A car is no longer considered a luxury but a necessity. In this fast-paced world where people are eager to save time and energy, cars have become the most sought-after vehicle for short to long-distance travel. According to an online survey conducted in 2019, around 55% of Indians owned cars as opposed to two-wheelers or three-wheelers. The number was higher among Indian women.
Not everybody who buys a car opts for a new one. People who have limited financial resources often choose to buy a used car first. If you are reading this article, chances are you have also zeroed in on buying a used car. What is essential before choosing the ideal car to buy is through inspection.
Only after careful inspection and considering the pros and cons of a particular used car should you close the deal. In this article, we will guide you through some simple steps which will enable you to evaluate a used car properly before buying it.
Simple steps to evaluate a used car –
Most people know what their needs are and what exactly they are looking for. Yet, picking the right car for yourself within your budget can be a bit of a task. Without the proper know-how to inspect a used car, you might suffer a loss in the deal. Follow these tips to know how to carefully check a used car.
1. Go on a sunny day
Whenever you plan to go for a car inspection, make sure the day is bright and sunny. An overcast or rainy day with low light will deter you from checking the car properly. Never go for an inspection at night.
2. Check the car in the open
Always make sure that you are getting the car in an open space that will allow you a complete 360-degree view of the car. You will be able to view the front and rear of the car clearly in an open space.
3. Take a companion with you
It is better to take a companion along – a friend, a relative, or a mechanic – to help you with the inspection. Two people will be able to check more efficiently than one. The chances are that if you miss out on any minor dents or damages, the other person might have paid attention to it. Always carry with you a writing pad, a pen, and a torchlight to help you check properly and even jot down the pros and cons.
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4. Check the exterior of the car
The first thing to check is the external condition of the car. Go around the car, inspect its body and check for any dents or damages. Properly scrutinize the front bumper, grille, bonnet, headlights, windscreen wipers, side-turn indicators, etc. Check the tyres.
Ensure that all four tyres of the car are the same. Rust is a common problem, so check if you find blistered paint or rusting in any part of the car. Look for any minor or major damages. If you find anything, feel free to ask the owner about it. If minor defects like scratches or dents can be fixed, you can ask them to do it once the deal is closed. If there are major defects, you might want to consider buying a different car.
5. Inspect the car’s interiors
The first thing here is to check the seats. See if the seats are torn or have stains on them. Look around the cabin properly to check for any irregularities. Once seated, check the cushioning and under-thigh support padding. The upholstery must not be ripped or damaged.
Check the steering wheel, the AC and audio units, the windows, the central buttons, the safety belts, etc. Now check all the electrical components like the horn, electrical foldings, side mirrors, car light, etc. Also, pay attention to the condition of the car floor. If you find any unusual smell or stains in the car, enquire about it.
6. Make sure you are getting the correct car variant
Check the car papers carefully and match them with the variant mentioned at the car’s rear. Do not get fooled by a false badge at the back mentioning a higher variant, while the car is, in reality, a lower variant one.
7. Get under the hood
Once the internal and external inspection is done, time to check the engine-related components. Begin by examining the general condition of the engine bay. Check the engine oil level. Check the colour and fluid levels of other fluids like brake fluid and coolant fluid. Make sure that the battery is in good condition.
Inspect the clutch wire, the hosepipe (which must be soft), engine belts, etc. If the car is high enough and there is space beneath it, you might want to slide under and check there too. Check all the components properly. It is not a good sign if you find oil leaks or red fluid on the pavement.
8. Evaluate the odometer reading of the car
One of the pertinent questions which used car buyers have is whether it will give the same mileage as mentioned on the odometer. Often sellers tamper with the odometer to show a lower reading so that the car’s value increases. The best way to find out if the odometer has been tampered with is to check the car’s records, check for any maintenance stickers, and ask about the previous owner to get a rough idea about how much the car has been driven.
9. Take the car for a test drive
Before you finalize the deal, take the car for a test drive. Does the car take time to start? Is the car smooth to drive and manoeuvre? Are the breaks, clutch, and accelerators working properly? Do you hear any usual banging or clanking sounds while driving? You must keep in mind these things while taking the car for a test drive.
Carefully following these nine steps can make buying a used car as easy as a cakewalk. If the used car meets the above-mentioned criteria, you might proceed with the formalities and happily be a car owner!