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The Ultimate Used Car Inspection Guide

Inspect a used vehicle like a Pro! Everything you need to know - All in one place.

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Seats, Upholstery & Cabin

Inside the car, carefully inspect the seats and upholstery for any tears, rips, stains, or other type of damage. Cabin condition is quite obvious, but use this handy checklist to help you do a thorough inspection:
• Check the driver and passenger seats & to make sure they work in all positions. (Look for rust under the front seats as it could indicate a water problem.)
• Look in the back seat and check that the belts and latches aren’t buried.
• Run your fingers along the sides of the passenger compartment’s ceiling to see if might be separating or bulging anywhere.
• Make sure the seat belts work properly and check the condition. Ragged seatbelts could indicate they’ve been worn in an accident.
• Finally, beware pungent odours – it can be very difficult to get a funky smell out of a used car.

Radio, A/C & Electronics

Turn on the air-conditioning of the car to make sure it is working well. See how the vents work and if they give off any musty odours. Test the Radio / CD, or MP3 player to make sure they all work.
Verify the lights and all the regular or other advanced electronic functions of the car works properly. This might include: the electric windows, sunroof, adjustable seats, sensors for parking, back parking camera and even the fuel-cap release button. (For a car that has an on board computer, pay special attention to the warning lights when you start the car or when you turn the key or press the start button.)


Check that the spare tyre, jack and lug wrench on car and included and fully functional. Also check the spare tyre condition and make sure that it is fully inflated. If it is too worn or flat, have the owner replace it prior to purchase or give you a credit toward replacing it. If there are wheel locks on the particular car’s tyres, make sure the special tool to unlock them is included. It might prove difficult to obtain a replacement if it’s lost.
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