1. Car parts
When you first lay eyes on the pre-owned car you want to purchase, check every nook and cranny as possible.
- First, inspect the underbody. Look for signs of rust or repairs. If possible, take the car to a hydraulic lifter to easily check around underneath.
- Inside the car’s interior, check for wet spots under the matting.
- Also, inspect the area under the trunk’s carpeting.
- After that, you can check the pedals, as they indicate how often the car was used.
- Take a look at the engine bay. Check around and under for potential weak spots and leaks. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty.
Remove the foot mats and check for any moist and wet spots
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Go over the car’s documents. Confirm if the car is registered or otherwise. It’s also prudent to check maintenance records.
Check the related documents such as the registration document, service and full car record, etc.
>>> Related: 7 essential documents needed when purchasing a car in the Philippines
3. Signs of a stolen vehicle
To avoid a huge amount of headaches later, check if the car is in possession of its legitimate owner and not stolen. To do this, you’ll want to check the car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) and license plates, cross-checking these with the LTO.
Be wary if the seller wants you to pay on a cash basis. Usually, a seller who can’t provide legally binding documents will tend to go for cash transactions only. If there are documents, take a close look at these to make sure that they have not been falsified. Check for incorrect and tampered info.
Also, note if the deal is too good to be true, as some criminals want to get rid of a vehicle if it was used in a crime.
>>> Related: 10 signs that you are about to purchase a stolen car
Data show that mainstream models are the most-often stolen rides on the road
4. Signs of damage caused by an accident
- Looks for signs of overspray in random places as this is the easiest and most common solution to make a crashed vehicle look like new.
- Check if the seatbelts look overstretched or even ripped. Likewise, look for signs that the airbags have been previously deployed.
- Thirdly, feel the doors of the car. If they are flimsy and does not close with a thud, that might be bad news.
- Check the chassis of the car itself; if it’s not straight, you may want to inquire further.
- Also, take note of mismatched parts and uneven panels or gaps as vehicles tend to follow a consistent value with it comes to the space between panels.
>>> Related: 9 signs to check a used car for accident damage
You should require the seller to provide information about the car’s history and its replacement
To know more about smart tricks for car buyers, owners and drivers, check out our tips and advice section.