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Expert Checklist for Buying Used Car from Dealer

It is not unusual to get anxious before purchasing a second-hand product, especially if you are investing a whopping amount of money. Buying a used car from car dealers is something exactly like that. It may bring a lot of risks and problems if you don’t check the vehicle thoroughly beforehand. So, here is a complete used car checklist for the buyers who intend to go for such a deal with enough confidence and information. You are supposed to scrutinise every function of the car, as the seller is not bound to inform everything involuntarily. Different categories of cars, trucks, and SUVs demand different kinds of checklists. Here in this checklist, our experts have provided you with a complete buying guide and questions that you need to ask the owner, to purchase a sustainable product and take care of your pocket as well. So to help you in checking history to get a profitable deal, here are the handy car buying tips for you.

How Should I Check a Car Before Purchasing?

There are many steps of examining a used car. Apart from checking the basic exterior and interior parts, you need to go for a test drive, check the engine in detail, examine the exhaust smoke colors, etc are very crucial steps in the process. We will be dissecting the whole process in three primary stages - checking the construction and status of the exterior, the interior and then following some practical key steps.

Checking the Exterior Conditions

Getting double sure about the external parts of a car is a smart way to start the whole process of checking. The most important and basic things that you may want to inspect are the following-

  • The lid on the trunk of the car, the roof and the hood should be examined to see if there are any problems there.

  • Checking the number of tires that they have got can be an intelligent thing to do. Along with that check how much tread the tires have got, and what is the rubber quality of them.

  • Usually, you should expect four matching premium tires, especially if you are investing in a performance car. The tires should be even across the tread and the tread tops flat across the top.

  • One of the most important things to do here is to detect any kind of scratches, dents, rust or dust on the surface of the car and find out if those are caused by kerning on wheels.

  • Find out if there is any kind of waviness because that indicates body damage to the car.

  • The tires should not have any form of cuts, splits, gouges or bulges. Uneven tire wear also needs to be examined properly. If any of these problems happen to appear, then the tires need repairing or replacement, especially if the desired vehicle is a truck. especially if the desired vehicle is a truck, like Polaris Sportsman. In that case, you may consider buying new tires for your Polaris Sportsman.

  • Look for any other kind of external damage overall and see if those have been repaired recently. Large panel gaps can be the result of serious car crashes so be careful about that and be sure that there is no difference in the colors of the panels.

  • Examine if there is any chip on the windshield of the car. You should also look into the front and rear light to check if there are any chips or cracks in them.

Checking the Interior Conditions -

Not only the outer sections of the car, the interior parts can also cause inconveniences for you later if not checked properly earlier. You don’t want to leave the oil cap or upholstery unchecked, of course. So let’s jump into the list -

  • Checking for any type of dust in the engine would be one of the firstest duties of you as a customer.

  • See if there are any spots, stains or tears on the car seat.

  • Make sure there is no bad odour inside the car because a permanent smoking smell or anything like that can be quite difficult to put on with.

  • Not just smell, even the seats can carry some burn marks if the owner was a smoking person. So along with looking for any holes drilled in the dashboard and a sagging roof lining, check that as well.

  • Check all the internal organs of the car like, ventilation system, radio, steering wheel or central-locking to see if all of them are performing accordingly.

Basic Practical Key Steps in the Checklist

Benefits of Truck Bed Tonneau Covers

The performance of a car or truck is not all about the exterior and interior equipment. The fitness or performance depends on many other things. And to get them all in a boosted and sharp condition, you have to take some practical steps.  Those steps are -

Test drive - May it be a new car or a used one, the moment every buyer cherishes the most is that of the test drive.  After visually scanning the entire car, going for a test drive is a must. Through the test you can -

  • examine the response of the car during sharp turns and highway drives.

  • drive at various speeds and at the same time check the brakes, clutch as well as engine noise.

  • see if the air-conditioning, radio and all the other electronics inside the car work properly.

  • find out the mileage and the warning lights.

Documentation- Something that as a buyer you would wait the most for is that box of papers containing the history of the car. Every time the car has been repaired or every aftermarket auto parts that have been purchased for it, and the original model of the product - the box has stored it all.

Leak Test - During your test run you can easily check the leaking problem of the vehicle by running the car for merely 30 secs in a parking lot. If you notice any kind of leakage then, determine the problem by the color of the liquid.

For example, green fluid indicates leaking of the coolant or antifreeze and black fluid’s leakage indicates leaking oil. You should open the bonnet to check all the other types of leaks like a power steering fluid of reddish brown color.

Engine oil - Apart from all the leakage-related investigations, checking the engine and its oil is considered a general car maintenance process. The level of dipstick reading and consistency and color of the engine oil are necessary to be checked by the probable buyer. Along with these be cautious of any other form of dirt or grime.

Read reviews - If possible then read customer’s reviews on the dealers’ official website and on any other possible source found in Google.

Take enough time - This checklist doesn’t mean that you should purchase the very first vehicle that passes all the tests. Before taking the final decision, look at all your options. Otherwise, your bank account will make the ultimate sacrifice and still won’t be able to make you happy and satisfied.

Final Words

If you can thoroughly follow the used car checklist provided by our experts with patience then we can assure you of a great deal in buying the car of your choice. Both your yard will be showing its pride to have the desired car and your pocket will dance in happiness as well.

How to Buy a Used Car From a Dealer With Cash

Buy a used car

Buying a car is one of the most significant life decisions, perhaps second only to buying a house. For some people, buying a car is the largest purchase they have ever made. For others, it is just a typical purchase.

Whichever side you are on, the first important decisions to make when buying a car are;

  • whether to buy new or used

  • to pay cash or use financing

Each of these decisions is hard to make. For first-time car buyers, for instance, these decisions can be overwhelming. Buying a used car can be a good choice since it costs less than buying a new car or financing. Since it is not a loan, it does not attract any interest, and Insurance companies charge less on used cars. Below is a step by step guide on it.

7 Steps to Take When Buying a Used Car With Cash

1. Set your budget

There are various opinions about what percentage of income is wise to spend on a used car. For some people, it is 10%. For others, it should be between 15-20%, although there is no golden rule. Every person should decide on their own.

2. Do your research

After setting a used car budget, the next big step is to do your independent research. Research allows you to gain knowledge of all the requirements for the deal. Find out the applicable charges on used cars in your state before going out to buy. Consider factors such as documentation, gas consumption, and repair records in your research.

3. Settle on a car type and model

Having decided to buy a car often means your mind is already fixed on a specific model. On the off chance that you have not made a decision, this should be your next step. But, even if your mind is already made up, it is advisable to compare the alternatives. Car type examples include; Sedan, station wagon, convertible, minivan, and sport-utility vehicle(SUV).

4. Visit the seller

Once you have decided on the type and model to buy and set a budget, the next big step is to have an in-person look and feel. This step is critical regardless of whether you are buying from a dealership or the owner.

5. Have the Car Appraised

Checking out the car on your own is good, but it does not help enough if you do not know what to look out for. Unless you are a trained auto mechanic, it is advisable to hire a professional. A trained mechanic will check the car’s condition and flag any faulty parts. This will help you avoid incurring extra charges when you decide to buy. The trained professionals can check if the steering wheel and breaks are responsive. They can also check if the car's clutches and gears are in good condition.

6. Take a test drive

After appraisal and adjusting for repairs and replacements, the next step is to take a test drive. Taking the car for a test lets you gauge the comfort levels in the car and ensure it feels the way it looks. Some dealers might even allow you an extended test drive for a couple of days. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealer or owner to let you try out the car on different terrains.

7. Pay and transfer of title

If everything looks good and you have decided to buy, payment is the next step. Ensure you bargain for the best deal and also ask for a discount. The cash price of a used car should be lower than financing since it is not a loan and does not attract interest. To complete the transaction, transfer of ownership takes place after payment. In some states, the current owner signs the title to transfer ownership to the buyer. The buyer then presents the signed title to a licensing agency for a new title.


Buying a car can be such a frustrating experience. But, there are steps to ease the burden, especially when buying a used car with cash. Plan around your budget based on your own research to determine which car type best suits your needs.  It is advisable to hire professionals to appraise the car and determine its value. The professionals ensure the car is fit for sale. They also help the buyer to avoid hidden charges arising from faulty parts if not disclosed.

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