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When we buy pre-owned things, we have to inspect them carefully, especially if we are talking about cars or any other type of vehicle. A lot of people decide to go “second hand” because a well-maintained old car is more affordable than a new one. This is not a new thing, and people around you often do that. Surely, you need to check the product before you buy it, so you can be sure everything is good and there is nothing suspicious with it.

In the first place, it’s better to look for a vehicle around you, so you can easily access the meeting point, and inspect it before you buy it. Also, the services like let you check if there is some history behind that car as if it was stolen at some point or a part of some accident. These are important things to know because you don’t want to take the heavy luggage that the previous owner wants to let to you.

In this article, we will try to cover as many tips as we can, so you can inspect the car you want to buy, and decide if it’s the right choice for you or not. Here are some of them:

1. Check the vehicle history

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Sometimes, the owner might hide something from the potential buyer, but they forget that the customers aren’t that naive as they think. You can’t trust someone you’ve just met, no matter how honest they seem. You can ask someone to come with you, so you can both inspect the car. Also, there are services that keep the files on the cars, and you can check it by entering the license number.  You can check the VIN of a used car using That’s the best way to get to know if the car was stolen, or if it has some accident history.

2. The signs of rust over the surface

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The owner should fix all the tiny issues related to the vehicle, so they can sell it for a better price. By doing that, the new owner will only have to run some technical checks, to make sure everything is fine with the car. At the moment you arrive and you see the car for the first time, keep an eye on the scratches over the surface. Check if the paint is the same shade everywhere, so you can be sure everything is fine and nothing is covered with low-quality paint. If you see even the smallest sign of rust, you need to let the owner know that, because it may adjust the price. Tiny rusty spots aren’t a big deal, and you can easily fix them, but if there are bigger spots, you may need to give up on this one or get ready to pay more for re-painting.

3. Check the tires too

Even though you will probably replace them, you will drive the car at least once before you do that. Check if the current tires match the vehicle model, are they all the same, are they properly aligned, or if there is any visible damage. If they look good, and they aren’t worn out, you can be sure everything is fine. Every sign of damage may lead to additional problems with the frame, or to cause dangerous situations while driving.

4. How many kilometers/miles have been passed?

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If the seller claims the car is 10 years old, you can expect that at least 200,000 kilometers are used for that period. But, if it’s suspiciously low, like 20,000 kilometers for 10 years, then the odometer is probably manipulated, and the seller hides something from you. Ask them to be honest with you, and explain why it’s not good to lie about this one.

5. Open the hood

Even those who know nothing about the car’s mechanic can spot if something is badly maintained. The first things you can spot as you open the hood are rust, dirt, visible damages, belts, corrosion, and oil stains. All of these signs are telling you one thing – the car was never well-maintained, and probably you will have problems with it. Also, it’s understandable if you don’t know these things, so it’s always a better idea to ask someone to help you with this one. If you have a friend who knows a lot about cars, or even better, a mechanic expert, then you can both check it, to see if there is some burnt smell, stains, oil residue, and visible damages. If everything is fine, you can proceed with the purchase.

6. Inspect the interior

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The inside of the car is important just like the rest of it. Check if there are any stains, damages, tears, rips, and other things you don’t want to deal with. Also, check if the AC works properly. While you are there, try every seat, start the car, see if all the lights work properly and if everything is all right with the commands. Once you are sure everything is good, you can make a decision for the purchase.


Before you buy anything that was previously used by someone else, you have to carefully inspect every detail, so you can know the product is in a good condition, and that you won’t have additional expenses trying to fix all the issues with it. Also, when buying a used car, you must find a reliable seller or use an approved online service to look for the ads that are interesting to you.The team at John Charles motors can assist you with your car finance

No matter how trustworthy someone seems, you must be ready for scams and fraud. Make sure the car you want to buy wasn’t a part of some accident, or that isn’t somehow manipulated, so the seller can get more money for it.

In the end, it’s on you to trust your gut and trust us, it will never lie to you. If something feels off with this seller or the vehicle they offer, feel free to give up on the deal, and proceed to look for your perfect car. At some point, what you are looking for will eventually come to you.