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Is buying a used car worth it?

Updated on February 17, 2015

Used Bad Cars


World wide statistics are showing that three times as many people are buying used cars, is it really worth buying car a used car? Well i think it is, why because it will save you allot of money, buying a used car is much cheaper to buy then a brand new one from the shop. Obviously there are things you must do and know before you go out and buy a used car, you will have to make sure you know how to check the car over for any damages or hits it might have had on the exterior and interior of the car.

To help you out, i have put a little list together with lots of tips, that i think are the most important for you to check. All these tips are truly through my knowledge, research and because i have bought a few used cars in my life before. Please correct me if you think iam wrong in any kind of way.

First : You should check is the vehicle's safety features, by that i mean see if the vehicle has air bags and maybe anti lock brakes also power steering is important, all this will make the vehicle much safer, there's some insurance companies that will give you discounts on your insurance for vehicles with these features installed, make sure all the features work properly, as they might need replacing if its a really old car.

Second: On my list is to Inspect how many miles the vehicle has travelled, the mileage will allow you to identify the vehicle's age, a vehicle will drive from 12,000 miles to 15,000 per year some will drive even further than this. If its a late model used vehicle it may be a little more cost-effective and might not come with many other features that are available in a new vehicle that are around today..

Third: Thing on the list is of course, you must check the mechanical condition of the vehicle your about to purchase. If you don't know anything about mechanics, then try and take someone with you who does know, if you don't know anyone you could purchase a guide from the Internet, or maybe you could ask your local mechanic to give you some tips on what to watch out for in a used car. Or does he know anyone selling a vehicle, most of the times they do know people selling a vehicle, it will be a much better option for you.

These things are a most do, check all fluids in the vehicle, oil and water most important ones, check all lights are working correctly, make sure the belts are not damaged, make sure your power steering is working if not don't buy the vehicle, the charging system all work properly, the air conditioner its a must have for hot days, the engine cooling system all must be in working order, the brakes and the suspension should all be carefully inspected for any defects and wear in case it needs replacing. And making sure you don't forget to go for a test drive in the car.

Buying your first used car watch out for rust!!!

Rust on older cars are common!!!
Rust on older cars are common!!!

The fourth: Is to examine the tires for uneven tire tread wear can be a big sign that the vehicle is in need of an alignment, or that it has taken damage to the suspension some how. You must make sure that the spare tire in the back is in fully working condition with no damage suffered or excessive tire wear, as its illegal not to have a spare tire that's no good.

Fifth thing: To watch out for any damage to the vehicles chassis. Vehicles that are seriously damaged might get repaired, also re titled and sold on and in some cases you might end up with it, without even knowing, also look out for things like rust around the fenders and also bumpers, the lights, under doors in the wheels and under the car.

Sixth tip: One of the most important thing to watch out for is serious cracks or big dents in the vehicle, also replaced panels or doors some are slightly different colours, that way you know the vehicle has been in a crash before or not. vehicles that have been involved in crashes before do not withstand accidents as well as before they crashed.

Seventh tip: Is to make sure that the interior and fabrics have been well maintained, some common signs of miss treatment are cigarette burns, dirty stains, dog hairs, scratches, chips, tears in the upholstery etc. No one likes a smelly car do they?

Eighth tip: On this list is to carefully read and understand the terms of the warranty that is being offered on the vehicle, this is important if your buying from a used car dealership. Always ask questions to your salesperson like how many years is my warranty going to last me, and try be wary of hidden conditions and read the small print clearly.

You must check the price of the vehicle, have a good look around you might find the same vehicle, in better condition and much cheaper some where else. The actual price of the car is only one of many factors that will affect your total price of the vehicle.

Don't forget you can also compare price of insurance online, compare warranty costs, remember that if you already have a vehicle that's old you can opt in for government scrappege scheme, where you scrap you old car of the road for a huge discount on your new car. The different features that are available on a vehicle can also make the price go up on a car. For example, a car with an automatic transmission is usually going to be much higher in price than the same car model with a manual transmission would cost you less money.

Research the vehicle you are considering to purchase, and find out what comparable prices are for similar vehicles in your area.

The ninth: And the last thing is to Look for a reputable dealership. Ask around, and talk to previous customers of the dealership to find out what their experiences were like when purchasing a used car. A good dealer is more likely to give you discount be fair in price, and have all its vehicles in good condition, and won't pressure you to buy a vehicle you don't want to purchase. Do your research first and then hand over the money and be prepared to look at another car, so you get a good deal, best way try look at least 5 to 6 cars you like in that way you can eliminate the ones you think are going to be a problem, then keep the ones that are in good condition.

Always beware of people selling cars that are not authorized car-dealers as it may result in a big loss in cash and goods.

Please watch the video below it give you a rough understanding of how to check the car for any hidden damages.

Tips and Advice video


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    • wereview4u profile image

      Fernando Lacerda 6 years ago from London, Uk

      JEAN thank you for voting this hub to be useful, i am in the process of updating this hub with lots of new info and maybe change it a bit. As this was one of my first ever hubs i wrote, back then i was a newbie to hubpages, now that i have a bit of experience and have learnt alot more thanks to this site and i have sincerely learnt alot from the people on hubpages they are great thank you. is another good place to learn what ever you need to learn about. THANK YOU JEAN2011 FOR THE COMMENT.

    • jean2011 profile image

      jean2011 6 years ago from Canada

      Very useful check list for buying a used vehicle. It is so amazing how some of these car dealers can hide the real defects of a vehicle when they want a quick sale. I have voted this hub to be useful.

    • wereview4u profile image

      Fernando Lacerda 6 years ago from London, Uk

      Hi thanks for reading my hub, i appreciate it allot.

      Radiator heating core, if its going out then yeah you will have to remove the whole dash to change or repair the heating core, , most problems with the radiator heating core is either clogging in the pipes as they are small and have lots of bends in them, this can be avoided by regularly changing the coolant, make sure you also flash the system out now and again.

      The second most common problem with radiator heating core in that sometimes you will get a leak on one of the connections on the heating core, this can be first noticeable by a strong sweet smell,(ethylene glycol is one of the most used coolant in the car with a sweet smell to it). Also it may cause a fogging or greasy windscreen just above the wind-shield heater vent.

      Once again thanks.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

      Good check list, of reminders of things to look at...prior to buying a used car. Another I am learning first hand (to check out) the radiator and heating core. If the heating core is going out, I've been told that you may smell something out of the ordinary inside the vehicle. Unfortunately if this is the case...the whole dash may have to be removed to replace a new heater core. You did good here, looks like you covered allot:)