A Buyer’s Checklist for Used Cars: Our Guide


Among the different things that you can ever buy in your life, nothing is easier yet as momentous as a car—and a used one, at that.

With automotive companies manufacturing record numbers of vehicles, the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is that there are more new car options to choose from every year. To those who love great deals, this also alludes to the more impactful truth that there are more used cars to choose from and purchase at unbelievable prices.

Why buying a used car makes sense

After having a rather intense back-and-forth debate in your mind over whether or not you should buy a new or used car, you’re probably very much convinced that the latter was a smarter deal.

Think about it: new vehicles automatically go down 20 percent (yes, TWENTY!) in value once they leave the lot and eventually feel like they lose value much quicker when you get them from the dealer. With the potential 40 to 50 percent that you can save on a used car purchase (especially if you get your unit from Lewis Motor Sales), you’re obviously dealing with a no-brainer decision.

With the money that you save on buying a well-loved or barely-used automobile, you can pay for various expenses, such as:

  • Five years’ worth of utilities
  • A down payment on a modest townhouse or condominium unit
  • Extra upgrades and tuning work
  • Investments in any financial market or platform
  • Tuition for your kids (or yourself)

A checklist of things to check

Now, before you spend your hard-earned money on a fine automobile that you saw on a lot or in an ad, it’s important to tread carefully to ensure that you’re getting a daily driver. Thankfully, ensuring that a used car isn’t a complete dud isn’t as complicated, long-winded, or tedious as one may expect because all you’ll need to do is follow this checklist:

[  ] Cosmetic issues

Typically, a lot of what you need to know about a car’s condition can be found on its exterior after a thorough inspection from top to bottom.

Often, the car’s exterior is telling of how a previous owner treated it and took care of it because most blemishes and defects appear with neglect. If you start to see any rusty spots or paint chips and other visual defects, then you may want to re-negotiate the price or back out of the deal entirely because there are most likely more problems underneath!

[  ] Vehicle history

Apart from an exterior, you can know a lot about a vehicle through its history—especially when you look deeper into its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Running the number through an accredited system or service is important because it sheds light on several details, such as:

  • The possibility of the same vehicle being in minor or major accidents (or both) 
  • The potential presence of any liens on the unit itself
  • The list of existing recalls on the model based on existing dealer precautions and notices

[  ] Mileage

As they often say: the more miles a car has, the more you need to be careful around it. But this doesn’t apply in EVERY situation, of course!

While you may not necessarily have the time or expertise to judge a used car’s condition by looking under the hood, the mileage the car has can also say just as much when it is analyzed correctly. Through the number of miles on a dashboard, you can tell what problems may be brewing, what needs to be replaced, what needs to be serviced soon, and how previous owners used it! 


Although it is economical, buying a used car can also be a rather complicated and slightly risky process because of everything that is at stake and the inherent risks involved. Thankfully, keeping an eye on the checklist mentioned above and following it closely will allow you to best judge whether or not a purchase is worth the trouble!

If you’re looking for a used car dealer in Brentwood that has your best interest in mind, Lewis Motor Sales has got you covered. Pay us a visit or give us a call today so that we can help you find the ride of your dreams at an irresistible bargain!