Buying a second-hand car can be a wise move, especially since a new car begins to depreciate in value the moment you drive it off the lot. Opting for buying a used car can be a cost-effective way to get on the road. Epecially as a first-time or young driver.

Opting for buying a used car can be a cost-effective way to get on the road, especially as a first-time or young driver.

Buying a Used Car

Before deciding to make a purchase, it’s important to do your due diligence on your prospective new vehicle. This article will guide you through some tips to consider when shopping for a used car.

Mileage

On average, a person drives around 13,500 miles each year; that’s almost 1,000 miles per month.  Check that the mileage on the odometer is as advertised and by dividing the number of miles displayed by the age of the vehicle.

A car with higher mileage will show signs of wear and tear on components such as the pedals and gear stick. Will give clues as to whether the mileage on the clock has been tampered with.

Under the Hood

Check under the hood of the car to inspect the engine for any leaks, corrosion, broken or worn-out belts and hoses, or blown gaskets. Check that the oil levels on the dipstick are at the correct level and that the oil color and consistency are correct. Transmission fluids should also be checked for a dark red shade.

Have a general inspection whilst under the hood for any grease or grime covering the components, as this could signify a vehicle that has been poorly maintained.

Check the Tires

Inspect all the tires for their overall condition. Check that the tread depth is at least 1.6mm and make sure the tires are free of any cuts, tears, or bulges. Uneven wear on the tires can be a sign of faulty suspension or wheel alignment and will need to be fixed.

Bodywork

Check the car’s bodywork keeping an eye out for any dents, rust, or paint damage. If there are signs of mismatched paint or replaced panels. This could indicate the car has been involved in an accident and poorly repaired.

Inspect the windscreen for any cracks and make sure the doors and trunk of the car close and seal properly. Also, check underneath the car for any fluids that may be leaking.

Electronics

Turn the ignition on and check for any warning lights that may come on. Make sure all the electronic components are working correctly. Check the lights all work and items such as the radio, climate control, windows, satellite navigation, central locking, and any other features to ensure they’re in good working order.

Take a Test Drive

A test drive will allow you to check the car’s acceleration,  suspension, and maneuverability.  Test it out at various speeds, and listen for any unusual noises from the engine or other parts of the car. Make sure that the clutch and the brakes are responsive and with a manual drive that the gears change smoothly. 


With these tips in mind, you should be able to select a used vehicle with confidence. Now all that’s left is to get some auto insurance quotes and you’re good to go.

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