Top 10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Secondhand Car

Acquiring secondhand cars requires more than just visiting a dealership and making a purchase. It entails thorough research and inquiry. Before setting foot in a dealership, it’s crucial to conduct research on the make and model of car you desire. 

Once you’re at the dealership, it’s essential to ask the salesperson some vital questions to ensure you make an informed decision while buying used cars.

The following are key questions to ask when you buy a used car and the reasons why they are important.

Q 1: Can you provide information about the car’s maintenance history? 

It is important to know if the car has been serviced regularly by a dealership, an independent mechanic. It would be helpful to know if the car has been kept up-to-date with its maintenance schedule. The seller may even be able to introduce you to the mechanic who has worked on the car, providing you with more in-depth details about the car’s maintenance history.

Q 2: Are there any available service records for the car? 

It would be ideal if the seller can provide you with all the records in a folder for you to review. This can be an indication that the seller has been diligent in maintaining the car and has kept a record of it.

Q 3: Is it involved in any accidents?

It is important to determine if a vehicle has been involved in any accidents, as this information may be reported on a vehicle history report. 

However, it is important to note that not all accidents may be reported on these reports. Therefore, it is recommended to inquire about the specifics of any accidents, including the extent of damage and the methods used to repair it.

Q 4: Which features don’t function as they ought to?

When purchasing older 2nd hand cars, it is important to be aware that there may be certain features or systems that do not function as intended. 

These may include non-essential features such as a CD player or entertainment system, or more critical systems such as air conditioning or heating. It is important to thoroughly inspect the vehicle and test all its features to identify any potential issues before making a purchase.

Q 5: Can I drive this car across states without any problems?

A question to consider asking the seller when looking at a used car is whether there is any reason they would not feel comfortable driving the vehicle cross states without any issues. 

This question can provide insight into the seller’s confidence in the car’s overall condition, and if they hesitate or mention any potential issues, it may be worth further investigating. A positive response can be seen as a vote of confidence in the vehicle’s reliability.

Q 6: What was the previous ownership?

When looking at a used car, it is important to inquire about the ownership history of the vehicle. This includes identifying the current owner and how many previous owners the car has had. 

Additionally, it is important to find out how long the current owner has had the car and if they have any information on the previous owners. A short period of ownership by the current owner may indicate potential issues with the vehicle. It may also be helpful to ask about the original owner and if the vehicle has any service records or if it has been kept in a garage. 

Q 7: What is the reason for selling the car? 

The answer to this question may give you an idea about the seller’s motivation and help you decide whether to trust the seller before you buy used cars.

Q 8: What is the basis for the asking price? 

Understanding the seller’s reasoning behind the price they are asking for can give you an idea of whether the price is fair and reasonable. It is also important to know if the seller has done any research or used pricing guides to determine the price, in order to confirm that the asking price is accurate.

Q 9: Can I arrange for an independent mechanic to inspect the vehicle? 

This question is important to ask when you are serious and about purchasing a used car. A trustworthy seller will not have any objections to this request, and it can give you peace of mind about the car’s condition. If the seller is hesitant or unwilling to allow for an independent inspection, it can be a red flag about the car’s condition or history.

Q 10: Can you provide the car’s title at the time of purchase? 

Knowing the status of the title early on can help you determine if the car is worth the extra time and effort in case the seller does not have the title or if there is an outstanding loan on the vehicle. It is important to ask this question when considering purchasing a used car.


As of 2019, the worldwide market for pre-owned vehicles was estimated at $828.24 billion and is predicted to grow to reach $1,355.15 billion by 2027. 

While buying a used car these are some great questions to ask, as they can provide valuable information about the car’s condition, history, and ownership. 

Some of the top questions to ask include: the car’s service history, any accidents or damage the car has been in, the condition of the tires and brakes, how many previous owners the car has had, and any issues or problems the seller is aware of. Asking these questions and thoroughly inspecting the car can help you make an informed decision when buying a used vehicle.