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5 Things to Look for While Buying a Secondhand Car

If you do not want to shoulder the financial burden of buying a brand new car, then a secondhand car is a great option. Unlike a new car, the usage details and the condition of the car has to be verified before buying. For a hassle-free purchase, here are some pointers that you need to keep in mind.

How to Buy a Secondhand Car

Shortlisting Your Choice of Used Car

You need to keep certain factors in mind while buying a used car. This includes your budget, the type of car you are looking for (sedan, SUV, small cars, etc.) and whether you would want a petrol or a diesel car.

You need to find a used car seller. For good used car deals, you can browse the Internet, search the classifieds or contact car manufacturers that have their used car businesses.

Checking Details of Car History

Read the information about the cars, check the available photographs and find out the market value of the cars, if possible. It is best to look at three to four cars before finalizing on one.

Check the history of the car, including the distance the car has travelled, the age of the car and the original papers of the car.

Evaluating Car Condition

Here are certain pointers to keep in mind when evaluating the physical condition of a secondhand car.


  • Check the car’s exterior, preferably in daytime when you can see the car clearly from all angles.
  • Ensure that the car is well-maintained without any scratches, dents or blemishes.
  • Check for signs of rusting or a re-paint job. If you spot waviness on the sides of the car, it may indicate a paint job.
  • Check the trunk of the car for signs of rust or water entry due to cracks.
  • Check the tires of the car to ensure that they are worn evenly.


You need to check the engine of the car for any damages, leaks or corrosion along with quality of the steering wheel, brake pedals and dashboard. Evaluate the condition of the seat covers, the upholstery, the music system or air conditioning.

Test Driving the Car

While test driving, check the ignition and whether the car is able to start without any problems. Check the brakes for vibrations from the brake pedal and sounds or trepidation while turning. The steering wheel, clutch, brake pedals and gear shifts have to be evaluated for smoothness and synchronization.

Finalizing the Deal

If you are satisfied with the condition and performance of the car, it is time to negotiate and finalize the deal. This is often a time-consuming process and you need to be patient about it. Do not feel the need to pay the price quoted by the seller. A secondhand car is a negotiable item and you may get it for a lower price if you negotiate judiciously.

Planning to insure your car? Check out our car insurance plans.

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Published on:31 Aug, 2015

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