How to do the initial assessment of a used car

Buying a used car is no doubt easier on your pocket but make an informed buy rather than a hasty one, as you don’t want to be spending more on the car’s maintenance later.

Finding a used car that is trouble-free is not that difficult. Do your research on to get a quick summary of the car and how reliable the vehicle is. This can save you from expensive repairs further down the road.

1) Contacting individuals or dealerships who buy and sell cars in Dubai is fairly easy, Carswitch provides the same services. But even before you begin looking out for a used car, you should do your homework. It is best to narrow down on models which have a good reliability record. Compare each model and brand of car in your price segment against each other and how they hold up in different areas.

2) Once you’ve decided on the make and model of the car you want to buy, you will want to go check it out in person. There is a lot you can learn about the car just by paying close attention to the cosmetic appearance of the car. One of the first aspects you want to pay attention to are the tires. Tires can tell a whole lot more about how the car has been driven. You can figure out how old the tires are by looking for the four digit number on the side panel information. This will tell you when the tire was made by the week of the year. If you notice uneven tread wear, this could mean problems with the alignment, the steering, suspension or with the frame of the vehicle. If you notice more wear on the outside edge of the tire, this could be an indication of aggressive driving. If the tires are five years or older they should be replaced. 

3) Pay attention to the condition of the body. Check the panels, roof and door for scratches or dents. Many people forget to inspect the roof of the vehicle. On the inside, the roof should not sag or have water stains. If the car has a sun-roof inspect that it opens and shuts smoothly.

4)  Look closer for any tell-tale signs of previous bodywork or paint work as this could indicate that the vehicle was involved in an accident. If you notice minor scratches or dents it should not be a cause for concern but if you spot rust, then it is worrying. Open and close each door, the trunk and the hood. They should not be loose on the hinges, especially the driver’s door. 

5) Inspect the glass on the vehicle to make sure that there are no large cracks. If it is a small chip then it may not be anything serious but if the windshield has been cracked then it is a cause for worry as it will worsen and will lead to expensive repair costs. 

6) You can check the suspension of the car by test driving it. You can also check it from the outside of the vehicle by bouncing each corner up and down. If the suspension is in place it should rebound just once. 

7) Check the mileage of the car as the higher the mileage the faster the depreciation and this could also impact the engine of the vehicle. Check carefully if the odometer has been tampered with to indicate a lower mileage reading. 

8) The interiors of the car will also tell its own story, if you get a musty, moody odour this could indicate water leaks. Check underneath the mats for wet spots. Check out the seats in the car including the ones in the rear. The upholstery should not be torn or badly worn. Try all the seat adjustments to check if they are working properly. Check the pedals like the accelerator, brake and clutch for wear. The rubber on these will indicate the usage. A car with low mileage should not have much wear and tear.

No matter whom you trust, a friend, a private party or a dealership to buy and sell cars in UAE, if you are not confident of the condition of the car it is always wiser to get the vehicle thoroughly assessed by a certified professional.