There are so many cars available in the market. The prices of these cars differ according to factors like performance, luxury, comfort, etc. It all depends on your preference and choice.

These are the statistics of the last 20 years of the US car market. Almost 60 million cars are sold in the US every year. Of these, around 40 million cars are used cars.

So, even if you are buying a used car, then that is fine. You only need to check it thoroughly. How are you going to do that? By reading this post.

What to Check When Buying a Used Car?

Here is a list of things you need to do – a step-by-step guide – of things you ought to check when buying a used car for the first time.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

You can’t spend all your savings on a used car. So, keep a budget for it. Let’s say, your budget is $20,000. So, you need to buy the car and its relevant parts + registration – all in this price.

This means your car should be of $19,000, and the rest will be used for car registration, transport, maintenance checkup, and parts replacement. Revise the budget according to your needs.

Start Looking for Cars

It is recommended that you at least check a few cars before you make up your mind. So, evaluate and gauge some cars, make sure to find common defects in most cars’ models, and then settle down for a car.

Make sure you check each car by driving it. Many defects will only get highlighted when you run the engine of the car. Once you have done your research and have checked a few cars, you will be in a better position to assess how much money you will have to spend on a car after you buy it. This will also give you more bargaining power.

Find a Car Broker

One way to find a reliable car is through car dealers. Car dealers can connect you with sellers, and this is one of the fastest ways to get your car sold. However, finding a decent car dealer is hard. You simply can’t trust every car broker. So, make sure that you ask a friend or a relative to link you to a good car broker.

Car dealers have the widest selection of used cars available, and they can also help you negotiate prices with sellers who sell a unique car. If you have time, you can visit car auctions and buy a used vehicle from these auctions. The benefit of buying from auctions is that most of the cars will have a low price.

Questions You Should Ask Your Seller

The biggest mistake people make when buying a used car is that they don’t ask questions from their sellers.

Here is a list of questions you should ask them:

1. Why are you selling this car?

Maybe he needs money. Maybe he is looking to upgrade his car. Maybe the car has some issues. Even if the seller doesn’t tell you everything, you will get a hint of what to expect.

2. How many previous owners this car had?

If the car is driven by more than one person, there is a chance that it will require more work. When more people drive a car, they all have their ways of driving it. This has an impact on car parts.

3. Can you describe the condition of the car?

If they are fair, they will reveal the major problems with the car. Their answers will help you estimate the things you need to replace in the car after you buy it.

4. Was the car involved in any collisions?

There is a chance that the seller won’t tell you all the details. But if the car was in a major collision, its body will probably tell you about it. Look for clues like touch-ups, body paint, dents on bumpers, and body of the car.

5. When did this vehicle last go through the inspection?

This is a valid question, and if you are living in the US, you would have observed that all cars require a fitness certificate. Most of these cars will display the sticker bearing the date of the last inspection. If that is not available, you can ask the seller about it.

6. Conduct Your Own Inspection

Before buying the car, inspect it for tiny details. You can even hire a third party car inspection service to do a detailed checkup of the car. Most of these inspection services will even prepare a report telling you about what you will have to replace in the car after buying it.

Things You Need to Check in the Car:

  1. Car Engine: Check for engine oil leaks, exhaust smoke, radiator condition, and head gasket condition.
  2. Body: Check the body of the car. You may have to get it repaired if it is too rusty or dented. You may need a torch to check underneath the car.
  3. Wheels: Check the condition of the tires and if they are worn out? Rims of the car should be given equal importance.
  4. Interior: Check the boot, dash, cushioning of seats, wiring of the car. Are the lights and other indicators working?
  5. Documents: Cars documents include the purchase slip, government’s registration documents, and the owner’s copy of the car book.
  6. Gearbox and Clutch: Feel the sounds of the gearbox while running the car. Also, pay heed to how smoothly the clutch works.

Ask for Police Verification Slip

You can also call your local police department that deals with cars to make sure that the car was not involved in any sort of snatchings. That there is no FIR on that car that you intend to buy. You can even ask the seller to provide a police verification slip for the car, or you can call and find that out by yourself.

Negotiate a Price

Finally, don’t settle for the asking price. Start negotiating. Remember your budget! You need to buy the car for a price that’s less than your budget price. If your budget is $19,000, bid for $16,000 provided that the car is valued at $19,000. If the final asking price is out of your budget, you can always walk away.


When buying a car for the first time, it is recommended that you take help from someone who knows the ins and outs of car deals. This person should be someone you can trust like a friend, relative, or colleague. Since you won’t know everything about the car, these people will help you find the right car and negotiate the right deal. So get going and find the car of your dreams now!