buy a used car

There were more than forty million used cars sold in 2018. In that same year, only a little over seventeen million new cars were sold. Many reasons exist for why people prefer used vehicles over new ones.

The primary reason used cars are so popular is because they’re significantly more affordable. Even a car with less than twenty thousand miles on it could save thousands when compared to the same model bought brought new.

But buying a used vehicle also requires significantly more work because it’s easy to get taken advantage of. Continue reading to learn what to look for when buying a used car.

Misaligned Panels

If the panels on a car’s exterior are misaligned, or there are gaps, be wary. This is usually a sign of quick, shoddy repair work that could indicate how the rest of the vehicle was kept up.


You never want to see rust on a vehicle. Rust is literally the deterioration of the car’s exterior and could be a massive problem if present in the engine or interior.

When looking a car over for rust, be sure to check underneath the vehicle. Also, look at the wheel wells and around the doors. Blistering paint could indicate rust underneath.


Are you buying a used vehicle with less than 20,000 miles on it? The tires should still be original, with a little bit of wear.

Be wary of low-mileage vehicles with brand-new tires on them. This is a danger sign the car’s odometer has been rolled back, and you’re not getting a low-mileage car at all.

Musty Interior

Open the doors and get a good smell of the interior. If it smells musty, there’s likely a water leak somewhere. Water leaks can come from the roof, windows, doors, or large rust holes that have penetrated the inside.

Engine Oil

Never buy a car without checking the oil first. The oil shouldn’t be gritty, foamy, or have water droplets in it. These danger signs could indicate poor upkeep, a blown head gasket, or even a cracked engine block.

Fluid Under Vehicle

Get down and check the ground beneath the vehicle. You shouldn’t see any large puddles or stains indicating fluid. The fluid might be brown, nearly black, or reddish.

If you do, this typically indicates a leak of some sort. Finding and fixing leaks is a pain you don’t want to deal with after buying a car.

More Questions About What to Look For When Buying a Used Car?

Buying a used car can save you a significant amount of money, and many are still reliable vehicles. However, many people try to sell vehicles in poor condition or pass off a poor condition vehicle as a newer one. The tips above can help ensure you get a good deal on a vehicle.

Do you have more questions about what to look for when buying a used car?

Browse our other posts. You’ll find blogs on used cars and other related topics to help you learn more on the subject.

By Sambit