things to Check in a Car before Buying it

Buying a car can be quite a challenge as there are so many options to choose from. Finalizing a car model in itself is a monster of a task. Investing in a car is a huge decision; therefore, you must make an informed decision. The following is a list of tips to help you through this process. 

Do your homework

Make an informed decision after doing your background research. Look into vehicle types, transmissions, powertrains, and features as it will help you become an informed buyer. Moreover, it will prevent you from falling victim to treacherous salespeople who often tend to oversell items. If you understand a product’s worth, you will not get scammed. 

Note down your requirements

It is critical to list down your needs and demands before you set out on your search. Create a blueprint of what you are looking for, such as a manual or automatic power transmission, fuel requirements, and more. Be clear about your inclinations. 

Set a budget

Devise an amount that you can spend on a car. If you are purchasing your car in installments, calculate the monthly premium that you can pay comfortably without messing up your finances. It is best to pay a sizeable down payment to reduce the interest on your monthly installments. 

Check for discounts

Monthly discounts and schemes are a great way to save money in this regard. Track discount offers a couple of months in advance and when you find one that fits your need, avail it to your advantage. 

Refrain from quoting your price

You must not reveal our budget to them right away, as salespersons are sly individuals who will convince you to take your budget up a notch and opt for something else. If you have set your mind on a car, an Audi R8, for instance, stick to your choice. Do not let the sales guy talk you out of it. 

24 things to check in a car before buying it

The following is a list of 24 features you must check in a car before buying it.

  1. Body: The first thing anyone looks at in a car is its body. Pay attention to the car’s body and its finish. If you are purchasing a used car, look out for any dents or scratches as they may indicate damage due to accidents, etc.
  2. Carrying capacity: Look into the car’s carrying capacity. Examine its trunk space and assess if it is enough to meet your requirements. 
  3. Doors: Check the doors on the car and check if they are working correctly. Power doors are always a plus, so we recommend opting for them if you can. 
  4. Glass and windows: Roll down the windows and take note of any glitches that may be present as that could indicate a problem with the motor. Cracks and scratches on the windows and windshield must also be looked into to be on the safe side. 
  5. Lights: Check the lights to assess their brightness and color tone. Used cars often report light flickering or dimming issues.
  6. Wheels and tires: The car’s wheels and tires are very important, so make sure that the vehicle is equipped with premium alloy wheels and not standard hubcaps. Observe the tire tread to determine the level of wear on the tires in the case of a used car. If you notice one tire is more torn out than the others, it may indicate excessive stress on the vehicle or infrequent rotation. 
  7. Seats: Check the seats’ condition – assess their look and scent. Temperature control is always a bonus, so check the car seats’ heating and cooling function if it is working properly. 
  8. Headliner: The car headliner must not be sagging; it must be intact. A sagging headliner may indicate a leak in case of rain. 
  9. Heating and cooling system: The heating and cooling system is an absolute must to be super thorough with as no one likes to deal with temperature extremes. 
  10. Accessory details: Aside from the main features, it is crucial to note additional miscellaneous features as well, such as a keyless entry (always convenient), a remote start, an entertainment system, a sunroof, and more. 
  11. Engine type: Check the car engine and see if it aligns with your demands.
  12. Drive type: A car can be a 4-wheel drive, an all-while drive, or a rear-wheel drive; confirm before you sign that cheque what drive type your vehicle is. 
  13. Fluid levels: Fluid levels must be at an adequate level and free of debris. The lack of it would result in malfunction and other issues in the future as well. 
  14. Belts: Check the belts and their condition. Most used cars present with used and worn-out belts, but you must assess their level of wear. 
  15. Leaks: Take a look at the surface underneath the car to check for a fluid and oil leak. 
  16. Safety measures: Check the car’s IIHS Safety test results. Look for additional features like a back camera, brake assistant, parking assistant, and more. Be sure to assess the car’s stability control, anti-lock brakes, and safety alerts as well.
  17. Manufacturer reputation: Check the manufacturer’s track record. A positive track record is always a good sign. 
  18. Gas mileage: Fuel efficiency is a critical factor to look into, as reduced gas mileage may indicate an issue. 
  19. Service records: To avoid any doubts, look into the service records of the car. 
  20. Carfax: To acquaint yourself with the history of the vehicle, a Carfax check is super helpful. 
  21. Cost of ownership: Look into the details of car insurance and any additional charges that must be paid at the time of purchase. Additional charges are often concealed until you sign the final paycheque. 
  22. Warranties: Warranties help cut down on repair costs and maintenance charges. New cars always come with a warranty, but it is prudent to look into what the warranty covers as well. 
  23. Resale value: Everything’s value depreciates over time; however, some depreciate more than others. It is a good idea to opt for a car that offers good resale value if you decide to see it. 
  24. Navigation: Navigation aids are beneficial, especially now when everything is digital. Check if your car is equipped with navigation aids and if so, do they come with free upgrades, etc. 
  • Parting thoughts

Buying your own car is a monumental feat; therefore, it is important to pay attention to every detail. If possible, we recommend getting the car inspected professionally by a mechanic or someone working in a similar capacity. A professional assessment is must better than all the information available online as things are prone to variation in real life. It is best to identify any significant concerns before they cost you a fortune. Now, you are ready to buy a car, be sure to follow our checklist. 

ABOUT Alycia Gordan

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia