Car Buyer Checklist

Buying a used car is not as easy as buying a brand new car. It can be quite risky, but it is possible to find the best deals. After you have done a thorough vehicle research and the necessary preparations, you can close the deal and drive the car home confidently.

Here is a checklist recommended by for evaluating a used car and for conducting a comprehensive inspection.

Check Vehicle Documents

Verify proof of ownership and registration status of the vehicle.

Vehicle Title

This will serve as a proof that the seller is the legal owner of the vehicle and must be able to legally transfer the ownership of the vehicle to you. You will find these details on the vehicle title:

  • Vehicle identification number (VIN), make, and year of manufacture, the license plate number, technical specifications, and the name and address of the registered owner.
  • Whether there is a lien on the vehicle.
  • Whether it has a title brand such as “salvaged”or “flooded.”


Certificate of Registration

Some states require a copy of the previous owner’s certificate of registration when you register the vehicle as the new owner.


Estimate Costs Related to Purchase and Ownership

Check the market value of the car*

Compute the cost of ownership*

Estimate cost of insurance *

Secure financing

* Available from’s free vehicle history


Check Vehicle History

Run a vehicle history report through’s free VIN check or free license plate lookup.


Inspect Vehicle and Do a

Test Drive

One of the critical steps in the purchase process is inspecting the used car. You need to do this to verify the seller’s claims about the current condition of the car. This is also one way to figure out possible issues that you might encounter in the future as the new owner.

A complete car inspection can give you compelling reasons to buy the car. Finding some issues will not necessarily make you decide not proceed with the purchase. You may still want to consider buying it for the right price. owner.


Inspection Checklist

Check the vehicle’s working condition. Identify mechanical issues or defects that may affect its performance and safety on the road.







Automatic Transmission

Manual or Standard Transmission