How to Buy Used Car? Complete Used Car Buyers Guide 2023

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How to Buy Used Car? Complete Used Car Buyers Guide

The Complete used car buyers guide in 6 easy steps we’re here to make buying a used car as easy and as painless as possible and hopefully stop you from making any horrendous and potentially very expensive mistakes anyway let’s get into it

Sort up the Right Car For You

Step 1 so first up what sort of car you should buy because we see people buying the wrong genre of car all of the time, that’s right if you’ve got a bunch of kids and you need a people mover obviously an mx-5 isn’t the right car for you, the classic one we see is families buying 4×4 dual cab when they have no intention of ever venturing off-road look 4×4 dual cab, they are cool at the moment but maybe you’d be better off with like an suv or maybe even a car,

Setup A Budget Used Car Buyers Guide

Now in terms of budget if you’ve got say a strict ten thousand dollars to spend you actually have eight thousand dollars to spend on the car because you’re gonna need some money left over to swap the regio pay for insurance maybe even get new tires, and also it’s a good idea to keep a bit of cash left over for a service after you buy it and for step 5 which which we’ll get to it later Used Car Buyers Guide.

After you Found a Car

so you’ve found a car, that you really like and you want to go and have a look at it, the first tip is don’t dress rich if you look really really wealthy,
there’s not much of a chance that the seller’s going to give you a discount and take a torch with you as well, and we’ll get to that later in the Article.
also you know how it seems like only the really ultra beautiful people look good under fluorescent lighting like say at a 7-eleven, well it’s the same for cars to find the problems, get the car under the most light you possibly can, now dusk to dorm was a great movie but it’s a terrible time to look at a car and so is when it’s raining.

you should just always avoid looking at a car in the rain because it can hide all sorts of things now to make what to look for really easy we’ve come up with a simple acronym, which is per pod switch for Used Car Buyers Guide.

Inspect the Car Properly

Which is paint panel gaps, overspray, dents scratches, wheels and tires, okay paint go over the entire car and make sure that the paint matches both in color, and texture. between all of the panels that actually touch the car, it should feel the same across all the panels, if for some reason you can’t check the car out in daylight, or under bright lights like these use your torch and shine it on all the panels.

It needs to match in color if it doesn’t match in color and if the texture is all different, why has it had an accident, why hasn’t it been repainted correctly panel gaps go over all of these panel gaps they should all be the same gap ,if it’s really close here but there’s a chasm of a gap over there why, has it had an accident they should all be the same across the entire car.

Also open and close everything that opens and closes all of the doors especially the sunroof if it has one, boot and bonnet check it all over, spray as in spray paint overspray grab your torch have a look up under the wheel arches have a look inside all of the air vents and make sure you pop the bonnet.

Look around the engine bay if you see spray paint overspray that’s a bad sign it has been repainted ,not good guys, also have a good look at all of the bolts in here on the inner guards.

If they’re different, or new or, If the paint is scratched off why dents and scratches now most cars will have a few little dents and scratches.

And how many you’re willing to deal with is completely up to you, but remember a few minor dents and scratches, it can give you some bargaining power when it comes time to negotiate the price.

But in saying that if any of the scratches on the metalwork are back to the bare metal that will require repair work and it even can corrode and rust and if any of the scratches on the plastic parts are back to the plastic, again it’s going to have to be resprayed and that can be expensive, plus are the bumper and the grille and any plastic bits are they attached properly they should be.

Wheels sunlight scratching, can be okay but if there’s any major gouges, or serious damage, to the wheel that’s not okay if it’s bad enough it can actually damage suspension components and affect the wheel alignment which can have ongoing problems with the tyres.

Checking the Tyres

Step 3

The tyres from brand names you’ve heard of because cheap is never cheerful and do the tyres match, across all four wheels and tires if they’re all mismatched brands and mismatched models, that’s not a good thing because it shows that the owner is cutting corners financially.

And where else are they cutting corners financially,

Next up check the wear patterns on the actual tyre, if the wear pattern is all over the place best case scenario as we mentioned it might just have you know wheel alignment issues.

But worst case scenario it might have suspension damage and that will cost money.

Also if the tyres are worn on the outside of the tyre that means that the owner likes to corner really really enthusiastically, and that might mean they’re a bit of a driver.

Also if the tyres are so worn that they’re nearly slick that means that the car is going to require new tires soon , and that should get you at least a thousand dollars off the price.

Engine Bay Inspection

If that all checks out it’s time to check the engine now in the engine it’s time for another simple acronym which is coolant, oil ,and condition of engine.

Coolant ideally what you’re looking for here is a nice fresh color usually red or green have a look in the overflow bottle make sure it’s full ,also it’ll be great if you could look in the radiator but just be super careful there if it’s hot and you undo it you could burn yourself .

Oil pull out the dipstick make sure there’s oil on it and is it close to the full mark have a good look at the consistency and the color of the oil if it’s like a latte or a flat white, that’s a no to Used Car Buyers Guide

Don’t Forget the Torch

The torch is critical for this bit. Have a really good look around the engine right around the back of it as low as you can and make sure there’s no wetness or any signs of oil leaks.
condition basically what you’re looking for here is anything out of place have a look if there’s any modifications make sure they’ve been done properly, and then start it up and have a good listen make sure there’s no weird rattles or squeaks.

Don’t forget to Check the Odometer

  • If the car’s ticking all the boxes, time to get inside now first up look at the odometer on the car and have a look at how many miles the car has done.
  • The condition of the interior should match what the odometer says, if it’s saying you know 60,000 miles but you know the pedals are all worn the steering wheel is horrible and the seats are falling apart or the plastics looks super old ,
  • There’s a chance that the odometer may have been tampered with, that’s a really bad sign of bad Used Car Buyers Guide
  • If not if it hasn’t been tampered with it means that the owner has just treated the car like trash and potentially abused it but on the flip side if it’s like this car.
  • This has done 460,000 miles ,but the interior actually feels quite good the seats are good or the plastics are good the pedals look good it’s a good sign that the owner has actually cared for the car.

Getting into Backseat

Now get in the back seat, have a good look around, and check the condition of it ,and the boot take a good look around in here, check the condition of everything, and check the spare to make sure it has one and make sure there’s air in it .

Go and Have a Coffee

Next up go and have a coffee that’s right look it’s at this point that a lot of people start you know the emotions and adrenaline starts bubbling and you conveniently start ignoring some of the red flags ,so it’s really important just to take a moment, and calm down, and have a solid think about what it is that you are doing have a good think about any of the concerns you might have had and see if it’s genuinely worthwhile taking.

The Next Step which is Potentially a Test Drive

Now if you have gone and chilled out and you’re still loving what you’re looking at
let’s move to next step of Used Car Buyers Guide.

Step 4

The test drive before you go anywhere adjust the seat and adjust the steering wheel and the mirrors make sure you can get comfortable, if you can’t get comfortable at this stage of the game, do you really want to buy that car, at all okay, then start up the car before you again go anywhere check that all the buttons and everything works turn the lights, on try the indicators, check the air conditioning, try each fan speed, and the hot ,and cold functions, do they stay hot and cold, do they work at all on Used Car Buyers Guide.

Now this is really important because a broken air conditioner can cost thousands then it’s time to go for a drive as you’re driving turn the stereo off have a listen to the engine can you hear any abnormal engine sounds any rattles or squeaks,

Then how’s the gear change in a manual it should be smooth and notchy and accurate it also shouldn’t fall out of gear with an automatic, it shouldn’t go hunting for gears at all again it just should drive smoothly.

How’s the steering have a listen for any bumps or rattles and if you can go to a big open space like a car park and maybe do a few circles in opposite directions have a listen for any unusual drive train sounds.

Then find some bumps, and listen for any like clunking or grinding or just bad sounds coming from the suspension when you’re driving and accelerating make sure it accelerates smoothly and doesn’t have any flat spots also rev the car out all the way to the red line and see if there’s any smoke coming out the back smoke is bad.

Checking Car Exhaust

This come off the gas and again see if there’s any plumes of smoke again smoke bad news and when you’re braking make sure the car doesn’t pull to the left, or the right, and make sure it doesn’t have any vibrations through the steering wheel.

Then again try all the buttons especially while you’re on the drive if it has cruise control, does the cruise control work, does adaptive cruise control work, do any of those safety features, that warn you of you know lane changing, or anything like that do they all work ,if it has a button or a function press that button does it bloody work now as you’re doing all of this get a feel for the car as well ,is it comfy is it enjoyable are you enjoying your driving experience in the car and if the car’s still ticking all the boxes.

let’s move to

Step 5

Check the Service History

When you get back from the test drive have a good look at all the service books make sure they’re all up to date and if there’s any work being done to the car,
have a good look and make sure there’s receipts for it guys this is really really critical,
having a solid service history is so so important if there any question marks about the history of the car that could be a huge red flag, now if things are still looking good

It’s time to move on to

Step 6

Which is potentially one of the easiest steps for you book a pre-purchase inspection
now guys this pre-purchase inspection it is absolutely critical i nearly bought a car recently because it ticked all of these boxes it was checking out perfectly, I booked it in for a pre-purchase inspection , we got it up on a hoist and as soon as we got under, it you could see that the car had had a huge accident and even worse the repairs were incredibly dodgy, so bad in fact they were genuinely dangerous ,if i hadn’t had this pre-purchase inspection done i most likely would have bought the car and i would have bought a complete disaster ,

Check Finance Status

Another thing to check is does the vehicle have any finance against it you don’t want to be buying someone else’s financial debt now if that checks out it’s time to negotiate on the price of the car.

Once you start negotiating guys ,don’t be a don’t lowball, the seller have some respect but at the same time don’t get ripped off.


Fahman is an experienced automobile expert with a degree in Automotive Engineering and has worked in the automobile industry for over a decade, gaining extensive knowledge of the latest trends, technologies, and developments in the field.

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