Planning to buy a used car? This article is definitely for you! Go ahead and enrich yourself with below knowledge so that you can avoid used car buying mistakes.

Used Car Buying Mistakes

1- Not Using Paint Meter

Car Paint meter is an easy to use device that can quickly identify accidental points on the car where re-paint work was done. You can purchase a Car Paint meter on Amazon starting $15

2- Not Checking Tire Health

Carefully check the tire code to find out tire expiry year. Secondly, check physical health of the tire and judge it you will need to change the tires. If yes, consider bargaining car price. Thirdly, ask the owner about the mileage of current tires. Fourthly. Check the status of spare tire.

3- Not Checking Car Trunk Status.

Make sure you remove the carpet inside the trunk (dickey / diggy / dickie). If the car is acceidental, you will see poor re-paint work.

4- Trusting Whatever Seller Tells You

While many owners are honest, but keep your optimism aside while purchasing the car. Listen to what he/she says, carefully. Do not assume things are as it, instead ask for proof of what seller is praising about.

5- Not Taking Any Mechanic With You

While many countries offer formal testing which the buyer can consider before making the purchasing decision, yet this kind of services are not available in many countries. Do take a mechanic with you as he is subject matter expert and can pass or fail the car with his expertise.

6- Not Checking Maintenance History

Do not ignore to check maintenance history of the car being sold to you. If the owner is unable to provide you, please be strict on the rest of the points mentioned in this article.

7- Not Checking Current Market Rate

It’s quite easy to check current market rate through car selling portals. However, please note that the rate mentioned on the car selling portal is NOT the market rate, instead these are ‘demands’ of the owners. Usually cars are sold 5-10% less than this rate. Remember this point while bargaining the car price.

8- Not Checking Or Ignoring Car Dashboard Alarms

If you see any abnormal alarm, especially engine alarm, please DO NOT buy this car because you never know how much it is going to cost you to fix this. Let the owner fix the problems before you purchase; unless you are buying the car for your scrap business.

9- Not Driving Your Car At Slow As Well As Fast Speed

Please do proper drive test of the car. Some cars may work normally at slow speed but may have different behavior at high speed. See the dashboard as well as overall comfort during the drive test.

10- Not Paying Attention To Engine Abnormal Sounds

Some cars may generate engine noise, or cause any abnormal behavior at high speed. Some cars gear boxes will result in jerks while going from slow to high or high to slow speed. Pay attention to that.

used car buying mistakes


used car buying mistakes

11- Buying From Used Car Market Instead Of Buying From Original Owners

Usually used car market guys are clever and they know the sales tricks to sell their vehicles. If you are not really an expert or wise enough to manager such people, it is suggested to purchase the car from the car owners. Another reason for this advice is that Car Market people may have replaced the genuine parts.

12- Not Checking Car History With VIN Number

For many countries now it is easy to get the history of the car through VIN number. Check out this resource on how Vehicle Identification Number VIN system works

13- Not Checking All Features.

If the car is advertised as full-options, make sure you check each one in detail. Do not assume that all features are functioning if the car looks clean and mint. Remember, if the car is not full-options then its demanding price should be less!14-

14- Ignoring The Dents And Scratches

Do not ignore any visual dents. If you doubt at first, doubt again. As mentioned in point-1, use a Paint Meter (Coating thickness gauge) to verify how much damage a car has suffered from. More scratches and dents means a careless driver. Also selling price should be less

15- Not Explicitly Asking About Car Problems

Some owners may not explain you in details if you do not ask them explicit question. Do ask the person assertively about any bad past of the car. Ask about engine, radiator, accidents, major component replacement, gear box issues and so on.

16- Buying Too Old Car To Save Money.

Old is not gold always. Unless you are passionate about classic cars, do not buy too old car. If you cannot afford, wait for a while, if possible else buying very old car may be a short term gain but long term pain.

 17- Not Documenting Advance Payment.

Off course proper documentation is must while making down payment. Make sure you have documented the terms and condition. Make sure you have the copy of Identification Card of the seller. Do not accept if the owner offers copy of someone else’s ID else you may fall trapped by a fraud.


Car buying is not something you do very frequently hence you have to be vigilant while buying a used car. Read another exclusive article covering 20 Important Tips for Buying A Use Car.

1 Comment

  1. M Sajid

    If you can afford to buy a new car then always go for a new one, or if you have to buy an old car then buy a car not older than 2 or 3 years used. Otherwise, you will face a lot of problems later.

    Especially in the Middle East where maintenance cost is very high and it’s also not easy to find a trustable and expert mechanic;

    They will charge you unreasonably and all the money you will save by buying an old car will be wasted in the maintenance.

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