Buying a Used Car Checklist & Things to Check

Looking to buy a used car? For many Australians’ buying a used car is the go-to option. Buying a used car provides so many benefits, from a cheaper price to more choice, there are many advantages for buying a used car over a new car.

Before running out and buying a used car there are a few things that you need to check to minimise your risks.

Shop for Cars has put together a list of what you need to check before buying a used car.

1. Engine Check

Before you consider buying any vehicle you need to check the engine condition. Take the car for a test drive, make sure the car is running the way it should and listen for any unusual sounds. Open the bonnet, look at the engines condition and see if there are any glaring issues. Missing even the slightest engine issue can set you back thousands.

It is highly recommended that you get a third-party mechanic to assess the engines condition prior to purchasing. Even if you are a master of engines, it is always best to get a second opinion. It could save you in the long run!

2. Tyre Checks

You want to make sure all tyres are in good condition. Tyres are expensive, the last thing you want is to buy a car and quickly find out you need 4 replacements. Depending on the vehicle type you could pay well over a $1000 for a single tyre.

Assess the tyres grip, look for tell tail signs of wear and tear. This is where a mechanic opinion is king! They will let you know right away if replacements are needed anytime soon.

3. Exhaust Check

Smoke instantly sends warning signs. It often means there is a major issue with the car. Run the car in neutral and see if there is any alarming smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. Be sure to listen to any sounds coming from the exhaust.

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4. Lights Check

One area that is often missed by many car buyers is checking the lights. Changing dead lights isn’t the most expensive thing to do but it can be difficult. Check the front and backlights of the car, check your reverse lights and blinkers, make sure they are all working accordingly.

Look at the warning lights your cars dashboard. If they fail to light up upon start, you could have an electrical issue.

5. Seat Belt Check

This one cannot be missed. Your safety is top priority. Check the seat belts are in good condition and are secured correctly when driving.

Make sure you can easily adjust the seatbelts and look for any rips or tears. It is also best to check if the car is part of any recent seat belt recalls.

6. Check the interior

While you’re checking the seat belt it is always best to check all the other components of the car’s interior. Check the steering wheel and gear box – make sure they are all in working order.

It is also best to check the cars electronics and computer system, make sure your air-conditioning, radio, computer screen and hazard lights are working. Many people often just assume everything inside is in working order, but you need to thoroughly check to minimise your risk.

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7. Check the exterior

Once you have completed the interior check, it’s only natural to assess the exterior of the car. Walk around and look at the body of the car, look for any significant damage or inconsistencies. Open all doors and test the locks. Make sure your aerial retract correctly and that the boot and bonnet open and close without any issues.

Some used cars may have a few dings here and there and should be expected. You just need to assess if it will have any impact on the safety or driveability of the vehicle.

8. Get a Car History and PPSR report

So, you have checked everything you need to, and it all looks good, the last thing you need to do is get a Car history and PPSR report. A Car History and PPSR report tells you everything you need to know about the history of the vehicle. It also tells you if there is any finance remaining on the vehicle, if the vehicle is part of any safety recalls and if it has been stolen or written off.

One of the benefits of buying a used car from a dealership is you can often get Car History and PPSR reports free of charge. If you are buying individually, Car History Reports are $36 and PPSR reports are $9.90.

Related article: How to get a free Car History and PPSR report.

Final Word,

Buying a used car is an exciting experience. Before purchasing a used vehicle, it is important that you undertake relevant research, checks, and gain third party advice to make the best buying decision.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. To read more articles like this, please visit the Shop for Cars latest news page here.

About Shop for Cars,

Shop for Cars is Australia’s first car dealership-only online classified. Shop for Cars brings you the best quality new and used vehicles from trusted motor dealers Australia wide. Shop for Cars currently has over 12,500 cars listed for sale all from licensed Motor Vehicle Dealers ONLY.

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DISCLAIMER: This is all based on opinion please research and consult with all relevant parties to make the best buying decision.