If you have been snooping around and looking for used cars for sale in Dubai, you are not the only one. The news show that UAE residents are buying used cars more than ever before, with the used car marketplace in 2021 has increased by 10% to 15% as a result of this trend. 

When you finally find the right time to buy a car – and obviously the right model for your needs – there are plenty of questions you need to ask yourself. The good news is that nowadays, there are better manufacturing practices, huge improvements for insurance, MoT history, and other details which potentially make buying a used car a good idea.

Inspecting A Used Car: Our Checklist

All good things on the side, there are still some risks with buying a used car for sale. The best way to mitigate them is by following our “Buying A Used Car” checklist.

1. Check who sells the car (individual vs. company)

For many drivers, the person or company who sells the car is not important, as long as the car is in a good condition. While that is generally true, there are some things you can cross off your guess list in either case. For instance, if the person selling that is a family person and you can conclude that they drove it mostly for in-city transportation, you can figure out the overall condition of the car and how it was driven. If it’s a company and you don’t know the owner, you should be more cautious about which company you are buying from and make sure they have a solid history.

2. Try to guess the reason behind the sale

This goes in line with the point above and is generally meant to help you narrow down the things you would need to inspect. For instance, if the car has very low mileage but looks old, maybe it has a suspicious background and you should immediately take it to a service station for a full inspection. 

3. Check the vehicle history

Make sure to ask the owner as many questions as possible about the vehicle’s history, and then do your due diligence and research. One of the things you can do is run the VIN (vehicle identification number) through a paid service that will tell you if the car has been in an accident, whether it has been recalled, or even more details, if available. 

4. Check for any rust or paint damage

One of the common signs of a damaged car is rusty spots on its surface or paint chips. These small and localized rust patches can be fixed and are not necessarily a huge problem. However, if there are places where the metal is completely visible, you might want to reconsider your decision or at least do your math for repairing it.

5. Inspect for potential frame issues

Look for potential problems with the frame, as they are important and costly to repair. Check if the car is sitting leveled on the ground, or if there is anything hanging from the undercarriage. Also, take a look at the bumpers and look inside the trunk to check for any potential bolts or warping that may indicate a previous incident.

6. Get under the hood

Your car’s engine is the most important part of the vehicle. When the car is turned off, open the hood and look for potential fluid leaks, cracked hoses or belts, and corrosion. In addition, check whether any oil is spilling and inspect the transmission for discoloration – oil fluids should be light brown, and transmission fluid should be pink or red.

7. See the condition of the tyres

A used car’s tyres can tell you a lot about its history, the driving style of the owner, etc. In an ideal scenario, the tyre tread should be worn evenly, and all four tyres should match. If you spot any uneven tread or extra wear on one or few of the tyres, it can mean poor alignment. Indirectly, this can mean potential steering, suspension, or frame issue.

8. Figure out the mileage per year

On average, vehicles rack up anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 kilometers each year. To figure out if the car you are seeing has high or low mileage, divide its total mileage by its age. For instance, if the car is bought 5 years ago and it has 100,000 kilometers on its stand, it means that the owner drove it 20,000 kilometers per year, which is within the average. High mileage, on the other hand, may result in more defects in the future.

9. Get inside and check if every button works

Interior electronics are important. Start with the radio – blast it out, press some buttons, and make sure that the AC system and other electronic components in the cockpit are working fine. Also, make sure to inspect the controls on the steering wheel, the wipers, the tailgate opener, and basically every single button inside.

10. Inspect the upholstery

Next on our buying a used car checklist is the upholstery. We all know that seats and interior fabrics are prone to damage, which is why you need to be careful and make sure there are fewer tears, stains, or areas where the leather has cracked. Upholstery is, after all, costly to repair.

11. Take it for a test drive

Once you are done with all of the inspections from above, it’s time for a test drive. This will probably be one of the most enjoyable things about buying a used car. With you behind the steering wheel, it’s important to plan your route (ideally a mixed one between uphill, city, and motorway traffic) and put the car through different roads to test its acceleration, braking, maneuverability, and suspension. When finished, try to parallel park it to get a feel for any potential blind spots.

12. Drive it to your local Dubai mechanic

Finally, you should drive your car to the mechanic and get a full inspection. At Stop&Go, we recommend an inspection for every used car and pride ourselves on our team of experts. We can determine if the vehicle has any underlying issues, potential problematic areas, and so on.

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Visit this link to locate a Stop&Go branch close to you!