People think that it’s daunting to inspect and purchase a used vehicle, but really it’s not that hard. After reading this article, you should be able to make a relatively informed opinion about you vehicle purchase.

After reading this guide, you should be able to make a quick checklist which will help you through a basic inspection. Remember to keep a notepad with you so you can go through the checklist and

1. Basic Exterior

  • Make sure that the car is on level ground before you do anything else. Doing this will give you a good starting point. Check if there’s anything sagging off the car and check the tyres
  • Inspect the paint job very closely. The last thing you want is a car with extensive damage repairs hidden by a paint job. Look for any dents, scratches or rust spots. Look at the paint from end-on to check for any irregularities a waviness. You want to see a smooth finish.


  • Check the trunk. Look under the carpet and in all the nooks and crannies. It should not have any rust, water entry or holes. Furthermore, a worn-looking boot indicates extensive usage.


  • Check the tire tread. Tires should be worn evenly. If not, this could indicate damaged suspension or steering. Uneven tire treads mostly indicate wheel alignment problems.


  • Check the saddle, which is the part which connects the front fenders. See if there’s any sign of tampering with the bolt heads such as scratches. This will indicate that the fenders have been replaced or realigned which only happens after a crash.


  • Bring a flashlight with you. Quickly inspect the underside of the car. Look for dents, scratches and rust. Also look for any dark patches. This is a telltale sign that something is leaking.


  1. Under The Hood
  • Open the bonnet. Look for dents, damage or rust. Check for any dark spots which may indicate leakages. Also, under every bonnet there’s a VIN number. You can cross check the VIN with a Revs check to see if it’s the original part.


  • Check the hoses and belts. They should not have cracks and the radiator hoses should be firm.


  • Remove the oil filler can and check for a foamy residue. If it’s there, the car has a leaking head gasket. Start packing your things and leave.


  • Pull out the dipstick from the transmission. The fluid should be red or pink. If it’s dark or the fluid smells burnt, the car has a problem. Turn the engine on and see if the transmission is full of oil.


  1. Inside the Car
  • Check the upholstery. You know what to do, make sure it looks good.


  • Check if the aircon works


  • Have a look at the odometer. It depends on which type of vehicle, but it’s advised not to buy a vehicle which has over 200,000Ks on it. In most cases. The lower the Km’s are the better.


  • Start the car and look for any warning signals on the electronic displays

  • Check all of the lights and indicators as well as all of the accessories within the car (bluetooth, aux, parking camera, phone connectivity)


  1. The Test Drive

  • You should always test drive the vehicle before purchasing.


  • Do a rapid-deceleration brake test in a safe area. Try going from around 50kmph to a complete stop. You should not feel any vibrations through the brake pedal or hear any abnormal noises.


  • In Automatic vehicles, check for smooth acceleration. If there’s a noticeable hesitation in acceleration at a fairly regular speed interval, than this probably means that there’s a $400-$1500 mechanical problem.


  • At low speeds, take 90’ turns and listen for any sounds and clunks.


With these checks being done, you should have been able to work out your decision on whether or not you wish to purchase the vehicle. If the test is done properly, you either have a great vehicle that you want to buy or a car with some problems that you can pass on or use the problems as leverage to lower the price.

But honestly, some people just aren’t bothered with this process. People are busy and time is valuable in our current society. Knightsbridge Financial Services can carry you through the whole way. We can find you a car, inspect it, finance it and deliver it to you in a relatively short time frame.

Don’t hesitate to contact us in order to discuss what benefit we can bring to you!