371 W. Patrick St. | Frederick, MD 21701

371 W. Patrick St. | Frederick, MD 21701

Frederick, MD Checklist for Buying a Car

Checklist for Buying a Car

Checklist for Buying a Car

Before you hop in a new car, you want to make sure you’re buying the right one. A car’s exterior can look good, but once you start driving it, the car can have a variety of problems. One way to avoid buying a bad car is by conducting a thorough inspection before buying. Here’s what you should look for:

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A Clear Title

The title to the car you plan on purchasing should be clear, meaning that the car has not been designated a total loss. In most cases, dealers and private sellers are required by law to disclose branded titled cars. These cars are less likely to be financed, and the likelihood of needing immediate repairs is greater than non-branded titled cars. 


Detailed Maintenance Records

Ask the seller if they have maintenance records for the car. These records will indicate if the previous owner took good care of the car. If they didn’t take good care of the car, it means there is a likelihood of the car needing immediate repairs. If the seller doesn’t have maintenance records available, you will need to pay closer attention to the powertrain when you inspect the car. 



Inspecting the vehicle’s exterior means more than looking at its paint job. It also means inspecting the wheels and tires, body panel gaps, and lights. All of these things are essential for a safe car. The car’s tires are responsible for making contact with the ground and ensuring the vehicle drives smoothly. Body panel gaps can indicate that there has been some sort of collision that wasn’t reported. Lastly, lights are important for being able to see when it gets dark.



A car’s interior condition can tell you a lot about its life. How the car smells, the wear, and how features operate are all things you should look at before deciding to purchase a car. Inspect things like:

  • Windows
  • Drive Controls 
  • Instruments
  • Odors


Engine and Drivetrain

The car’s engine and drivetrain are the most important things to inspect when buying a car. You want to make sure the car has enough fluids, isn’t making any noises, and no warning lights are on. This part of the inspection is best left to an experienced mechanic since they know exactly what to look for. 


Get a Pre Buy Car Inspection from Ken’s Automotive and Transmissions 

Don’t know what to look for? Want to make sure that you’re buying a decent car? Let the automotive experts at Ken’s Automotive and Transmissions help! We offer pre-buy car inspections so you can rest assured that you’re buying the right car. Give us a call at (301) 662-5100 today, or click here to schedule an appointment.