Searching the used car market for the perfect vehicle can be a tough time, as personal circumstances and requirements can often very quickly whittle down a large list. What makes the entire process even more stressful is unknowingly buying a car that is defective in some way – while a car might look great on the day, you might very quickly find on the drive home that some issue, whether major or minor, will cost even more money to fix. Then there’s the fact that the seller can outright refuse a refund, and ask you to move on as private selling provides no legal rights. Thankfully, there are some things you can look out for when shopping for a second-hand car to better understand if it’s experienced an accident, as accidents can very easily mean something sinister is hiding under repainted bodywork.

Recognising body and paint issues

A car inspection in Perth, Sydney, or wherever else you may be from a professional can help with this, but it’s also possible to examine a car for yourself if you’re feeling confident enough. Cars that have been in serious accidents are regularly repaired and find their way back onto the road, and the quality of the repair job can make this quite obvious. For the most part this alludes to a dodgy repair job that may detract from the safety and roadworthiness of a vehicle. Mismatched paint or poorly painted bodywork is usually a very clear example of this, and one that even rookie car buyers can spot. Gaps in the bodywork are another very obvious sign of this, as cars fresh out of the factory will never have any noticeable gaps between doors or panels – this will instead indicate a last fix after a crash. You should never be able to stick your finger in gaps between door and surrounding panels when closed – don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

car inspection

Test driving the car

Although a test drive is great to play around the with the features of a car and test its responsiveness, it’s also a great opportunity to find any issues with the drive itself. One of the simplest things to look for is whether the car drives in a straight line – if it pulls to a side and is not able to drive in a straight line, either its alignment is off or it may be an indication of a more serious problem, such as a bent chassis. Even if you find out that the car does drive straight, the presence of uneven tyre wear can indicate a substandard suspension alignment setting. It could also indicate a more serious issue, such as a faulty chassis – if the damaged chassis continuously works against the direction of the wheel, the irregular force would easily be reflected in the uneven tyre wear.

Consider getting a car inspection

What we’ve covered is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are a huge variety of things people need to stay vigilant about during car inspections. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get a professional to come and inspect the car for you, as their considerable experience would be instrumental in helping find issues quickly and painlessly. Although a small cost is involved, it can potentially save you thousands in the long-run.

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