Things to Look Out for When Buying a Pre-owned Vehicle

Things to Look Out for When Buying a Pre-owned Vehicle

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What are the things to look out for when buying a pre-owned vehicle?

  1. Price Range
  2. Condition of Paint and Body
  3. Glass
  4. Suspension
  5. Tires
  6. Interior


When looking for a pre-owned vehicle to purchase, whether it’s from a car auction in the Philippines or a secondhand dealer, it’s good to know the exact condition of the vehicle before you purchase it. Many secondhand vehicles will be made to look good before it gets off the hands of their sellers, without the buyers knowing what problems they may face with their newly acquired vehicle. Here are the things to look out for when buying a pre-owned vehicle:

Price Range

Price Range

Before you acquire any pre-owned vehicle, you have to make sure that you’re getting it for the right price. You can look up for the prices of vehicles online, the price ranges you’ll see on the internet will give you an idea of the value of a specific vehicle. To avoid buying overpriced vehicles, make sure to do proper research.

Many secondhand sellers tend to spike up the prices of what they’re selling. This is common for old and vintage vehicles. Don’t fall into that trap.


Condition of Paint and Body

The paint is usually a telltale sign of how well the previous owner took care of the vehicle. It’s natural for a car’s paint to fade or accumulate surface scratches over time. What’s important to take note of are the dents, scratches, scuff marks, or rust on the exterior of the vehicle. The quality of a car’s paint is also a major player in a vehicle’s value.

Examine every part of the car’s exterior. If you find that the paint’s fade is even, no dents, major scratches, or rust can be seen, then you’ve got yourself a well-kept vehicle.  You can go for cars with minor dents or scratches but never one with rust. When you spot rust while inspecting a car’s paint, then it’s best to avoid purchasing that vehicle. More likely than not, that spot of rust you found may be much worse and could have eaten up most of the metal under the paint.

Look for any signs of body realignment. You can spot these by inspecting the strut mounts, chassis segments, and firewall. If there seems to be scratch marks or if metal parts are not leveled then the car may have a history of an accident and the chassis was realigned. If it was, you may haggle for a lower price.



A car’s suspension components are one of the most intricate systems of a car. The suspension system contains multiple parts that all complement each other in distributing the applied loads on a car. A good visual inspection that can be done is to see if the car’s ride height is perfectly leveled.

Then you should take it on a road test in order to know if all the suspension parts are working well or if there are any that are worn out. Usually, a car will tell you if there’s a worn part if you hear any knocking, banging, or rattling noise when you go over bumps of various sizes. Lastly, take the car to a mechanic or under chassis specialist to get a thorough inspection of all the suspension components.


One thing that you should never fail to inspect when looking for a pre-owned vehicle is the glass. It is not common for used cars for sale in the Philippines, to have any issues with the structural integrity of a vehicle’s glass. Nonetheless, one still needs to properly inspect the glass of a pre-owned vehicle. If you find any sign of cracks or worn seals, then it’s best to avoid these vehicles. It’s much better to keep the original windows than to have them replaced because all the seals were applied in the factory.



If the pre-owned vehicle is sold with brand new tires, then you have nothing to worry about when it comes to this department. But if the car is sold with used tires, then you’re going to have to inspect the tread for any signs of excess wear and abuse. You can also see if the previous owner regularly brings the car in for an alignment.

If the inner part of the tire shows excess signs of wear then the camber alignment is too negative, if the out part of the tires shows excess signs of wear then the camber alignment is too positive. A worn out center could mean that you have too much tire pressure. A careful owner would never let this happen.



Pre-owned or used cars for sale in the Philippines are often sold with varying interior conditions. Most cars that need their seats reupholstered are sold way cheaper than their standard resale value while those under pristine condition are sold for higher prices. Car auctions in the Philippines usually recondition the interior of vehicles being sold at auction houses, while individual sellers will sell their vehicles as is.

Don’t settle for less when it comes to the interior of a vehicle. This is where you’ll find comfort and serenity admits the heavy traffic of Manila. Check every part of the interior, the seats, roof, instruments, and buttons. Make sure that they all work and are in good condition. If the car has an appalling smell, then best not take it. Usually, if a vehicle smells musky, it could have been in a flood.


Key Takeaway

Buying a pre-owned vehicle requires a lot of research and physical inspection. You can never just hop into a vehicle and get it in a snap. It could have underlying problems that slipped unnoticed. If you can, take a mechanic along with you before you purchase a vehicle or ask if you can take it to a shop. Road testing a car is important as it lets you know more about its condition and you’ll be able to build your confidence around the vehicle.