Used Car Checklist
- Check that all of the panels and doors on the car fit properly and that there is not any unevenness where the panels join. You can do this by simply running your finger over the join of the 2 panels and if they feel uneven then it means that the car could have been in a crash and had one of the panels replaced.
- Check the paintwork on used cars for bubbles and colour differences which may indicate that there is rust underneath the paint or that the car has previously been in a crash.
- Before buying a second hand car check that the all of the doors, windows, bonnet and boot open and close properly. If not then this is a sure sign that the used car has previously been in an accident.
- Make a used car checklist outlining all of the major parts (ie: panels, paint work, windows, engine, exhaust, floor, tyres, etc) and features (ie: steering, music system, heating, wipers, lights, etc) of the car. Place a 'Good', 'Fair' and 'Poor' tickbox next to each one so that you can easily give each section a mark. This will make it easier for you to compare used cars and even negotiate a discount if you find things wrong with the car.
- A good tip for checking used cars to see if they have had any rust on the metal panels filled up is to place a magnet on all parts of the panels and see if it clings to the metal. If it doesn't then there is a good possibility that that panel has had some rust damage fixed recently.
- Number 1 on the used car checklist should be to look for oil leaks underneath the vehicle and on the side of the engine.
- When it comes to the car's engine it can be hard to know what to look for unless you are a qualifed mechanic. One easy thing that you can check is the dipstick that measures the engine oil. If the oil on the dip stick is milky or grey this can indicate that there is serious engine problems with this used car.
- Always take the car for a test drive and keep make sure that all of the instruments work properly, particularly the windscreen wipers, headlights, fuel gauge, heating, air-conditioning, cruise control and power windows if the car has them.
- It is generally a good idea to test drive a used car more than once in different weather conditions. Also do a surprise visit (ie: call 10 minutes beforehand or turn up early) so that the owner has not had time to warm the car up by driving it around before you arrive.
- Look under the interior carpet and floor mats to see if there are any signs of rust on the floor of the vehicle.
- If possible check over the car's logbook of servicing to ascertain that it has been well maintained and serviced on a regular basis and that there was not any major faults with it in the past.
- Look under the vehicle and look at the exhaust system and mark on your car checklist if there are any holes or evidence of rust.
- One of the easiest second hand car checks to perform is to look at all of the tires on the car, including the spare, and see if they have enough tread on them. Otherwise it is going to cost you a lot of money if you have to buy 5 new tires soon after purchasing this secondhand car.
We hope that you appreciate and are able to use the Free Second Hand and Used Car Checklist that this website provides. If you would like to share your own tips on what to look for when purchasing a used car then you can do so by clicking here.