5 Ways to Spot the Perfect Used Car

Perfect Used Car.

HeSaidSheSaidPH.com | 5 Ways to Spot the Perfect Used Car | Do you want to drive a new car but do not have enough cash? Or perhaps you do have the funds but just prefer getting a second-hand unit? Whether it’s money matters or you’ve already set your heart and mind to buying a used car, it is crucial that you go through a careful process of vetting.

Your best bet 

Cars are a part of modern life. They’re not just used for the daily commute, but it’s also helpful in doing business or to indulge in life’s simple pleasures. Small and big enterprises use vehicles to transport goods and people. Off-road adventures and escapades to the outskirts of the city also take an exciting turn when you’re cruising in your own car.

Having the many uses of a vehicle in mind – whether for work or play – it only follows that you should also thoughtfully consider key factors when choosing a pre-owned vehicle. 

From choosing to buy from a reputable pre-owned car dealership to taking into consideration car servicing offers for the vehicle’s maintenance and upkeep, there are important elements that you need to think of.

Here are some basic considerations to help you spot the perfect pre-owned car for you:

1. Looking good

Are you looking at a certified head-turner or don’t really care if it’s a turn-off physically as long as it has a great engine? When looking for a pre-owned vehicle, you would naturally note its outward appearance. While some are taught not to judge a book by its cover, it is highly encouraged in this case.

Is it nicely buffed and polished? Then, that’s good. However, you need to go skin deep. Even if the vehicle you’re looking out sports a fresh coat of paint, you need to check for any dents, dings, or scratches. It would be ideal if the paintwork were authentic. If it has been repainted, check why it was done. Some may have done it to hide bruises and scars so it is best to be wary.

Go around the vehicle and do a careful inspection. Check bumpers, fenders, and side mirrors as well as the tires. All four tires must be of the same brand and not worn out.

2. The inside story 

If the exterior condition and appearance of the care have been ticked off your checklist, then it is time to take a good look inside. 

Go ahead and inspect the interiors of the vehicle. Is it clean and well-maintained? Trash that’s left inside the vehicle clues you in on how the previous owners have treated the car. That is why it is best to go to an established used car dealership to ensure that each and every car in their lot has gone through a stringent inspection before it is deemed worthy to be resold.

Sit on all seats and have a feel of the upholstery.  Check whether the power seating still works as well as all the windows, the air conditioning system, and the center console. You should also see if the infotainment system is still working.

3. Into the deep

One of the most important vehicle assessments that you should insist on is a thorough inspection of the inner workings of the vehicle you’re eyeing. This will give you a credible report on whether the car is working in top condition or if you’re getting a lemon. Some cars may look all sleek and stylish on the outside but deep inside, they already have some issues that may compromise your ride.

If possible, let a mechanic look under the hood. If you are getting a pre-owned vehicle from a trusted car dealer, then you would have the benefit of a car that has already gone through a thorough check of all the electrical, engine, and mechanical components or parts. 

It is crucial that a certified car technician takes a good look at the car inside and out. With the proper tools and equipment, you’ll be able to find out if there are any malfunctioning parts or issues that need to be addressed. For example, the engine needs to start effortlessly.

4. In black and white

You should also make it a point to ask for the vehicle history to ensure that the vehicle hasn’t figured in any road mishaps. Take note of significant repairs or replacements or if it has gone through any alterations or modifications.

You should also inspect the paperwork. Check the registration documents such as the chassis number, engine number, and vehicle identification number (VIN). Compare it with the pre-owned vehicle to see if it’s a match.

Also, check the mileage of the vehicle, as it will be a factor in the value depreciation of the unit.

5. Give it a spin

Lastly, you need to take the vehicle for a spin. You don’t have to drive it home but a decent distance (most well-known car dealers have a dedicated test drive route) will give you a feel of the vehicle’s actual ride and drive.

Watch out for unusual noises or sounds like knocking, grating, or humming as these indicate that there might be an inherent problem. You should also check if there is blue or black smoke being emitted by the car.

Taking the car for a test drive will also let you feel if the air conditioning system is working properly, if there are any lights flashing on the car dashboard, or other concerns with the audio system, suspension, and braking system

The ride of your life 

It pays if you can buy the car from a reliable car dealership as it will already give you the assurance that the vehicles for sale have been checked and certified. It will also benefit you in the long run since these kinds of car dealerships also have an after-sales service facility to take care of your vehicle. 

If you really want to get the perfect used car or pre-owned car, then you also have to put in the effort to go through the process of checking the car inside-out. Knowing that your new set of wheels is road-worthy and safe will make your rides even more worthwhile.


Mahesh Rohra is the Managing Director of certified Pre-Owned Multi Brand Car Sales & Service, AWR Strategic Ventures, Part of the AW Rostamani Automotive Group, a trailblazer in the automotive fraternity with a legacy of over 50 years. AUTOTRUST is the strategic arm business vertical through which the group had diversified into certified Multibrand Car Sales and Aftersales Service Center Network, offering a one-stop-shop solution for all automotive requirements. AUTOTRUST offers solutions to buy & sell cars, Agency standard Car Service and Maintenance, car rentals and much more.

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