Going to buy a second-hand car in the upcoming period? Oftentimes people have a hard time making this move, simply because they are not too sure what to look for & what are the most important rules or criterium for a second-hand vehicle to keep an eye out for. You have to make sure that it ticks all of your boxes and that you don’t end up with something that is unusable. Here are the top important things that you should check beforehand to avoid any issues or complications!

Top 9 important things to check before purchasing a second-hand vehicle

1. Look into its history


You should always get all the needed information in regards to your new vehicle. Most people tend to ask around and get all the information from the owner, but in case you’re buying a car from a shop or a scrapyard you won’t find your answers there. This is why you should run a vehicle identification number or a REV check. It is a fast & affordable way for you to get a vehicle history check online and with a couple of clicks. You will get an official government PPSR certificate with your report, as well as any finance checks, car write-offs & stolen vehicle checks. Run your vehicle check at

2. Does it have rust or paint damage

Take a walk around the car and keep an eye out for any rusty spots or paint chips. These are quite common on old & second-hand vehicles. However, you should aim for a car that has smaller and not as obvious signs of wear or damage. Car park dents and dings can be common on doors, too, while a chipped front could suggest a lot of heavy motorway miles. If there are some bigger pieces just know that you might need to replace them & paint your vehicle, which means more money spent on it in the long run.

3. Pop the hood


The engine is the most important part of any vehicle, as you know by now. With the car turned off, pop the hood and visually inspect the engine for a couple of minutes. If you are not as skilled or if you lack experience within this field, bring a friend with you. The two of you should look for fluid leaks, corrosion, and cracked hoses and belts. Do not forget to check the oil and transmission dipsticks for discoloration. Take your time since engine repairs can get pretty pricey.

4. Tire condition

The tire tread should be worn evenly and all four should match as evenly as possible. If you do notice some uneven tread or extra wear on some of your tires this could mean that they’ve been improperly aligned. You will also notice this when driving, meaning that your car will pull more so to the side. Tires that are worn excessively around the middle of the tire, or around both edges point to consistent under- or over-inflation and will need replacing. Ask yourself if these current tires work, or if you will need to buy yourself new ones.

5. Mileage


The average car will rack up about 20,000 km each year, statistically speaking. To figure out if the car you’re looking at has high or low mileage you will need to do a bit of math. What & how so? Well, divide the number on the odometer by the vehicle’s age. This way, you will get its actual number. A car with high mileage will have more wear and tear on its mechanical components. If you need something new that hasn’t had a lot of mileage, go for newer cars and stay away from outdated models.

6. Interior electronics

If you love to listen to music on the radio make sure that your interior checks out. A lot of people tend to blast their music so loud since they want to enjoy the ride. Along with it, make sure that you also check out its interior electronics, such as an AC. There’s nothing worse than having to drive for 2 hours straight with your car windows down when it’s 40 degrees Celsius outside. Do not forget to look at the lenses as well. Fogged lenses or uneven beams should all be warning signs, while a dim beam will mean you’ll need to change bulbs soon.

7. Do the test drive


The test drive is probably the most important part of shopping for a used car. You should plan your route and put the car through the paces to test its maneuverability and speed. Do not take a test drive only on the highway, but do experiment with it some more off-road. Are the brakes serving you as well as you’d want them to? Try the vehicle at a variety of speeds, and listen out for the engine noise and any irritating rattles. Make sure the brakes and clutch are responsive and in full working order, too.

8. Check the trunk

How often do you travel, and how important is space to you? Some people will depend and rely a lot on the luggage area, meaning that their trunk will need to be working. Not only that, but you can also check if the car has a full-size spare wheel, or if one can fit in there. It’s also good to check the rear seat folding mechanism works properly and gives you the space you require. In case your trunk is impossible to open, it has stains, and lacks the needed room or space that you require, second-guess your choice.

9. The needed documentation


The holy grail of used car purchases is a folder crammed with receipts for work carried out. It is time-processing work and something that will require patience. A service book is a valuable document too, as you can see who has serviced the car, and when. You can also look at MoT certificates. Know that your new car might take some time to fully register back on you. But once everything checks out you will have a blast while becoming its rightful owner.