Although cheaper and more affordable than buying a full-priced vehicle, purchasing a used car has plenty of its own pitfalls that can make the act itself a risky prospect. There are plenty of unscrupulous sellers out there who aren’t afraid to sell you a car full of problems yet fail to disclose anything. Here’s a brief checklist to keep in mind when buying a used car.

1.  Research

Don’t just jump in blindly. Think about what kind and model of car you want; inspection item lists differ depending on whether you’re looking for a sedan versus a sports utility vehicle. Research what type you want and look into the common problems for the model.

2.  Exterior Walkaround

Make sure to thoroughly check and inspect the car’s exterior for potential damage and issues. Make sure the body is in decent shape, noting any blemishes or rust. Don’t forget the body panels; they should all line up. Make sure all the tires are the same brand and are in good condition. The lights should all work; check for any damage or moisture seepage.

3.  Interior Inspection

Interior checks are extremely important when it comes to used cars. Do a quick smell test and make sure there’s no smell of mold or mildew. Try out the seats and see if they’re all in good condition. All the instruments and controls should be working. Lastly, check the roof for any damage; if there’s a sunroof, check to make sure it works properly.

4.  Under the Hood

The most important part of the car, you should make sure that the engine is absolutely reliable. Check all belts, hoses, fluids, and the radiator to make sure they’re in good condition. Any issues can become inexorably expensive to repair, depending on the make and model.

5.  Taking It for a Spin

Test driving the car is a crucial part of the inspection process. Make a note of any issues that crop up, like vibrations or grinding, and check to see if the transmission works smoothly. These can signify problems that aren’t apparent from a visual inspection.

6.  Expert Opinion

Always make sure to check the paperwork if you’re buying from a private seller. Compare the names to the seller’s license. It also doesn’t hurt to have a trusted mechanic or repair shop look over the car; it’ll give you a good idea of any potential repair costs and what needs to be fixed. It’s a major red flag if the seller is wary of letting you have the car inspected.

Cars R Us is Brampton’s go-to auto repair shop. We believe every car owner in Brampton and Mississauga has the right to affordable, honest, and precise car repair services. That’s why we offer an extensive list of car repair services through our professional and experienced mechanics. We also offer FREE estimates for any and all repairs. Call now at 905-455-3311 or go to to check out our services today!