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If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, buying a second-hand car can be an extremely daunting experience. After all, buying a car is often a big purchase, which involves you spending a large amount of your own hard-earned cash. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to have a checklist to hand when you go to view a car, so that you know exactly what you’re looking for and also to ensure that you don’t forget anything. To help get you started, we’ve compiled our own basic second hand car checklist.

Hidden past

One of the most important things to check for in a second-hand car is that it doesn’t have a hidden past of any sorts. This means checking that it hasn’t been stolen, involved in a crash and written off, or had its mileage clocked. If the car fails any of these three checks, it’s not a worthy purchase and could actually get you into a considerable amount of trouble in the future.

Common Problems

As with all manufactured goods which are as complex as a car, there are always slight problems and issues that surface once it has been used for a while. Many models will have a single problem that can be found in a lot of their cars. By doing your research online, reading reviews and taking a detailed look through forums, you should be able to work out whether there are any problems which are commonly associated with the car you’re looking at. You’ll then be able to check out whether it has affected the particular vehicle you’ve chosen.

Physical Checks

Physical checks are some of the easiest to do, as they simply involve walking around the car and checking the inside for any inconsistencies. On the outside, you want to be looking for any scratches, dents or damage to the bodywork, mismatched colours on panels, cracks or splits in the windscreen, corrosion and the general state of the tyres. When it comes to the interior, make a note of the quality of the upholstery, whether the seatbelts are fully functional and if the locks work as they should do.

Additional Electrical Features

It’s also important to check whether all the electrical features you expect to find in a car are working as they should be. This includes electric windows, locks and the air conditioning/heating. After all, these are the things that you’ll often be relying upon in the future!

Under the Hood

Finally, making sure that everything under the hood is functioning correctly is possibly the most important check which you need to make. Although you may initially think that you need to have specific knowledge of mechanics to do this properly, there are a few things you can do in order to ensure there’s nothing drastically wrong. It’s a good idea to look for any sign of bad repairs, such as broken bolts, missing cover and dodgy wiring, but the best thing you can do is take the car for a test drive and get a feel for exactly how it performs.

This article was written by Ross Kelly from Car Loan 4U, check out their news items on:

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