silver luxury car

What Should You Check in a Secondhand Vehicle?

Often, getting a car is usually a rite towards the path to adulthood. Whether you’re going to work, on a long road trip, or to dinner with your date, these activities can’t be visualized without a car in mind. Not only are cars useful for daily tasks, but they also serve as mobile homes when you’re driving across the state for that important business meeting.

It’s almost every young adult’s dream to have their own car. The majority of millennials and generation Z adults in the United States usually make a median income of $69,000 annually, which is definitely enough to get a car. Of course, we’ll also need to set aside a budget for our necessities and wants before we do get a car.


But right before we get into the checklist that you need to look for in your used car, we’ll need to crunch in expected numbers. Even when you do have the monetary means of getting a car in a year, it’s still worth noting the prices of these cars.

As of 2019, the average price of used cars in the United States is around $21,000. Brand new cars and utility vehicles will usually cost about $16,000 more than the average costs of used ones, which will amount to approximately $37,000 for a new one. However, the price of the used car can vary, depending on several factors which range from age, damage, and missing parts. It’s highly advised to do a thorough check of the car that you’re interested in before any final decisions.

While these might be the average cost of each of these cars, it’s still important to keep in mind that these might not reflect in your area. Different states will have different standards of living, which will also reflect on the prices of cars.

Checklist for a Used Car


We understand that you’re looking forward to getting your used car, but it’s also paramount in doing an extensive look at every single part of the vehicle. After all, a part of what you’re paying is the working parts of it. If you think that the amount that you’re paying does not justify some damages, it’s essential to let the used car dealership know.

Engine – It’s always important to check if the engine is in good condition. Although it might be a bit ambitious to think that the engine is in pristine shape, the most that you can work with is it being in a working condition. Buying a car that has a dysfunctional engine is like buying a bike that doesn’t have wheels.

Exhaust System – The exhaust system is one of the primary ways of knowing the condition of a car. Try to look for dark spots in your exhaust and run your fingers through them. If there is a tin film of grease, that is a red flag, and you might have to invest in repairs or, in some cases, replacements.

Control Systems, Pedals, and Instruments – Of course, the control system and instruments are what you’ll be interfacing through the majority of your car’s use. First, turn in the ignition right before starting the engine and see if all the lights are working. Right after, turn off the engine.

Next, you’ll need to make sure that the buttons, switches, and levels are responding correctly. It’s also worth noting that running the engine will usually turn the air conditioning on. Try to put it on full blast so that you can see how long it will take to cool your car’s interiors.

Interior Scent – There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that a used car might have some funky smell that you’re not used to. Whether it comes from molds, fluid spills, or expired air fresheners, you should always thoroughly clean your car. There are several ways of cleaning the interiors of your vehicle, with most involving chemical solutions.

By looking into these parts, you will have a better picture of how your used car will perform. There will be some instances where some components are missing, but just remember that for a machine to work correctly, it will need all the sum of its parts.

Ask yourself these questions if ever you some parts are missing:

  • Can your car operate without this part?
  • How much will it cost to get a new part or repair it?

There might be some parts that will make you spend more, but it will be a worthwhile investment. After all, your safety is a priority when you’re driving, and the last thing that you want is a faulty component affecting your driving.

All in all, you can find a used car in no time if you know where to look. While you may need to weigh in on specific parts and the pricings, investing in a used car is worthwhile, especially if you’re going to use it for your business, work, or for your family.

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