You are here:

5 Tips when buying a used car


BUYING a used car is both a joyous and a frightening experience. With so much on offer how do you know you’re getting a good deal and how do you know your soon-to-be ‘new’ ride hasn’t been thrashed around?

Autodealer has compiled a quick list of what to do if you’re in the market for a vehicle.


It’s important to know what you’re looking for, whether it’s a sedan or an SUV or a hatch. You have some type of idea, so investigate a little.

Get insight into what the average pricing is, so that you know whether you’re being ripped off or not. Read up about the engines and service costs. Having some background on the model you choose, will help you to know exactly what type you’re looking for.

Vehicle Inspection:

Checking the condition of the vehicle you want to purchase, is key. So get down and dirty and personal with the car. Look at the bumpers for scratches and re-sprays. Look at the body panels and the spacing to see if the car has been in an accident. The interior is also a good place to investigate as it will highlight how well the car has been looked after.

While the physical appearance of the car might be in good nick, check the engine. This is critical as it’s what propels the vehicle. Checking fluid levels and condition of the fluids will give you an indication of how it’s been maintained.

Service History:

Checking the service history will provide insight into how the vehicle was maintained and will also give you an indication if the mileage has been tampered with.

Most modern vehicles are sold with service plans, so if you buy a used car you could benefit from the remainder of the service plan, hence saving you any costly bills.

Test Drive:

Don’t be shy to test-drive the vehicle. It will not only point out any nasty creeks and noises but will help you decide if you like the car or not. You may have read fantastic reviews and the price is right but if you hate driving it, you’ll hate owning it and cars are something we spend a lot of time in.

Remember while you’re driving to check the brakes for squeaks, how it starts and performs from cold and check the steering, which will all be major deciders for you.


You love the car and want to buy it and while the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) does protect you to an extent, take the car to an established inspector for a 21-point check, which will give you peace of mind. They will check things you wouldn’t have thought twice about. 

Ultimately, when buying a car, don’t rush into anything; take your time and shop around until you find a deal you’re happy with, and a car you love.


Article written by
You have an opportunity to be the first by writing a comment about this article. Ask a question or share your opinion!
Notify me via email when someone comments or replies
- Enter security code