January 25

What to Consider When Purchasing a Secondhand Car?

With more people opting to drive on their own for the holidays this year, the demand for secondhand cars is poised to rise. Some people may also be looking to upgrade from beaters to something more presentable. While there is always the chance of finding a bargain, make sure to do your due diligence.

Here are a few things to consider to avoid making any costly mistakes when buying a secondhand car

Research All Possible Options

Trust us when we tell you secondhand cars are a dime a dozen. However, make sure to research to find what will work best for you. Then equip yourself with knowledge about the vehicles you’re considering before contacting all sellers. You should also bring someone on board who has experience buying secondhand cars or probably join a forum for your target model. Finally, comparison shopping will help you get the best deal.

Inspect the Vehicle

You probably heard this several times, but it is essential to inspect the vehicle’s physical condition. Make sure to check the roof and body panel for dents, scratches, hail damage, and rust. You will also want to check the windscreen of the vehicle for signs of damage.


Minor chips and scratches on the windscreen can worsen and could also become a hazard at high speeds. Furthermore, a replacement is possible but expensive. So, if your heart is set on the vehicle, find out how much replacing the windscreen will cost and negotiate a price accordingly.


The size and the location of the crack on windscreens often mean that the vehicle might not pass an inspection for roadworthiness. Furthermore, you will also want to check the side windows to make sure that they operate as intended, i.e., they go up and down smoothly with no crunching, grinding, or screeching sounds.


Make sure to inspect the interior of the vehicle too. The seatbelts, pedals, air conditioning, and sound system should all be in good working condition. Also, does the car smell strange? Does it indicate water damage? Ask the seller if they had the windscreen replaced before because if it has, then a poor glass replacement could be why odors are getting in from the outside.


Get it Checked by a Qualified Mechanic


Now before making an offer of any kind, ensure that a mechanic has checked the vehicle. Ask the mechanic to provide you with a written report after a thorough analysis of the condition. If there are existing problems, then get a cost breakdown of how much getting them fixed will cost. Once you have that report, it will help you negotiate a price with the seller.

Test Drive the Vehicle

Once a vehicle has passed the visual inspection and the mechanic’s diagnostics, take it for a test drive. Driving the car will also give you an idea of how everything is working, i.e., the brakes, steering, and engine.

While the car may be second hand, safety technology has been around for a very long time now. So, you’ll want to ask the seller about any embedded safety technology or the windscreen to make sure it is working as it should.

Budget for Repairs

Even though purchasing a secondhand vehicle is cheaper than buying a new one upfront, you still need to spend on maintenance or other related issues. So, you’ll want to make sure to budget for it.