Buying a second-hand car has become a popular choice of many car buyers for its affordability. Even if you’re pinching pennies or you’re on a budget, you can still afford to buy an excellent used car at a very cheap price. This isn’t absolute, however. While there are good used car buys, there are also problematic units to watch out for.

To make the most of your purchase, you’ll want to avoid the latter. Ensuring that the used car you’re about to buy is well-equipped with the right parts and features take a lot of research. However, it pays to know more especially when you want to buy a used car as good as, or even better, than a brand new one. 

You should be mindful of the following things before finalizing your purchase: 

  1. The Necessary Documents

While it can be tempting to purchase a cheap and classy-looking car right off the bat, don’t be too hasty. Go through the car’s papers first and evaluate them carefully. 

At the very least, do ensure that the seller has the legal authority to sell the car. This step is especially necessary if you’re buying from a private seller. The car’s documents can also give you an overview of the car’s history. You’ll be able to determine whether the car has experienced any major accident in the past that can affect its ability to function well in the long run.

One very important document you have to look for is a certification known as ‘certified pre-owned.’ When a used car has this certification, you’re guaranteed that it has undergone quality and safety tests based on government standards and guidelines. Visit this website to start your search through a sample inventory of cars with this certification.

Moreover, going through the car’s documents will also help you determine whether the car’s maintenance is up-to-date. A well-maintained car is a possibly great buy. This can lessen the possibilities of engine problems, among others, as the car has gone through the needed regular checks to keep it in a good, functioning condition.

  1. Availability Of A Test Drive

As much as possible, don’t take a car home without a test drive. The only way for you to get a feel of the car is by driving it yourself. You get to understand how the engine functions, and even examine how the car performs on the road.

If you aren’t well-versed in automotive, it wouldn’t hurt to bring a mechanic with you. It’s a good idea to get an unbiased, third-party expert opinion on the car’s performance.

A prudent buyer will never miss this step. Don’t immediately rely on the word of the car seller about the car’s condition. While some are reliable and honest, other sellers will simply give you a hard sell of the car even if that means lying about its condition. Going through a test drive with the help of a mechanic will allow you to discover any possible hidden defects with the car. 

  1. Condition Of The Car’s Exterior

The condition of the car’s exterior or body says a lot about how the previous owner took care of the used car.

For instance, be on the lookout for rust on the car’s exterior. Rust is often an indicator that the car was constantly exposed to rain and harsh elements during the winter season. If the car’s exterior has discolouration, this could mean it had a previous repaint job, or that the car was exposed to acid rain.

Some scratches and dents may be present, too. If the price, however, is low enough to repair these scratches and dents without burning a hole in your pocket, then these shouldn’t be a problem. But if the seller is unwilling to adjust the selling price despite these defects, then don’t proceed with that purchase.

  1. Car Leaks

One of the telltale signs of possible problems with a car is when it leaks. If there’s any leaking, then you should know that you have a potential problem buy. This is a red flag that means you’ll have to spend a lot of money on general repairs. 

However, car leaks shouldn’t immediately turn you off from purchasing a car. It should only become a problem when the car’s history shows that this is a recurring problem. This means that there are serious problems with the car. Also, the seller should give way for a lower price, because you still need to have these leaks repaired from your own pocket. If not, then that car isn’t going to be a good buy.


If you were previously planning on buying a used car, this guide will help ensure you’ll end up with a good one. A used car is as good as a brand new one as long as you choose wisely. If the car has the necessary documents and requirements without the issues mentioned above, then it can be a great purchase. 

A well-functioning used car can last through many years without causing harm to its passengers. Getting one is a big milestone and an achievement in itself, so make sure you choose the best for yourself.