1. Autos
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Used Cars - How To Inspect Used Cars


5 of 9

Be a Detective
Used Cars - How To Inspect Used Cars

A glove compartment can hold many clues to a used car's condition. Make sure it has at least the owner's manual. Maintenance records are good, too.

Photo © Keith Griffin 2008

The glove box can host a treasure chest full of information. Don’t be afraid to explore in here and see what paper trail exists about the vehicle. Consider this About.Com’s version of CSI: Car Stuff Investigation.

  • Look for the owner’s manual. It’s great if it’s still with the car. (Otherwise, you can always buy one on e-Bay.)
  • If buying from a private owner, see if there are any maintenance records and inspection reports (if your state requires annual inspections). All cars need maintenance at some point in their lives. Just look to see if the same repair has been done over and over again.
  • While inspecting the maintenance records make note of any mileage figures. Question any discrepancy with the odometer readings.
  • Check the registration if it’s there. Be a detective. See if the vehicle identification number here matches the one on the vehicle. Make sure you’re buying the same car you’re looking at.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.