Second-Hand Car Checklist: What to Look for When Buying a Preowned Vehicle


More dissatisfied people have left car dealerships than a Mets game. And, it’s no wonder: new cars are terribly expensive and buying a used car is a risky business. Whether you are buying a second-hand car from an authorized dealer or a private seller, it’s easy to get ripped off. There so many different things you need to pay attention to so that you don’t end up making a purchase you will regret later.

Is It Worth Buying a Second-Hand Car?

It’s well-known that a car’s value depreciates the second you drive it off the lot. Luxury cars, especially, depreciate at a faster rate than economy vehicles. According to most experts, a car loses up to 30% of its original value just in the first year. And, if you decide to sell your new car, you will lose more money than if you had bought it used.

But, here’s the twist. If devaluation is your worst enemy when buying a new car, it is your best friend when you settle for a second-hand one from Applewood motors Langley. When it comes to performance and efficiency, there’s isn’t too much difference between a new car and a two-year-old model, except for the price. Buy a pre-owned vehicle, and you will pay 30% less than you would on a new car.

Another great thing about used cars is that you have more options than with new ones. Because they are cheaper than new cars, second-hand ones widen the selection of cars you can buy. That Audi Coupe you’ve been dreaming of since childhood has finally entered the realm of possibility.

So, buying a second-hand car is definitely the smart thing to do. But, how can you make sure you are not cheated by the seller?

  1. Know What You Want

Decide what brand you want and how much money you are willing to invest in it. Another important thing you need to consider is how you are going to use the car. If you decide on a $7,000 budget for a family car, don’t spend it on the first sports car you see. You inner child might be happy, but this car might not suit your needs in the long term.

  1. Research the Market

In this day and age, there are so many sources you can check for good deals that it should be impossible to get cheated. You can go to auctions, research your local car dealerships, and even order cars on eBay. Whatever method you choose, make sure that the seller is trustworthy and reputable. Read blog posts and look through forum topics to find out if past buyers were happy with their purchases.

  1. Compare Prices

Do your due diligence and research the market value of the pre-owned car of your choice. Browse through local dealership websites to learn if they are selling the model you are interested in and what it is being valued at.

  1. Shop Around

You know what you want, you have a budget in mind, and you have a list of sellers you know are reliable. Now, it’s time to shop around and see who offers the best deal.

  1. Check for Signs of Damage

You’ve found a second-hand car you like, and that is in your price range. Before you make an offer, inspect it thoroughly to ensure you are not buying a lemon. Your best bet is to have a mechanic look at the car so that you can rest assured that you’re not getting tricked. If you don’t have a trusty mechanic, here’s what to pay attention to when inspecting a second-hand car.

  • Look underneath the car body for rust
  • Look for recent paint jobs that might indicate body damage
  • Check the tires and wheels
  • Make sure the interior is not torn to shreds.
  • Look under the hood and check for leaks
  • Examine the exhaust smoke color
  • Make sure the electronics are working properly
  1. Take It for a Test Drive

The next step after visually inspecting the car is to take it for a test drive. Make sure the engine starts easily, and it doesn’t make a funny noise while driving. Pay attention to the transmission, the controls, and the brakes.

When buying a second-hand car, the more careful and rigorous you are with your research, the more confident you will feel when it’s time to make the actual purchase.