Inspecting a New Car’s Exterior and Interior


How to Check Out a New Car Like a Pro

You may not think that you have to inspect a new car, but you’re not doing your due diligence unless you give it a close look before putting your hard-earned money down. Right now, you may be thinking, “What exactly is there to inspect? The car is brand new.”

That’s kind of the point. Because the car is brand new, it should meet a certain checklist of items that only new cars possess. Nine times out of ten, a new car appears exactly as it should. However, there are those rare cases in which something is off about a new car. For clarity, here is a breakdown of all the things that you need to check when viewing new cars for sale in Houston.

#1 – Check the Body

If you’re buying a new car from a dealership, the body of the vehicle should be immaculate. The car should literally not have a scratch on it, and that’s exactly what you need to confirm with your inspection. Get the car into bright sunlight and inspect every inch of the vehicle. If there are nicks and scratches, then that means the car has been damaged during transport or during test drives. Whatever the case may be, point this out to your sales associate so they can remedy the issue.

#2 – Check Every Feature and Add-On Option

New cars come with two sets of features: standard features and optional features. Maybe you tacked on satellite radio or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. or perhaps you paid extra for a full leather interior package. As a customer who’s about to spend several thousands of dollars on a new vehicle, make sure that you have your sales associate take you through all your standard and optional features. If something is missing, now is the time to bring it up.

It’s also worth mentioning that because of the semiconductor chip shortage, some vehicles are being released without certain standard and optional features. The way that many dealerships are handling this is by committing to their customers that those features will be added on at a later date when more chips are available. Make sure that you review this closely and get it in writing.

#3 – Inspect the Interior

If you’ve checked the outside of the car, then you’ll definitely want to check the inside of the car as well. Based upon your trim package, the interior of your vehicle should look a certain way. Make sure all the details of your interior match with the selected trim level. You’ll also want to look for things like defects in the carpeting, headliner, and upholstery. Check all the fabric to ensure that the fit is nice and snug.

#4 – Check Out the Main Interior Features

Although you were probably brought up to speed on all the interior features during your test drive, it’s never a bad idea to check these out one more time as a refresher. Have your sales associate walk you through all the main interior features that you’ll use while driving. This includes things like lights, wipers, stereo system, and other common use features. If you tacked on any optional upgrades (ex: heated seats), now is the time to confirm that those got added on.

#5 – Check the Odometer

It goes without saying that a new car should have very low mileage. That’s because the car should have been used for nothing more than test drives by other potential customers. If you see on the odometer that it is racked up a lot of mileage, you should definitely address this with your sales associate.

#6 – Under the Hood

It’s always a good idea to look under the hood before completing your purchase. Yet again, everything should look immaculate. Have your sales associate walk you through some of the main items under the hood. Some examples include where the engine oil dipstick is located, where the oil goes, and where the wiper fluid goes.

Finding New Cars for Sale Near You

Now that you know how to inspect a new car like a pro, the next step is to kick off your search for the new vehicle you’ve been looking for. You can approach this generally by Googling “new cars for sale near me,” or you can be more specific in your search and use the year, make, and model of vehicle that you have in mind. That should bring up a listing of dealerships in your direct vicinity that have new cars for sale.