What Should You Check Before Buying a Used Car Online

What Should You Check Before Buying a Used Car Online
What Should You Check Before Buying a Used Car Online

Have you decided to buy a used car? But how to buy the car? You should have it inspected before you buy it.

You can go to a pro picker, or you can do the inspection yourself. We’re here to tell you how to do a thorough inspection of your car specs.

General Tips for Checking

What check when buying a used car? The first inspection of the car takes place before you meet the seller. There is a chance of falling for crooks.

So carefully study the ad, car mileage check, stolen vehicle check, vehicle equipment by vin, service history and then contact the contact person.

Don’t rush to send an advance payment without a car checker. Make an appointment, and make sure that the seller exists.

It’s worth remembering that good cars sell quickly, so pay attention to the date the ad was published. If it was published six months ago, then the car has a bunch of defects that are still preventing it from being sold.

Checking the Databases

There are many open databases available to help you check your car. But you need to know the VIN decoder (VIN-code) of the car. Moreover, conscientious sellers mention it in the ad. It is a bad sign if the seller refuses to announce the VIN.

You can see the sample vin report:

  • under the windshield;
  • on the driver’s door sill;
  • on the engine;
  • on the radiator bracket;
  • on the inside vault of the left wheel.

The difficulty is that the code can be located anywhere. Even on the same model, but from different factories or different years of manufacture. Look carefully at the vehicle checker.

Checking Documents

1. Vehicle Passport

It contains a large array of necessary data for verification:

  • who owns the car;
  • VIN;
  • specifications;
  • information about the owners.

2. Vehicle registration certificate

In it, we check that the data about the car and the seller match the passport of the car and the owner’s passport.

3. VIN

How to check a vin number? The number consists of 17 digits. It contains info about the manufacturer, data about the model, manufacturing plant, and the unique number of the specific car. You may find car service history on the Internet, which decodes VIN number checks for money. Or find voluminous brochures listing all possible code data. But you can do without that as well.

Technical Inspection

After checking the documents, we start with the external inspection of the car specs. If there are a few scratches on the body or broken parts, it means that the car has been poorly maintained.

Be sure to try to drive the car and listen for extraneous sounds. It is very important to pay attention to the wear of the tires, the presence of corrosion on the metal, whether the paintwork is intact, and, most importantly, the operation of the engine.

Car Body

Some defects can be found with the naked eye: small dents, chips, scratches, rust, and color mismatch.


The hood of the car should be dry. When inspecting, you should also check the hoses for cracks and tears.


The condition of the arms, struts, shock absorbers, and other elements helps determine if the actual mileage matches the odometer reading. The buyer should take a test drive, especially if there is no opportunity to check the running gear at a car service center. It is better to choose a bad part of the road and listen to the suspension’s bumpiness.

When driving, no creaks, knicks, or other extraneous sounds should appear. Their presence indicates problems and malfunctions.

Condition of the Interior

After you have checked the under-hood space, you can pass to the interior. Look for mechanical damages: upholstery scuffs, scratches, and cracks on plastic surfaces. With quality care, the interior will stay in good condition for many years.

You should also check vehicle recalls and if the power windows, interior lights, air conditioning, heated seats, and other options work.

Grounds for lowering the price may be non-working windows and adjustments, a crack in the windshield, or a sagging seat.

Now you know how to buy a car online.

Use our tips when buying used cars and be safe!