Buying a used car can be risky because even a car that is only a few years old may have suffered lots of wear and tear and may not be as reliable as you assume. To ensure you get the best option when you're shopping for a used car, note a few important but easily overlook details to check and what they might mean when it comes to the condition and quality of a vehicle.
Bring a magnet with you to inspect a car, and note if that magnet sticks to any part of the body that should be made of metal. Some cars will have a plastic outer body around a steel frame, but if you're buying a heavy-duty truck, SUV, or any car that is advertised as having a steel outer body or shell, a magnet should stick easily. If not, parts of the car may have been replaced with a cheaper plastic piece that may easily crumple in a collision.
Check the seams where the trunk, hood, and all the doors close, and ensure they are properly aligned. If any seam appears to run a bit crooked, or you can see that these pieces tend to stick out a bit, this often means the car has been in a collision and has been through a poor-quality repair.
When you test drive the car, note if it seems a bit bouncy when you hit a bump or apply the brakes. If so, the shocks and struts may be old and worn and will soon need replacing. You can also push down on each corner of the car and note if the car easily bounces up and down. This also typically means that the shocks are worn and won't cushion the car as they should and may even be ready to outright break.
Check that the tyres are of a reputable name brand, as this means they're more likely to last and not wear out. Note, too, if all four tyres match. In some cases, the front and back tyres may be different, but both front tyres, and both back tyres should be the same, to provide the car with proper cushioning and stopping power. If the tyres are all different in any way, this can signal that the vehicle has suffered excessive wear and tear on the axles, brakes, and other such parts and that the tyres will have also suffered added wear and may be ready for replacement.
For more information or advice, contact a pre purchase inspection service.