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Buying used cars is not an easy task. It has a lot of concerns in comparison to buying a new car. Used cars though can be good and fulfill the needs of a consumer, it should be inspected well before buying. If you are going to buy used car then here is the exclusive Used Car buyer’s checklist.This article is about the various things that needs to be checked before buying an used car.

Used Car buyer’s checklist – Exclusive guide for buying used cars

Generally when a person intends to buy an used car, he/she takes the car on a test drive and a good test driving experiencing makes them satisfied about the possibility of buying that car. The exteriors are usually checked for any damage on the body and the colour. Interior checking may involve, seating, upholstery, dashboard, maintenance etc. But this is not all. There are lot many things to be checked and here is the list:

 37 exclusive Used Car buyer’s checklist

Here is the things that most of the used car buyers ignore but this is the nook and corner checklist that can help you rate a used car very well. Not so mechanical , nothing so technical but a must read which is an easy understanding guide to buy used cars.

 Used car exterior checklist

1.Windshield – Check for cracks and loose ends of the windshield .

2. Matching colours of the body panel – Same colours without shading should be checked.

3. Re painted or not – Make sure the body is not re painted,

4. Body scratches – Check for scratches or lines on the body. If you find any you should consider fixing them with paint.

5.Body dents – An used car is prone to dents, so make sure there are least dents to ensure less damage of the car.

6. Wipers and blades of the windshield – Check if the wipers and blades are working properly

7. Headlights, indicator lights, break lights and any other lights – Check for the proper functioning of these lights

8. Mirrors – The mirrors should be intact without any breakage.

Here, the windshield should be free of any cracks. The colours of the body panel should match which indicate original colours of the car, if repainted you should check why it was repainted. Also, check for dents and scratches. Switch on the wipers and see if the blades function properly and also the lights. This is the first category of Used Car buyer’s checklist . Like every other thing exterior look is what we examine first before going deep intoits specifications.

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 Used car tires checklist

9. A good brand of the tyres – Usually when buying a used car, you should check the brand of tyres which comprises a good amount of your investment.

10.All tyres of the same brand – Also, all the tyres should be of the same make.

11.Quality of tyres – should be free from damages.

12.Spare tyre along with tyre changing accessories such as jack rod and tools should be present.

Check every tyre closely as those who own a car will surely know that changing a tyre is one big expense in maintaining cars . So one of the important Used Car buyer’s checklist  is that of the car tyre conditions .They should be from a reputed brand and also in a good condition. There should be at least a quarter inch of tread as they are used ones. A spare tyre of the same brand should be present along with tyre changing tools such as jack rod, spanners, drivers etc.

 Used car engine checklist

13.Fluid leakage – There should not be any leaking fluid from the engine

14.Battery quality and age – A young battery of good brand name should be checked for

15.Switch on the ignition and check for any odour from the engine – check for any burnt smell from the engine when you switch on the ignition. It indicates bad engine quality.

16.Intact exhaust pipes to give proper emission – The exhaust pipes should be placed well.

The heart of a car is the engine and its condition should be examined closely. Look below the car for any kind of fluid leakage it may be the brake oil, engine oil or fuel. The battery is very important and the owner should provide the date when the battery was installed and its service documents. The emission should also be checked for proper exhaust which is a concern for environmental sustainability. A used car engine of good condition can last long.


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Used car interior checklist

17. Seats quality – Based on your budget you may want some good quality seats for your car. So check the seats before buying an used car.

18. Smooth doors – The doors should open and close easily with proper lubrication.

19. Working Gauges – Check if all the speedometer gauges and fuel gauges are in good working condition.

20. Dashboard warning lights – These lights should function properly

21. Stereo – As per your interest, you may check for the stereo specifications. Usually , while buying an used car, the buyer opts for a new stereo instead of the existing one.

22. Air conditioner/heat – Check if the air conditioner or heater maintains the temperature all over the car. The front, the rear and the back seats (if available)

23. Seat Belts – The belts should not be torn and should fit in the buckle properly

24. Seat adjustments – Check if the hydraulics are working properly

25. Sunroof – If the car has a sunroof, it should open and close easily along with providing proper cooling when closed.

26. Car Alarm – The car alarms should function well at the right time in association with the key’s remote.

27. Hazard lights switch – Check for proper working of lights

28. Steering wheel – The steering wheel should be easy to handle and should be the original one from the car manufacturer.

29. Gear levels – The gear levers should not be tight and function well.

30. Brakes – Proper application of brakes without any leakage of break oil should be ensured

31. Clutch – The clutches should be in such a way that it should not put strain on your legs while draining.

This is the long list when coming to check with the Used Car buyer’s checklist of car’s interior section .Lock and unlock all the doors and make sure they all work properly. Watch the seats closely for any kind of damage. Check all the switches at the driving area along with speedometer and gear levers. Check if there is any rust deposition on the edges of the doors.

Used car documents checklist

32. Owner listing

33. RC book

34. Car Manual

35. Insurance copy

36. Emission test certificate

37. Service and repair records

These are basically the used car document checklist you must verify before buying an used car.

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The above 5 categories list out what all should be checked before deciding to buy an used car. However, a consumer should be careful while buying such a car and should find out from various sources the history of the car. For instance, as a consumer you should be able to figure out the reason for which the car is being sold, whether it has met with any road accidents or any other issue of major concern. When you drive the car check if the steering wheel vibrates and also if there is an unpleasant noise from the car. Make sure the transmission shifts smoothly. Apply the brakes and check if they function properly and if the wheels are aligned well.


It is said buying an used car is buying one’s problems but it may not be true if you check out all the areas of a car wisely. Hence, when you are paying your hard earned money, make sure it is worth every penny. So make sure you don’t forget to cross check with the ultimate Used Car buyer’s checklist .

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  1. Jey Ganesh

    Valuable tips for used car buyers. Thanks for sharing this post.

    • Shamna

      Hey Jey ,
      Glad to know it was useful for you .. Keep visiting & keep reading

    • Shamna

      Hey Jey ,
      Glad to know it was useful for you .. Keep visiting & keep reading 🙂

  2. Amit Kumar Giri

    Thanks for sharing, and I’m really inspired with your article since i always.
    So thanks you for this information , Good Work.

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