It’s not always possible to have a mechanic check a used vehicle you are interested in buying. If you’re buying from a private owner, it’s a good idea to know a little bit about cars or at least how to ensure that the vehicle is in good condition and that you are making the right choice.
We have prepared this checklist to help you conduct a thorough first inspection of the vehicle to detect potential problems and make a more informed decision.
1. The odometer may have been tampered with to read lower than the actual mileage.
2. A vehicle ages and rusts when not in use. It is not necessarily a good thing if the vehicle has been parked for long periods.
Check the underside of the vehicle for any rust and apparent repairs.
Check the condition of the tires: more wear on one side may indicate poor annual rotation of the tires, an alignment problem or a steering problem.
Finally, feel comfortable taking time to think things through and beware of a seller who pressures you to make a decision quickly. It’s usually safer to forgo a purchase when something seems worrisome or off.