Used Car Inspection Checklist: The Ultimate Guide

Are you in the market for a used vehicle?

Buying a used vehicle can be scary for some people because they don’t know what to expect.

If you’re afraid of buying the wrong car, take a look at this used car inspection checklist to guide you.

The Exterior of the Car

If you’re going to purchase a used car, it’s important you take a good look at the exterior of the car.

Body Condition

Start by paying attention to see if the car has any dents, scratches, rust, or any other visible signs of damage.


Inspect all the glass in the vehicle to make sure it’s free of cracks or pocket areas. The last thing you want is to replace the glass after you buy the car.


Walk around the vehicle and observe if the car is well balanced all around. Perform a bounce test on all corners of the car to make sure the suspension is in good shape.


Turn on all the lights on the vehicle and test them to make sure they’re working.


Take a look at the tires of the vehicle and try to find out when was the last time the tires were replaced. Also, watch out for cracks and smooth areas on the tires.

Interior of the Car

Once you’re done with the exterior of the vehicle, move on to the interior.


Pay attention to any strange smells in the vehicle. Do you smell mold, mildew, or other smells that might throw you off?

Car Seats

Are the seats in good condition? Do you notice any stains rips or scratches? Make sure you sit down and adjust the seats to make sure everything works properly.

Controls and Instruments

Check all of the controls and instruments to ensure they all work like they’re supposed to. Turn on the heating and AC system to make sure it all works. Some of these systems might be expensive to replace.

Sound System

No one likes to drive around in silence. You want to make sure the sound system works properly.

Check Under the Hood

Next, move on and inspect what’s under the hood.


Take a look at the battery and make sure it’s not closed to being dead.


Take a look at the radiator and observe for apparent signs of leaks. Make sure the color of the fluid is green or orange and not milky.

Hoses and Belts

Inspect the hoses you find under the hood. The hoses should feel like rubber and bendable not hard and cracked.


You should also take a look at all the fluids and make sure there’s not a leak.

Use This Used Car Inspection Checklist

A lot of things can go wrong when you decide to buy a used car. Use this used car inspection checklist before you consider buying a car.

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