4 Factors To Look Into Before Getting A Pre-Owned Vehicle

October 29, 2021
Advice, Automotive

Buying a pre-owned vehicle is a great option for drivers under a budget or looking for a specific model. Whatever your reasons are, it’s important to remember that purchasing a decent quality vehicle requires proper research and thorough observation.

Knowing what to look for in a pre-owned vehicle could help you avoid costly automotive problems in the long run. Because oftentimes, you’ll likely come across flaws and weaknesses in the vehicle. It’s important to take note of them and pay close attention during your inspection.

Though vehicles are normally less expensive than new ones, if you don’t pick the right one, you may end up paying for more.  These include repairs, upkeeps, and other expenses. If you’ve decided to purchase a pre-owned vehicle, there are a few things to think about. It’s a good opportunity to do some market research on the car’s value, so have a peek here. This allows you to pay the vehicle for what it’s worth.

Read below for four ways to get started.

  • Go Through Its History

When buying a pre-owned vehicle, the first thing you should do is look through the vehicle’s history. A Vehicle History Report (VHR) contains information on the vehicle’s ownership and history. If you’re thinking about buying a pre-owned car, checking the VHR is important.

The VHR will allow you to gather all the information you need about the vehicle you plan to buy.  The previous owner should provide you with a full record of inspections, accidents, and other pertinent information.  This will help you determine the vehicle’s condition. It’s also a good idea to research the make and model to verify if you’re getting a vehicle with a proven track record.

  • Inspect Condition

Conducting an initial inspection of the vehicle’s body condition is essential. You’ll want to examine the vehicle’s body for physical damages before buying it. Remember, it’s only natural for a pre-owned vehicle to have minor imperfections on the exterior.  Although, you must still be on the lookout for dents or scratches.

If you suspect that a dent has been patched, you could put a small magnet on the area.  Do note the magnet will not stick to a patched area. You should also check if the car has been repainted.  To know this, check the paint color as its finish should be smooth and the same on the panel of the body. If the vehicle has been repainted, there might be some paint sticking to the rubber seals of the hood and lid of the trunk. Always make sure to do a physical inspection before closing the deal.

  • Examine Engine

The engine should always be in great condition because it’s considered the heart of the vehicle. You have to check the overall condition of the engine bay. Oil-covered engines or even oil on the pavement beneath the compartment is not a good sign.

It would be best if you also kept an eye for corroded batteries, wires, or unsecured hoses. When checking on the vehicle’s hoses and belts, you could squeeze the hoses that connect to the radiator and other components. The rubber should be firm and elastic rather than rock-hard and fractured.

Meanwhile, the engine oil should normally be brown or black without any residues or small particles. If the engine oil is honey-colored, it means it has been changed recently. The presence of water droplets on the dipstick and gray or foamy oil can be a sign of a blown head gasket or a fractured engine block, both of which are major issues.

  • Check Mileage

When purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, mileage is a crucial consideration but is sometimes overlooked. You may become preoccupied with the best miles per gallon vehicles or other efficiency metrics. Low or high mileage can influence the vehicle’s value upon sale and purchase, as well as the regular maintenance and service costs.

The average yearly mileage is 12,000 miles. Therefore, a vehicle with less than 60,000 miles after five years is considered to be low mileage. Vehicles with high mileage can save you a lot of money in the long run. They are significantly less expensive compared to low-mileage vehicles.

It’s crucial to consider how the vehicle got its miles. High mileage cars are frequently driven long distances, resulting in less wear and tear on the brakes, clutches, and gears than vehicles with the same mileage but shorter excursions.


Purchasing a pre-owned vehicle is the way to go when you want to get a good vehicle under a budget. No matter who you buy from, you must always inspect the vehicle thoroughly and make sure to take it to a reputable mechanic for a complete inspection.