car with checkmark location symbol and checklist in a row

What should I check before buying a used car?

How to inspect a used car before deciding to buy it

There are many benefits to buying a used car, including saving a lot of money. However, you have to be careful and critical when making your final decision. There are many things you need to consider including mileage, price, safety features, and most importantly, the state of the vehicle. If you think you’ve found the perfect used vehicle for you, you have one more step, the inspection. Here at Bell Auto Inc. in Toronto, ON, we want to help you have a successful used car shopping experience. In this blog, we will be teaching you how to inspect a used car before deciding to buy it. Keep reading to start learning!

[ You should also check out: How do I know that the vehicle I’m buying is safe? ]

The most important areas to check before deciding to buy

mechanic checking state of vehicle using laptop with hood upright
  1. Check the vehicle history. While there will be a history provided by the dealership (or from the previous owner), you will still need to do your own research. If you enter the VIN number into a site like CARFAX, you will find out if the vehicle has been in any accidents, floods, or if the model had any recalls.
  2. Do a thorough walk around. Take your time walking around the exterior of the car to look for things like rust, paint damage, frame issues, parts hanging from the undercarriage, and loose bolts. While smaller things like chipped paint might not be a deal-breaker, a warped frame could lead to bigger problems
  3. Check tire condition. Make sure you also check the tires for even tire tread depth, any punctures, or any indication of misalignment.
  4. Inspect the interior. Check the upholstery for tears, stains, or cracks as upholstery can be a costly repair. Make sure to also ensure that all electronics work like the stereo, lights, air conditioning, and heat. You should also see how many miles are on the car, on average, a vehicle racks up about 20,000 km per year.
  5. Take it for a test drive. Besides checking the mechanics, this may be the most important part. This is where you can see how well the vehicle brakes, accelerates, maneuvers, and more. You should also park in different areas to see if there are any glaring blind spots.
  6. Have a mechanic inspection. The final part of the inspection should involve a trained mechanic. They will be able to find issues that you may have missed or any small problems that could lead to an expensive repair down the road.

[ Read more: At What Mileage Should I Consider Buying a Used Car? ]

Find more tips on buying a used car

Now that you know how to inspect a car before buying it, you need to know what else you should do. Here on the Bell Auto Inc. website, we have several blog posts and landing pages dedicated to helping you with your used car shopping experience! However, we also encourage you to reach out to us directly with any questions you may have!