How to check a car before you buy it?

Buying a used car saves money. However, if price is the big advantage of the occasion, the disadvantages of the occasion should not be avoided. In particular, you can never be sure of the condition of the vehicle. Relying solely on the seller is very risky, and it is also better to take the time to study the car carefully before buying it. If you are not used to it, don’t hesitate to come with a friend or family member who knows about it.

The bodywork

This is the part of the vehicle that is probably the easiest to check, but it is very useful. Not only will overly damage bodywork have to be replaced, but it can also mean that the vehicle has suffered an impact causing mechanical damage.

The condition of the bodywork is also quite significant in terms of how the owner took care of his vehicle.  In addition to scratches, shocks and other small marks, also check that the doors are properly aligned and close normally. The trunk must also close without forcing. Otherwise, this may be a sign of an accident and it is strongly recommended to exclude damaged vehicles.

The registration document

The registration certificate, commonly known as a car registration document, is in a way the vehicle’s passport. First, check that it is in the seller’s name. Then check that the vehicle serial number on the vehicle registration document is identical to that on one of the front doors and the number on the chassis. If not, avoid the sale, as it is a stolen vehicle.

Among the other documents to be checked, the maintenance logbook makes it possible to know when the revisions were carried out. Also ask to look at the repair invoices indicated in the maintenance logbook. If the seller cannot provide you with these documents, be wary. Also remember to ask for the initial roadworthiness test report to check that it is up to date.

The inside of the vehicle

It is also necessary to check the interior of the vehicle and more particularly the condition of the seats, but also the odometer, air conditioning, on-board controls, the presence of a spare wheel, the opening of windows, windscreen wipers.

Also check under the hood: no strange odours, no leaks, up-to-date levels, protections present…

Be scrupulous and take the time to study each element carefully and if the seller is impatient, it is a bad sign.

Test drive the car

Finally, it is imperative to try the used car for at least 15 minutes. This test is essential to check that there are no strange noises that the various components of the driver’s cab are working properly, that the car starts normally, that the clutch is not a problem… Once the vehicle has stopped, check if there are no traces on the ground.

If, on the other hand, you are looking to sell a vehicle, you can read our article on how to prepare your vehicle for sale.

 

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