Used Car Buyer's Checklist


If you're searching for your next vehicle, you probably already know that buying used is a great way to save money. But do you know what extra checks you need to make on a used car? History and reliability are obviously important. Here at Overdrive USA, we want to help you make sure you're getting the right vehicle. That's why we've made a used car buyer's checklist.


Used Car Buyer's Checklist

✔ Do Your Research- Before starting your search, you should decide what type of vehicle you want. Doing this will give you a more specific checklist of factors to research. It's important to research what common problems the models you're considering may have.

✔ Exterior Checks- Make sure to inspect the body condition. Walk around the vehicle and note any scratches, dents or rust. Check the tires. All of them should be the same brand and should be in good condition (no cracks, bulges, scuffing or bad tread). Also look at the body panels. Everything should line up evenly, and the doors, hood and trunk should be able to open and close. Lastly, always inspect the lights. They should all work properly and have no cracks, damages or signs of moisture.

✔ Interior Checks- An odor in the interior is one of the biggest issues to watch out for. If the car smells like mold, must or mildew, that could indicate a water leak or flood damage. It's also very important to test out the controls and instruments to be sure they're in good working order. Examine the seats to see if they are worn or have tears in the upholstery. You need to be sure that the seats work properly and that you can get the driver’s seat into a comfortable position. Finally, check the roof for staining and any signs of water leaking through a sunroof or window.

✔ Under the Hood- When checking under the hood, you should inspect the belts, hoses, fluids, oil and transmission fluid. Make sure that fluids are filled to the correct level and that there are no cracks, leaks or water. You should also look underneath the vehicle to see if anything is leaking.

✔ The Test Drive- The test-drive is one of the most crucial parts of your inspection. When starting the vehicle, check how long it takes for the car to start and listen for any odd noises. You need to see how the car performs at all differents speeds. Make sure the transmission shifts smoothly and that the brakes provide good stopping power without pulling the vehicle to either side.

✔ Paperwork and Mechanic's Inspection- Always get the vehicle identification number (VIN) and run a Vehicle History Report. Most dealers will provide a report on all of their used vehicles. Before you close the deal, you should also take your car to a trusted repair shop for a full inspection.

If you have any questions about what you need to do before buying a used car or would like to test-drive any used cars, please feel free to contact us or stop by Overdrive USA at 1510 Interstate Dr, Cookeville, TN 38501. We look forward to serving our customers from Crossville and Sparta.