How to do a used car check like a real dealer

Feb 10, 2019 | Same topic: Best advice for car buyers
Here we are sharing some things to look for when you're buying a used car.

Consideration or decision of buying an old car is the fastest way to expand one’s automobile knowledge compared to all kinds of theories. However, purchasing a second-hand four-wheel is not as simple as paying for a new vehicle.

used cars lot

Purchasing a second-hand four-wheel is not as simple as paying for a new vehicle

Buying a used car allows customers to gain experience in identifying and dealing with its problems. Some consumers can even become passionate automobile experts.

Customers may differentiate new cars and almost destroyed ones through details that normally go unnoticed. The following tips on how to do a used car check are collected from “masters” of automobile markets. From such valuable experience, customers can partly avoid issues that car dealers intentionally cover up, as well as learn how to negotiate for the most reasonable price.

1. Ensure the car’s clear origin

Car origin is an extremely important factor, as it will prevent customers from issues concerning legal papers. While buying a used car, you need to check its quality control number, registration license and insurance paper (if available), then compare with information of the seller’s ID.

car registration philippines

While buying a used car, you need to check its quality control number, registration license and insurance paper (if available)

Apparently, a second-hand vehicle of a registered owner will be much better. However, you should be careful as many cars registered as company vehicles are actually disposed cars of old taxi companies. Here we have some tips to know if a secondhand car has been used as a taxi.

In general, refrain from buying vehicles using handwritten notes, except car purchase from acquaintances. Certification of the purchase is needed.

2. Check the bodywork

Most used cars are “cleaned up” before being sold, hence their polished appearance. However, you should pay attention to the following points:

  • Notice the inside of the door handle, the latch on the B pillar and the door striker on driver-sided door. If these components are eroded and/or shiny, the car has been used for too long.
  • The next point is the gaps between parts in the bodywork, creases on door frames or windows, and mudguards. Water and mud are normally collected there, hence these parts normally turn rusty first. In case the car was previously caught up in an accident, there might even be welding spots (unlike new cars, which are smooth as they are welded by machines).
  • Besides, there is a line on door edges and car hood called “seam sealer tape”. This line must be untouched, if lost or replaced, the car must have undergone collisions.
  • Headlights and signals, as well as the electric system of the car, are also needed checking. You can skip the vehicle if there are signs of randomly-plugged electrical cords.

used car checklist

Used car checklist

3. Examine the car’s interior

Some consumers are blinded by the shiny look of a used vehicle’s interior. However, sometimes due to the extremely old age of the car, dealers refurbish the inside of this car. An interior that is too new might also be suspicious.

Here Philkotse.com tells you details you should pay attention to when you look into the car’s interior.

  • The dashboard’s surface suffers the most from sunlight. If it has cracks or discolors, the car must have been used for a long time.
  • Carefully check all seats, especially driver seat. If the car has been driven for a long time, the seat mats will turn mushy or be torn apart. If the seats are covered in leather, this layer will have cracks.
  • See whether plastic components are worsened.

used car interior

If the dashboard has cracks or discolors, the car must have been used for a long time

  • Examine whether the felt on the car’s roof is new.
  • When the car has gone through many owners, it will have a peculiar foul smell that cannot be purified. You should check whether the car has any of such smell.
  • The lock will be dislocated and keys worn out if the car was used frequently.
  • Worn out clutch, accelerator, and brake pedals also indicate a frequently used car.
  • Check how much the car cools down after turning on the A/C.

>>> Read more tips on car buying & selling, car maintenance and safe driving on Philkotse.com