You can either buy from private owner or a used car dealer. A certified used car dealer means only what the company wants it to mean. No matter what the dealer tells you take it to your own mechanic. If you have less time and have not enough knowledge about the mechanics it is always better to buy from a certified used car dealer.
Selecting a second hand car is a very time consuming process. If you are in a rush it is difficult to go through all of these steps. Most important thing you should look at is where the vehicle is from and get it checked with your mechanic. Budget You should have an idea of the amount that you can afford to spend on buying the car before starting the car buying process. While deciding about the budget, also account for the insurance and other running costs.
Always have in mind that used cars have higher maintenance cost as compared to new cars. Finding the right car model Do homework. Find out about the car you are considering. Check out any known mechanical problems with that model. Check out the current second hand values for this model. Get your local paper and look up the prices of similar cars.
Seek professional help : Go with a mechanic to select the car. Let him thoroughly inspect the car. Let him get under the car. See if there is a gaping rusted out hole in something, or if there are leaks that should be addressed. Test everything, all windows, doors, trunk, Seat adjustments, Seat belts, Lights, Wipers, Turn signals, Dash functions, Speedometers etc.
Inspect the chassis of the car : The bodyline will give you an indication whether the car has met with an accident or not. Look for signs of repainting. Check whether all the body parts are of same color. Open the trunk, hood and doors. Look for paint specs or over spray-a telltale sign that all or part of the vehicle has been repainted. Check the condition of battery.