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What to Look For Before Buying a Used Car

So, you’re buying a used car. There’s nothing to be ashamed of; the majority of people choose to buy used cars in this day and age, as new cars are just too expensive. Plus, they depreciate in value the second that you buy them, making them a bit of a silly investment. You could always get a car on finance, but I find it much more effective to save for the car and pay it off in one. This way, you don’t have any more unnecessary payments to worry about. Anyway, you’re definitely buying a used car; so here’s what to look for before handing over your hard earned cash:

You can easily check your used car over. This applies even if you don’t have the first clue about what you’re looking at. The first step is to approach the fender at the front and make sure that it looks to be in full working order. You can then look around the trim lines to make sure they are straight; if not, this could indicate damage to the frame. This applies with offset doors, and any wonky lines too.

Take a look around the engine bay now, in the areas where the metal struts attach. The joints need to be straight, with no indication of any welding going on. Now it’s time to get on your hands and knees and look under the car; be vigilant and watch out for rust. Rust can be the death of you and your car. I’m serious: you can’t handle what rust could do to you. Rust will mock any feeble attempts you make to get rid of it and come back even better and stronger than before.

Enough about rust. Now you should check the fluids. Pull the car’s dip-sticks out and check your fluid reservoirs to make sure that it is as it should be. Brake fluid should be clear to a slight off-yellow colour. Brake fluid that is darker in colour could cause problems; you’ll have to bleed your brakes, and perhaps take on more tasks to get your brakes in full working order. You’ll probably want to do this yourself as it isn’t expensive and you don’t have to buy much, but I implore you to AVOID doing this. It’ll cost you a few hundred pounds to get it done professionally, so please do so if you must buy the car with the dark brake fluid.

If the oil is thick, then don’t go near that vehicle. Make your excuses, and leave. You don’t want to blow your head gasket and die, so don’t do it. Coolant should be clear, and the transmission fluid should be a reddy/purple. Your hoses and belts should be crack free.

Places like Hilton Garage can give you peace of mind when buying a used car, so make sure you choose a reputable seller. You’ll want to test drive the car to make sure that it runs smoothly. If you are confused about anything, make sure you question the seller and don’t buy the vehicle unless you are happy with the answers.

If you can tick off everything in this guide, you’ll have a great little used car to get you from A to B!

Featured Image credit: flickr.com