teenage girl sitting in her new car, holding the keys

Used Car Checklist: Things You Should Know Before Buying a Pre-Owned Car

Buying a brand new car can be quite expensive, which is why a lot of people opt to buy used cars, and which is why a lot of used car shops and dealerships flourish. But, it’s vital for you to take note of these simple reminders before you buy the used car of your choice:

Check the Mileage

Whenever you’re picking out a vehicle at a dealership, or asking the car owner about the car, never forget to check the mileage. Most vehicles’ parts start wearing out and need repair or replacement around 60,000 to 70,000 Km in mileage, and these parts don’t come cheap. So, when inspecting or inquiring about the vehicle, always take note of its mileage. Usually, the higher the mileage, the cheaper they go, but the more repairs you’ll need.

Don’t Be Cheap

This might sound counterintuitive, given that people generally choose to buy a used car because they’re cheaper than buying a new one. As such, don’t just settle for the most affordable used car, as cheaper ones often have higher mileage and would require more repairs and replacements, and you might even end up paying a higher amount than you’re comfortable with to have a well-performing car.

It’s Best to Buy Through A Dealer

You can buy used cars from a dealer or directly from a car owner who wishes to sell their vehicle. One perk of buying from a car owner is that it’s usually a lot cheaper, and you have more leeway to negotiate the price. And, if you know the car owner, you’d also know how long they’ve had the car and if they took care of it. But, that’s pretty much it. As such, it’s always a good idea to buy through a dealer, even though it might be a bit pricier, as they often have incentives such as warranties and service packages, plus it’s easier to get an auto loan when purchasing through a dealer.

Check for Certifications

When buying with a used car from a dealer, try to ask for certifications and any other seal of approval or quality. For example, if you’re looking for used Holden dealers in NZ, try to ask if they have any certificates or inspection reports showing that the vehicles they’re selling have already been checked and verified as original and in optimal working condition.

Check with A Mechanic Of Your Choice

Every car owner or automobile expert would agree that it would be best to get an unbiased technical opinion and inspection of your vehicle. Remember, used car salesmen and dealerships are trained to sell cars that have the highest mileage and in need of extensive repairs, and a lot of them succeed in convincing buyers who aren’t that savvy with cars. As such, it’s best to bring along a trusted mechanic who can go over the used vehicle of choice to check on its condition and possible repairs and replacement jobs, and know whether or not the car would be worth its price.

Test Drive

man test driving a car

Always test drive your car of choice. Even if the paperwork and your mechanic says it’s in good condition, it’s always necessary to take it for a drive. Test driving the car helps you get a feel for it, and could also help you detect any additional issues, and it’s best to bring your mechanic along for the test drive as they usually have a keen ear when identifying problems with the vehicle’s engine and other parts when running. Also, don’t be afraid or shy to inspect and test drive as many cars as you can, as you’re picking out something that you and your family will be using daily — you’d want it to be comfortable, functional, and safe.


Shopping for a used car can be somewhat of a gamble, but if you know what to check and what to do before purchasing it, you’re more likely to get a car that’s in top shape and is worth every cent. So the next time you’re going shopping for a used car, always remember these simple yet essential reminders.

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