What Features You Should Look For in a Used Car Before Purchasing

Posted on December 30, 2022 by Carson Wileman
Used Car Buying Tips

Not all cars are created equally, and not all drivers are either. It can be tricky to purchase a used car over a new one because we don’t know the previous owner’s driving habits—this includes their attentiveness in matters of ongoing care and maintenance. There are some obvious signs that one should look out for before going ahead with the purchase, and will help guide your decision-making process. Here are some features you should pay attention to when looking for a used vehicle:


The amount of miles on a car do not tell you everything, and not all higher mileage cars should be discarded as viable options. Even if a car has low mileage, there could be other significant issues under the hood. Many salvaged vehicles have low mileage, but have been pieced back together after accidents. If the car is salvaged and then being sold, you should always have a pre-purchase inspection performed by professionals who are experts in the specific type of car you’re looking at. Particularly for high-end vehicles, not all generic car parts will do—sub-par replacement parts are frequently used to cut corners on repairs before cars are re-sold to a new owner. Make sure you contact a trusted specialist in your area to perform an inspection before you buy the car.

Exterior and Interior Conditions

The interior and exterior condition of the vehicle in question can tell you a lot about how the previous owner treated the vehicle, including their hygienic habits. But beware: looks can be deceiving. Intact upholstery, polished dashboard and leather surfaces, and glass free of etching or cracks are good indications that the previous owner was studious in their automotive care endeavors. Furthermore, paint with minimal or no scratches is optimal, and will help maintain the vehicle’s value over time. If you notice dents, scratches, rust, or any other questionable conditions, you should inquire about having these issues taken care of before you purchase the car. Even though the absence of exterior issues can be good signs of ongoing, adequate vehicle care, the real question is always: “what’s under the hood?”

Fuel Economy and Safety Ratings

As with new cars, it is important that you evaluate how the vehicle will serve your individual needs and habits. Good fuel economy and adequate safety features are one of the biggest factors for car shoppers today, and rightfully so. It can be expensive to travel frequent long distances in a gas-guzzler, and no one wants to drive a car without air bags. Looking up the manufacturers specifications about projected gas mileage and how the vehicle is equipped with safety features will give you more of an informed platform on which to make your decision. Consider whether you need a family car, a sports car, or a more economical everyday car—each will affect your criteria differently. It will take a little bit of research, but it’s the best way to pinpoint the exact car of your dreams and ensure your satisfaction for years to come.

Pre-Purchase Inspections

As previously mentioned, pre-purchase inspections performed by experts in the specific type of car you are considering buying is critical. At Keith Cox Autobahn, we pride ourselves on our commitment to honesty and integrity. When we perform inspections we never cut corners; we believe that our clients’ satisfaction and safety depend on us, and we love that we can be a reliable source of information for our community. If you are looking at purchasing a used car, we want to be the ones to help you make an informed choice for yourself and your family. For years we have maintained a reputable automotive business that has kept our clients coming back for our honest opinions and exceptional quality work in German auto repairs. The residents of Bellingham area recognize our exceptional customer service and competitive prices; we don’t demand trust, we earn it. Contact us today to get more information about our pre-purchase inspections, or stop by to meet our friendly, knowledgeable staff. Like all of our other clients to-date, we look forward to earning your trust too.

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