What to look for when buying a used car

Buying any car is a big investment, when you buy a used car it can be daunting and the chances of getting ripped off either by accident or design are high. Most people don’t know enough about cars to really check it thoroughly on the spot, in fact even those who do know what to look for can’t exactly start taking a car apart in a showroom or on a private buyers drive to make sure. There are a couple of options then, one is to buy from a well known reputable dealer who does a full check on all the cars it sells and gives a warranty of at least 30 days: though you can often pay more for an extended warranty. If you are looking for a deal though you may go for the option of doing a few basic checks to lower your risk, though risk can’t be removed.

First listen to the engine, does it sound ok? If it sounds a little bit rough then this is usually a bad sign. More important is how it sound when driving and not just idling however. Go for a test drive if you can, even if the seller drives and you sit alongside, listen for any strange sounds and strange smells. Also a good thing to check is brakes; put your foot on to the brake pedal and check that it doesn’t have too much travel before biting or the brake pads may be worn or the brake pipes leaking. Also to check an exhaust, having checked with the seller cover the tailpipe with the exhaust running, if the engine doesn’t stall then there are leaks in the exhaust.

Jun 7th, 2011