In today's world, used cars, and not the new ones, account for the major share of car sales. The assortment of vehicles is quite diverse – one can get a car of any existing brand, any condition, and of various price categories. The price usually do correspond to the quality of vehicle in question, but, with some amount of crooked sellers out there, an inexperienced buyer may easily find himself with a car in emergency condition or one that had been in an accident before. Just think what could be the consequences of such purchase. Therefore, anyone who intends to buy used car should be able to identify the external features of its condition.
Remember that first encounter with the vehicle should take place only in the daytime. If a car with a layer of dirt on it is shown to you – be careful, as it almost unmistakably points to the fact that there are body defects. And don’t believe the owner’s stories about how he didn’t have the time to wash it – that’s just his way to hide the flaws. A battered car usually rots quickly, so inspect the main problem areas carefully: thresholds, bottom, wheel housings. Of course, for a detailed examination you need a car lift, but without one, an inspection pit will do.
It is important to make a distant inspection as well as close by, and look whether all body areas are of the same color and shade. Usually they don’t repaint the whole body of accident damaged car but only certain parts. Special attention should be given to the gap between different parts of the body: the body geometry of a battered car is assimetric and it immediately catches the eye. The signs of a serious accident damage are slightly skewed hood or trunk line, or irregular gaps between the doors and side panels. Even a look at the lights may let you find out whether the car is battered. It is clear that a broken lamp differ from the others, but what if they are identical in appearance, color, and form? To determine whether or not the lamp is genuine you’ll need the serial number engraved on it. If the numbers on both headlights do not match each other, it means that the spotlight(s) is not on this car and, probably, a TRA had place.
You can also check glass markings of different windows. Manufacturer puts the same stamp on all the car windows, so if a stamp doesn’t match – the glass has been changed and, if the owner doesn’t provide a convincing explanation, you probably will be better without this car.
What also matters, of course, are the technical specifications of the car. Be sure to take a ride on the potential purchase, check out how does it behave on the road. A damaged car usually has running gear defects.
If the vehicle swings on uneven road, knocks, then it is quite likely that the suspension is far from the best condition. This may occur by frequent use as taxi, for example, or as a result of an accident.
Also, pay attention to the seller’s behavior. Just look him in the eye closely. If he has something to hide, he would look away, try to distract you with talking, clutter your mind with some nonsense and unnecessary information about the car. Of course, the seller will only talk about the virtues and even try to hide minor flaws. Therefore, rely more on your eyes and your own feelings while buying a car. Good luck with your purchase!