Features of a pre-owned car

18 Important Features to Check Before Buying a Pre-owned Car

March 20, 2022 • 4008 views

Buying a pre-owned car can be an exciting adventure. However, it's essential to take your time and carefully consider the important features before making a decision. A thorough inspection before purchasing ensures that the pre-owned car you choose meets your needs and expectations. Read on to explore the 18 important features of a used car you must check before purchasing it.

Top 18 Things to Check in a Used Car

A thorough inspection is essential before buying a pre-owned car as it provides clarity that you are buying a safe and reliable vehicle. Here are the top four used car features and components to check:

A. Interior Inspection Checklist

1. Upholstery: Thoroughly check the seats, headliners, and carpets. Ensure there are no stains, tears or damage that is too challenging to clear or fix.

2. Electricals: Ensure that all the electric systems are functioning properly such as the air conditioner, power window, mirror system, and audio system and make sure that all the warning lights in the dashboard are functional.

3. Odometer: Confirm that the mileage shown corresponds with the service history. Unusually low mileage for an older vehicle could indicate a tampered odometer.

4. Documentation: Inspect the owner's manual and service book to evaluate the car's maintenance history. Thoroughly examine the service records to gauge the level of maintenance performed.

B. Exterior Inspection Checklist

A thorough exterior inspection involves physically examining the condition of the following things:

5. Paint: Carefully inspect the paint of the vehicle and keep an eye on whether there is any mismatch or not. In case of any mismatch, unevenness, or roughness, there is a high possibility that it was repainted or there might be some hidden issue.

6. Tyres: Examine the grooves of the tyres and make sure that there is enough depth left in the tyre treads, and it is not entirely even. The tyre groove determines the road grip of your vehicle and prevents it from accidents as a result of skidding.

7. Body Condition: Carefully inspect the exterior of the vehicle and make sure that there are no dents, scratches, or any sign of rusting. If you find any damages, you should negotiate for a lower price.

8. Lights: Ensure that all the lights of the car are in proper working condition or not, also consider checking the brightness or intensity of the same. It includes headlamps, fog lamps, indicators front/rear, tail lamps, brake lights, reverse lights and interior lights.

9. Suspension: The best way to test the suspension of the car is by conducting a bounce test of the car at each corner. If the car bounces excessively, it might be possible that the suspensions are worn out and need to be replaced.

C. Engine Inspection Checklist

As one of the most essential components of a used car, an engine check must include examining and testing the condition of the following components:

10. Hoses and Belts: Thoroughly check the condition of drive hoses and belts, and make sure that they are free from cracks or fraying. If applicable, verify the timing belt's replacement schedule.

11. Fluids: Carefully inspect the levels of engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid and the level of coolant. Check for leakage as well.

12. Exhaust: Examine the exhaust system for signs of rust or holes and pay attention to unusual noises or odour emitting from the exhaust.

13. Battery: Check for corrosion on the battery terminals and ensure connections are secure. Test the voltage of the battery to ensure it aligns with the manufacturer's specified range.

14. Engine Noise: Ensure that the engine does not make abnormal sounds such as tapping or knocking and try to observe the engine's idle smoothness.

D. Test Drive Checklist

Before buying a used car, you need to take it out on a test drive to check how it runs. Drive over a range of different surfaces and note the following things:

15. Start-up: Carefully observe how easily the car starts; if it is a bit slow or laggy, there might be some underlying issue with the battery, alternator, spark plugs or the engine.

16. Steering: Check the responsiveness of the steering and make sure that it is smooth and has a high responsiveness. Also, check that the car is moving straight if the steering wheel is left in a straight position. If it keeps veering to one side, it could be an issue of wheel alignment or steering-wheel connectivity.

17. Brake: It is one of the most important used car safety components and mechanisms that you must consider while purchasing a pre-owned car. Use the brake in different ways and check its effectiveness. Make sure that the braking system provides strong and even brakes. Carefully observe if there is any squeaking sound from it.

18. Transmission: Consider evaluating the performance of the transmission in different driving conditions, such as highways, local streets and normal stop-and-go city traffic. If you find any concern with shifting gears or any other gear slipping or jerking, raise this issue with the seller. Either negotiate on the cost or consider choosing a different option.

Importance of Used Car Inspection

A thorough inspection is essential when purchasing a used car. It is a critical step that involves physically checking each component of the vehicle. It includes the engine, suspension, electrical system, transmission, tyres, exterior and the overall condition of the car. A used car inspection will reveal various issues that could not have been identified with a casual glance.

To ensure a pre-owned car is in good condition, you need to get it checked by a professional mechanic. They will check and test whether essential components, including the engine, suspension, brakes and steering systems are performing optimally. Furthermore, they will examine all used car safety features, including airbags, seat belts, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) if the car has any.

Once you carry out all the necessary inspections, your next step would be to get a used car loan. Poonawalla Fincorp is a trusted NBFC that offers 100% of the pre-owned car’s value at attractive interest rates. Scroll down to know how to apply for a Pre-owned Car Loan.

Also Read - Difference Between New vs Pre-owned Car Loan

How to Apply for a Pre-owned Car Loan From Poonawalla Fincorp?

You can apply for a Pre-owned Car Loan by following these three simple steps:

  • Step 1: Click on the 'Apply Now' button.
  • Step 2: Fill in the required details on the loan application form.
  • Step 3: Upload necessary documents.

On successful verification, the loan amount will be disbursed into your bank account instantly.

Also Read :- Buying a Used Car: Everything You Need to Know

To Conclude

Availing of a pre-owned car can help you turn your dream of owning a car into a reality without emptying your pocket. However, you must check a car thoroughly before signing the RTO transfer papers. If you don't have the required knowledge or expertise, you can take a mechanic along with you when you go out to buy a pre-owned car. If you want to avail of a Pre-owned Car Loan, you can look at the loan options of Poonawalla Fincorp.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can we check a pre-owned car's history?

You can simply check the history of a vehicle online by entering the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car.

2. How to figure out whether the car is repainted or not?

You can figure out whether the car is repainted or not, by looking for any kind of colour mismatch, inconsistencies and unevenness, especially in the areas like door jambs, etc.

3. What is the average life of a car in India?

In India, the average life of a car is usually around 10 to 15 years.

4. What tools are required to inspect a car?

To inspect a car all you need is a flashlight, a jack, and hand tools. You can also take the help of an experienced mechanic.  


We take utmost care to provide information based on internal data and reliable sources. However, this article and associated web pages provide generic information for reference purposes only. Readers must make an informed decision by reviewing the products offered and the terms and conditions. Pre-Owned Car Loan disbursal is at the sole discretion of Poonawalla Fincorp.
*Terms and Conditions apply

poonawalla fincorp team

Poonawalla Fincorp Team

Our team of expert writers and editors are passionate about providing authentic and valuable information on finance. Our aim is to simplify financial and finance-related concepts. We strive to help our readers become more aware and empowered to make informed financial decisions.

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