Tips on the second-hand car inspection process and buying the right car for you


Aussies’ love affair with second-hand cars has had a huge resurgence following the pandemic, but many still find the inspection process nerve-wracking and confusing.

New research from mycar Tyre & Auto reveals nearly two-thirds (64%) of Australians are planning on buying a car in the next two years and, due to the financial constraints of the past year, over half (53%) are turning to second-hand options.

When it comes to the purchasing process, Australians are feeling more overwhelmed than ever, with 83% of second-hand car buyers concerned the car will have a mechanical fault.

To help prospective buyers along the way, mycar has developed the ‘Sense Check’ inspection guide, instructing Aussies on what to look for, feel for, listen out for and even what certain smells could indicate when buying second-hand.

During the day, inspect the used cars in Georgetown SC panels to see that they are even and not painted, misaligned, damaged or rusty.

Key tips include:

  1. Organise an inspection in the daylight: During the day, inspect the panels to see that they are even and not painted, misaligned, damaged or rusty. If you can’t inspect during daylight, bring a torch.
  2. Inspect the outside: See if there’s any hail damage and also feel for any bubbling in the paint.
  3. Jump in the driver’s seat: See if the temp gauge rises when you turn the ignition on (but don’t start the engine just yet). If it rises, then it’s probably too hot to check the engine.
  4. Pop the bonnet: Check the oil for any milky colour residue, which indicates moisture (which is not good). Also feel the texture of the oil to make sure it feels smooth between your fingers.
  5. Start the engine: Look at the dashboard to check the oil light turns on immediately.
  6. Go for a test drive: Now for the fun part! Listen for any strange noises when you apply the brakes, and feel for any surging or vibrations.

For more tips on what to look out for when shopping for a second-hand car, visit the mycar ‘Sense Check’ inspection guide at or speak to a friendly technician at one of mycar’s 265+ stores.