Guide to buying a used car

With checklist to buy a used car as *.PDF to print

This website was linked from the online reference work wikipedia, as a reference page!

    When buying a car with great caution buy a car what is the used car really worth check the used car using a checklist what should be paid attention to no car purchase is not worth it for many

Basic information about buying a used car:

Buying a used car is always a certain risk. However, you can minimize this risk if you follow the tips below and print out the used car checklist and take it with you when buying a car. Take your checklist and work through it point by point, so nothing is forgotten and it also looks very professional.

As a master in the car dealership, I have a check for the trade-in of a used car, nothing else done, but a similar list to plow off. If you want a certain security, buy your vehicle in a car dealership or a long-established used car dealer with its own workshop. There is then also a warranty and usually for an additional charge an additional warranty. With this warranty, make sure that it is not linked to expensive conditions. For example, regular inspections in a very specific workshop.

But make sure that the dealer is actually entered as the seller in the purchase contract! Because the warranty is often circumvented by the dealer acting only as an intermediary! before you make a down payment ask if anyone has title on the vehicle and get it in writing. If the dealer happens to be out of business when you are about to buy a car and you have already made payments, the dough is gone -if someone has a reservation of title. The car will be taken away from you, even if you have been driving and paying for it for a few weeks already!

Do not buy a used car without having made a test drive!
When contacting private sellers or dealers, ask immediately whether the vehicle is still registered, or whether there are at least red license plates for a test drive. If a test drive is not possible, they rather do without the purchase!
The dekra used car report can also be a good help. In this you can find the typical defects of used cars by manufacturer, type and mileage.

important for your safety

If you have found a used car bargain from private from a newspaper, NEVER drive ALONE with all the cash to the purchase! Often the supposed "distress sale" has already turned out to be a good deal against cash payment as a nasty scam. The prospective new proud benz owner found himself in an empty high-rise apartment tied to the heating and 15.000 euro poorer again -without benz!

if you are alone, take only money for a small deposit, make a purchase contract and pay the rest of the money when you pick up the vehicle. This is common practice and has no disadvantages for either party.

Buying a car online:

More and more used cars are being offered and bought on the internet. With the increasing number is also more and more often warned of frauds.
one scam is: an incredibly cheap offer of a used car, but unfortunately it is located in england and needs to be transferred. The seller asks you to transfer a few hundred euros for the transfer to germany in advance. Sounds logical at first, but unfortunately the money is gone and the car does not arrive.

NEVER pay -for whatever and even if it seems plausible- any amount of money in advance!

  • never buy a car you only know the picture of
  • Always take a close look at the vehicle and test drive it
  • Work through the used car checklist conscientiously
  • Do not pay until you have the complete papers and the car
  • If you want to buy a used car at an auction, go there before bidding and inspect the vehicle.

Especially "sporadic defects, i.e. defects that occur only temporarily, are to be complained about after a few weeks. Mostly very expensive things, -automatic transmission does not shift at times, engine has no idle at times due to a defective wiring harness, engine makes strange noises etc.. I do not think much of buying a used car on the internet because of the o.G. Negativa and the usually large distance not much. But obviously thousands of used cars are successfully brokered this way.

The preliminary pricing for the used car: $$$

A good overview of the current prices for used cars and motorcycles can be obtained from the relevant sales portals on the net. Often, in addition to the vehicle type, the price, mileage and other parameters can be specified and thus filter the search results. For example, before buying a car, you can also narrow down the radius search. this proves to be very practical, because hardly anyone wants to drive 800 km from hamburg to munich for an inspection and a test drive.
Who is looking for something special, should also look in the German-speaking countries.
Sometimes you can also make a good bargain there.

There is a fairly simple way to price used cars, but it also takes into account regional conditions. If you know what type of car you want and how much it should cost, just take your daily newspaper, -better still because of the larger selection and the usually lower prices-, your local classifieds newspaper and pick out your desired car with price.

Analogously, there are also regional classifieds markets on the internet. The big advantage is that you don’t have to go far to see and test drive the vehicle.

Very soon you can easily spot price differences based on mileage, equipment or year of manufacture. This way you can quickly determine the current value of the car you want and know what you will have to pay more at the dealership. This is more effective and accurate than wackelist or anything else.

Buy a used annual or EU new car with warranty

A year-old car is a used car that is sold within the first 12 months of initial registration and thus still has the original manufacturer’s warranty. Often these new vehicles are bought by factory employees at favorable conditions, and then are resold within 12 months.

Another possibility to buy even a brand new car for cheap is a EU new car. A big advantage of this variant is that you can usually choose the equipment, the engine and manual or automatic transmission yourself and really get your desired new vehicle.

Vehicle check when buying a used car:

Here is a 40 point checklist for used cars as a PDF to print out.

in my career, i have never seen a car that was older than 3 years and did not have a single defect, even if it was minor! So do the checklist conscientiously, -it is YOUR MONEY! Write down all defects found and calculate the repair costs!
You can download this used car checklist as a PDF file -free of charge-, print it out and take it with you when you buy your car. So do not forget to check any points.
On the PDF list are a few more points than here on the website, as well as fields to enter the vehicle data. Experience shows that after the 5. vehicle inspection no longer the details, defects and equipment of the various vehicles in mind and can poorly compare.
Therefore print out the 4 page checklist several times and take it with you.

  1. Is the seller identical with the owner in the vehicle registration certificate (registration certificate part II)?? If not why? Is there a consent to sell? (CAUTION!)
  2. ask for accident or pre-damage (ask for written confirmation in any case)
  3. Vote year of construction, mileage u. Technical data to match the offer?
  4. Is the chassis number in the registration certificate on the nameplate u. Body identical?
  5. Is special accessories, (wide tires, spoiler, sport steering wheel etc.).) registered, respectively. Do you have ABE’s?
  6. Are the entries in the service book u. Invoices KM-readings plausible? get HU/AU reports u. give invoices (service booklets can be bought easily)

On the vehicle

  1. Body for damage, rust u. check paint damage
  2. Check paint carefully, -has something been repainted? (recognizable by orange skin, dust inclusions badly taped u. Some overpainted components)
  3. Doors, hoods check for correct fit (all distances must be straight -not V-shaped)
  4. Check windows for stone chips u. check scratches (can be very expensive)
  5. Tires u. Check rims for wear and tear. Check damages (one side worn out)? Fzg. Must be measured! Dents in rims?)
  6. Check tire age by 4 digit DOT number (year of manufacture: 1).U.2. digit = calendar week, 2.U.3. = year z.B. DOT 4706 = year 47.week in 2006)
  7. Check headlights, rear light lenses for damage (headlight range control -height adjustment- check, expensive!)

On the vehicle under the hood

  1. check engine, transmission for leaks -oil, u. check water (especially if it looks like it has been leaked, why would anyone wash the engine if everything is tight)?)
  2. Pull oil dipstick, is there a brown emulsion instead of oil on the dipstick? An emulsion is brown slime = water in the oil ev. Cylinder head gasket defective, or cylinder head cracked. Very expensive, -finger off! See picture on the right.
  3. brake fluid and. Check coolant level (too low indicates brake pad wear). leaks)
  4. Open the coolant expansion tank, there are oil eyes floating on the coolant? -see point 15
  5. change intervals for the timing belt observed? (sticker in engine compartment or invoice, ev. Very expensive)
  6. Check vehicle for water ingress. -water marks on the headliner, under the floor mats, spare wheel well
  7. Check the function of the electrical system. -heater fan all stages, rear wiper u. Front, lighting, dashboard lighting, etc.
  8. check optional accessories. -electrical. window regulator, sunroof, outside mirrors, seat adjustment, air conditioning etc.
  9. Check radio, navigation system. -radiopass present? Navi-software older than 3 years? Almost unusable!
  10. Can the mileage lt. Tune speedometer? (at 30.000km the seats or pedal rubbers can not be worn out yet)

Test drive

  1. Do not buy a car without a test drive! (if the car is not registered, get red numbers.)
  2. Do you drive close to the maximum speed. Check engine performance, display of all fittings
  3. Pay attention to unusual noises (wheel bearings, gearbox, etc.).)
  4. Does the steering wheel wobble when driving? (tires need balancing or are defective)
  5. Brake hard. Now wobbles the steering wheel? (brake discs and/or brake drums have a knock)
  6. Does the vehicle. When braking left/right? (brake system not in order)
  7. Pull the handbrake carefully while driving (listen for vibrations, noises)
  8. Does the car run. When steering wheel is released to one side (axle geometry must be measured, or tires not i.O., or brake is stuck)
  9. Perform load change, d.H. Suddenly give gas and then get off the pedal (clacking sounds to be heard? Indicates engine, transmission suspension, or something worn out in the drivetrain)
  10. Check clutch. -do all gears go in without noise?
  11. Test the clutch: apply the handbrake firmly, accelerate a little, then engage 4 gear u. let the clutch come the engine must stop
  12. Check automatic transmission. -shifts smoothly? Kick down test. -when full throttle is applied, the transmission shifts down a gear? *not for continuously variable automatic transmission*

Here is the 40 point checklist used car purchase as a PDF to print out.

The price negotiation when buying a used car

NEVER pay the asking price! With the defects found, you have an excellent argumentation to reduce the purchase price! Calculate the defects written down and subtract the total from the estimated purchase price. do not calculate too tightly, in case of doubt always calculate with the most expensive one! Don’t forget to include the mileage and the number of previous owners in the calculation. At the ev. Haggling and negotiating is then everyone again all alone!

The purchase contract

leasing contracts

The car insurance

No consumer magazine without it being reported that yet another faithful premium-paying policyholder, is to be cheated out of the benefits to which he is entitled. The palaces also come from somewhere and must be financed! Compare prices before signing a contract! Fax or write an e-mail requesting a quote for. It is important for the preparation of the offer that you send a copy of the vehicle registration certificate and indicate the desired type of insurance. If you do not want to change your previous expensive insurance, present the cheaper offer of the competition to the agent. He will go down with the price! don’t get involved with the different benefits, what counts is: the insurance benefits YOU want! And THAT’S just what someone else offers at a lower price.

One differentiates with the auto-insurance between:

Liability insurance:
it covers the damage caused by the vehicle to others. The only compulsory insurance that every car on the road must have!
The fully comprehensive insurance:
this covers damage to your own vehicle in case of accidental damage. As a rule, you will then have to pay a deductible. For newer cars it makes sense.
The partial coverage insurance:
it covers burglary damage, glass breakage, fire damage and theft from your own vehicle. With or without deductible. passenger accident insurance:
one of the completely useless insurances, which are gladly whipped up, in order to finance the palaces of the insurance companies. The passengers in your car are already insured in the event of damage, with the liability insurance.

Online insurance comparisons are practical – but be careful

Just use the insurance comparisons online, it is convenient and works well. But beware: only reputable providers (usually consumer protection sites, or major newspapers) have a list, with the insurance to be compared to each other visible! Basically it must be clear: – HOW MANY insurances are compared with each other – WHICH insurances are compared with each other. Without these two details, insurance comparisons are absolutely worthless.

By the way, this does not only apply to car liability insurance, but to all insurances! You will otherwise be comparing between a meager 3 insurances where the operator gets the most commission on a deal, -but you certainly won’t get the cheapest insurance available to you!

insurance comparison tips
insurance companies are not social institutions that like to help people in need. insurance companies are hard-headed economic enterprises with the goal: profit maximization!
Every claim settlement is a profit reduction. So, of course, insurance companies strive to keep legitimate claims as low as possible in the event of damage. In particular, an insurance company from Coburg is known in the automotive industry for constantly reducing invoices for partial coverage damage, or in the case of accident damage, not recognizing expert opinions from independent experts.

Only when a claim occurs, it turns out whether the insurance unbureaucratic and quickly settles the claim, or countless letters are necessary to get the damage fully replaced, -if at all.

therefore, do not only inform yourself about the respective insurer in online insurance comparisons or at reputable major service providers (consumer advice centers or stiftung warentest), but also go in search of the opinion of others in the relevant product rating and test portals on the internet. Here consumers can read valuable experience reports from consumers and get a good help in choosing the right car insurance.

Tips and advice on buying a motorhome or caravan

As far as checking the technology and condition of a motorhome or caravan is concerned, the same checkpoints as above apply. In particular, it is important to ensure that the motorhome has a green environmental sticker. The retrofitting of a particulate filter is usually very expensive or often not possible at all.

Water causes the most damage!
Check all seals and the function of the windows, hatches and doors. Often the -through strong sunlight- brittle and cracked. Are there any traces of water on the inside? also check the roof angles and corners carefully for damage. Any small external damage may have caused water ingress.

Water ingress is the biggest GAU in a motorhome or caravan. Caravan!
Often there is hardly anything to see inside, but behind the fairings everything is moldy. Therefore, be sure to check for musty rotting odor! Open all cabinets and inspect for water stains, discoloration and odor. Do not forget the storage compartments. In case of doubt, it makes sense to remove the interior trim. Water damage can be incredibly expensive! If the seller has nothing to hide, he will not have a problem if a fairing is removed. Most caravan, motorhome workshops employ a carpenter, -not without reason.

Test gas equipment
is there a valid gas inspection certificate for the refrigerator, stove or heating system?? All devices must be checked for function.

The valuation of a caravan or motorhome
this goes -as so often- best on the internet. There are a lot of sales portals and some are specialized in the offers of caravans and motorhomes. Many caravans, motorhomes change their owners in germany. Germany is the largest market for caravans and motorhomes and it continues to grow. In the sales portals you can easily find out the average value of the different manufacturers and years of construction. So you can distinguish between an overpriced offer and a cheap one.
Tip! In this caravan, motorhome industry, the prices are the cheapest in the fall or. Winter!

Still questions about these topics? Ask your questions in our car forum.

Most pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Used cars like sand on the sea

buying a used car

A broken coil spring often makes the vehicle bump on uneven ground

Broken coil spring

Easy to see and also hear if the brake pads are already on iron

Check brake pads for iron, brake disc defective

The brake disc from behind.
Watch out for thick rust and ruffles

Brake disc rust edge, grooves

Defective axle boot the grease leaks out.
A short bick under the car reveals it, often there are also grease splashes on the fender to see

Defective axle boot

Worn brake pads

Worn brake pads

Brake pads comparison old and new
the thickness of the brake pads
can often by the rim with
a lamp to be checked

Brake pads in comparison

Defective pre-silencer
easily recognized by the russ on the leakage

Defective pre-silencer

Cracked porous

cracked porous brake hose

If such rust is already to be seen as here at a wishbone, is with security the bearing

Rust comes out of the bearing

If there is an emulsion on the oil dipstick and under the oil filler cap, there is expensive engine damage

Head gasket or cylinder head defective

Checklist car purchase
checklist car purchase page 1

Used car checklist page 1

Checklist car purchase page 2

Used car checklist page 2

Checklist car purchase page 3

Used car checklist page 3

Underbody and exhaust oily from the airstream, due to an oil leak in the engine

Oiled underbody

Timing belt with water pump
change interval adhered to?

timing belt

White highlighted DOT nr.
Here: 29. week 2001


Up to the tissue worn tires


Completely worn clutch,
even the coating
solved. A clutch so defective
falls during the test drive
immediately on


Handbrake cable in disintegration -split

spliced brake cable in the guide

A luminous control light
can be very expensive

Engine control light

From the outside hardly anything was to be seen.
Inside the floor is dented.
Also pay attention to small damages!

Mercedes floor

Eyes on when buying a caravan 😉


There is much to consider when buying a motorhome


MKL lights! Misfiring cylinder
2 found! Error code P0302

Zuendaussetzer 2nd cylinder found

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