Did you know that in recent years, on average, over one million cars were bought and sold in New Zealand each year?
Amongst these one million cars were many used cars. People often hold back from purchasing a used car. They may feel that there is a risk attached to purchasing a car that has been used.
However, by making use of a used car inspection checklist, you can ensure that you are purchasing a quality vehicle.
What should be on this checklist? What areas of a used car should you check as a priority? Why not take a minute to find out in our in-depth article below.

1. Research the Car Model

Whether you are looking to purchase it outright or trade-in your existing vehicle, you can start your research even before you travel to inspect the car.
It is important to do research on the model of car that you will be inspecting. Does it have any well-known problems? How do people use this model of vehicle? Is this car know to age well or badly?
Knowing common weaknesses in the car can save you much time. You will know where to look in the car to see whether this weakness exists. In other cases, you can ask to see paperwork that shows when maintenance was carried out to correct this weakness.

2. Exterior Checks

When you come to visit the car, the first place you can start your check is the exterior. From the exterior, you can get a good idea of how the car was treated by the previous driver and any work that has been done on the bodywork.
Inspect the paintwork for signs of paint scratches or rust. Compare each panel to see whether there are any slight changes in the paintwork that could indicate that the panels were repainted or replaced. If the previous owners replaced a panel, why did they do this? If an accident happened could it have affected the car's safety as a whole?
Open and close all doors and even the petrol cap. Is there any stiffness or difficulties? Do the doors feel overly loose? This could indicate a problem.

3. Tire Quality

Tire quality is a matter of safety. During your research, you probably learned about the performance of the car, its fuel efficiency, and stopping distances when braking. The quality of your tires will affect all these measurements.
The minimum legal tread depth in New Zealand is 1.5mm. However, the more tread depth you have the safer your ride will be. Obtain a tire tread/depth checker to measure the depth.
Ensure that you check that all the tires have similar wear and are the same make. Although mixing the brands of the tires is not necessarily a bad thing it may tell you something about the history of the car.

4. Effective Lights

It is always beneficial for at least two people to attend the vehicle viewing. This is especially true when checking the electronics and lighting in the car.
While you sit in the driver seat, have your friend walk around the exterior of the car and indicate whether the lights are working. It would be good to check the following lights:
  • Headlights
  • Running lights
  • High beams
  • Fog lights
  • Indicator lights
  • Brake lights (depress the brake pedal to activate)
Next, check the physical casing of each light to look for cracks, missing screws/fixtures, or even water in the internal parts of the light.

5. Car Odours

Next, as you move inside the car, you should try to detect any odors. It is very difficult to remove the smell of smoke completely from a vehicle. If you do not smoke and dislike the smell, you may want to consider whether you want to purchase this vehicle.
If you smell mold or damp you may want to ask what the source of it is. It could be that water has entered the interior of the car in the past without causing any damage. However, it could also mean that the car has mold or rust issues that you can not easily see. Trust your sense of smell as it can lead you to issues that you may not be readily able to see.

6. Seats and Upholstery

Checking the upholstery will tell you if the car's previous owners have regularly cleaned and maintained the car interior. After looking at the cleanliness of the seats, you should thoroughly inspect the safety equipment connected to the seats.
As a priority, the seatbelts should be undamaged and work perfectly. However, equally important is the seat position. You should be able to move the driver position as it was originally designed. A poorly positioned driver's seat could be very distracting to a driver.

8. Dashboard and Controls

Next, turn the key to power the electrics in the car. The dashboard should immediately light up and give you information regarding the engine and car systems. The lights should all flash off. Check out any that stay on permanently or longer than normal.
This is is a good opportunity to check the mileage on the car. It is a criminal offense to falsify mileage records. Yet famously it is a common trick amongst shady car sellers. Many reputable car retailers will certify the odometers in the card they sell which can provide you will the ultimate peace of mind.
These are some of the most basic yet most important checks that you can make on a used car. However, you can save time by purchasing a used car from a retailer with a good reputation rather than an individual seller. Many will offer multi-point check guarantees on the cars that they sell

The Most Effective Used Car Inspection Checklist and Much More

Buying a used car can provide incredible value. You can get a car that has most or all of the advantages of a new car at a greatly reduced cost. By employing a thorough used car inspection checklist, you can be sure that you re buying a quality product
If you are interested in the advantages of buying a used car, then we are here to help. We leverage our experience in the used car industry to provide reliable guidance and trustworthy products. Why not check out our blog to see what we can offer you today? You can contact us anytime to get bespoke advice for your used car needs.
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