includes details about the previous owners, past accidents, repairs, open recalls, and odometer readings.

You can reach out to Honest Autos to access a vehicle’s history. We offer free Autocheck vehicle history reports to our customers with every purchase, so you can learn about the history of the vehicle you are interested in.

Get The Best Used Car Dealership in Florida

Now you’ve got the complete scoop on what to look for when buying a used car. If you’re looking for used car dealerships, Honest Autos is your go-to destination for buying quality used cars in Fruitland Park, Florida. Our full-service Central Florida used car dealership stands out for providing an upfront sales approach, transparent pricing, and free vehicle history reports. Contact us for more information or meet us in person so we can guide you about essential things to check when buying a used car and assist you with your next vehicle purchase!