Top 5 Things You Need to Keep in Mind Before Buying a Second Hand Car


A lot of people don’t know this but when purchasing a second hand car, there’s a lot to take into consideration before sealing that deal. Most people buy the car without going through routine checks and end up wasting their money. Pre-owned vehicles can have their pros and cons, but if you know what you are looking for you might just strike gold! Here are the top 5 things you need to keep in mind before buying that car:

What is its purpose?

Before you buy that second-hand Mustang, ask yourself what do you need it for? Is this your first vehicle or is this a project car? Are you looking to use it for work and thinking of selling it in a few years? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered before you make that purchase. This will determine and help you narrow down your options.

If you are looking to buy a vehicle just for your small family, then AUVs and crossovers might be ideal. Purpose and functionality are all factors in choosing your first purchase.

The model and year

This too is an important factor when buying given that there are numerous cars out there.  If you have finally decided the purpose of the purchase, then it’s time to pick what car suits you. Depending on where you are, always remember that you will experience repairs in the future. The model and year of the vehicle might not have any spare parts for sale and you might end up using a womens waterproof jacket (speaking from experience) to seal that leaking sunroof. So make sure that you are not picking something that may be difficult to repair in the future. Buying that rare 1987 Toyota Corolla might not be such a good idea after all.

Background on the previous owners

Getting a good read or the background of the previous owner will give you a chance to know the car better. Whether the car is a sports car or a soccer mom van, a good understanding of the previous owner will show you a lot. A reckless owner would have left the vehicle unmaintained and at the brink of death. The brakes might be working only for a few miles and the radiator on its last minute.

Always ask about how they maintained the vehicle, when they bought it, how often they used it and even where they lived. Who knows, they might’ve had a beach house and the next thing you know there’s a big gaping rusted hole in the floor the next time you step in. No questions are stupid questions when it comes to a big purchase such as this, so never be afraid to ask.

Fuel consumption

Depending on the year and model, getting to know its consumption might save you some money in the long run. Older models tend to be less fuel efficient. If you are thinking of getting that old Ford F150 for example, then be ready to fill it up on a daily basis. Ask how much it consumes per gallon and check its mileage.

Always do your research

When I say always, I mean always! Never purchase something that you do not know anything about. There is a lot of information on the Internet about the pros and cons of each model and comparisons to different brands. Read reviews of previous owners on forums or ask friends about it. Some of these forums have detailed information about common repairs, or specific parts that burn out faster and how much it cost to repair. This is probably the most important part before you purchase a second-hand vehicle. Once you have done your research ask the previous owner or the dealership to allow you to take it for a spin. 

There are a lot more factors to consider when purchasing a second-hand vehicle, but these are the important points to always take into consideration. If you are unsure about the model, bring a mechanic with you or a good friend that knows something about cars.