Don't Overlook These Details When Shopping for a Used Car

Posted on: 15 December 2017

A used car can be a great value, as many of today's models will have years of life left in them, even if they're several years old or have high miles or kilometres on the odometer. You may face a few more repair bills after buying a used car than you would with a new car, but you might also save money on your car insurance, evening out those overall costs of car ownership! If you are looking at used cars, note a few details you don't want to overlook during your search.

Uneven paint

If you notice what appears to be uneven paint along a car's surface, this often means that the body has been repaired and painted over. If the seller notes that the car has been in any type of accident or has been damaged and fixed, you can get an idea of the extent of that damage, but if they haven't told you about such repair work, you should still inspect the car to make sure there isn't any damage You might run your hand over the area to see if it feels soft, which often indicates that a filler material has been used. If the area feels uneven, this also means a poor-quality repair job that may be compromising the strength of the car's frame.


Tyres can tell you a lot about a car's condition. Uneven wear can mean that the tyres need a simple alignment, but this might also mean that the brakes need repair, or that the car has a bent tie rod. These fixes are a bit more expensive than a simple alignment. If the inside of the wheel well is very rusted and dirty, this can also mean added wear and tear on the car's rotors, which may then need replacing soon after you buy the car.

Bounce the car

It's good to push down on the car, in front of each tire, near the bumper. Note if the car resists this effort, or if it easily rocks up and down. If a car rocks up and down from you pushing on it, chances are it will do the same every time you drive over a bump or apply the brakes! This often indicates that the shocks and springs are probably worn down, and these should be replaced as soon as possible, but this can also be a costly job for your used car.