If you are buying a used car, especially at an auction, then one of the steps you should never forget to undertake is a car inspection.
This is part of your due diligence. After all, vehicles are sold in an as-is condition. From cracks to worn tires, everything goes with the purchase.
But what do you exactly look for during an inspection? Let’s begin with the interiors. When you’re checking the interiors of the vehicle, spot:
Manufacturer’s label – All vehicles that are up for bidding must have the proper paperwork including the title and VIN number. But as a careful potential buyer, you have to double-check the information found in the manufacturer’s label. This label is normally attached on the door jamb or door on the driver’s side. Compare the data with those in the auction records.
Safety features – Used vehicles must still have good safety features particularly if they can still be insured. The less they have, the higher the premiums can be. Worse, you may never be allowed to apply for coverage.
- Seatbelts (must still be attached to the seats and not worn or frayed)
- Brakes (must not get stuck and must be responsive when pressed)
- Taillights and floodlights (at the time of the auctions, they must not be lit; however, when inspecting, you should not have any trouble turning them on)
- Airbags (they must be intact)
- Windows (windows should be easy to roll up and down, whether they’re power windows or not; they must not get stuck; check for cracks or peeling if the windows are tinted)
- Door (doors must close completely; passengers and driver must be able to open them quickly)
Smell – The car’s scent can tell you plenty of information. Although you can’t expect used cars to still smell brand new, they, nevertheless, should not feel musty or reeking with odor of sweat. If it smells like smoke or oil, perhaps the oil is leaking and needs to be replaced. Is the car freshener too strong? Check the compartments, trunk, and underneath the seats. Perhaps the artificial scent is meant to mask something.
Accessories – Check the AC/, stereo, plugs, and the dashboard. Make sure that they are all working properly. It should not take very long for the air conditioner to emit cold air. The dashboard must reflect correct information and the panels well lit.
Seats – Are there stains on the seat? Do they look worn and old? Touch the foam. Does it still feel soft and comfortable to sit on? Is the driver’s seat easy to move forward and backward? Can you properly see the road if you sit in the driver’s seat?
While inspecting, you can also check for the leg room. How much is the space? How many can fit comfortably inside? Does it feel cramped?
It may take about 30 minutes to complete an interior inspection. But this is something you cannot hurry. Remember, the goal is to invest in a vehicle that’s worth the price you’re paying for.