Bought a used car? Here are 9 things you must do after completing the purchase.

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Purchasing a secondhand car is an excellent and cost-effective option to obtain the vehicle of your dreams. But what happens when you acquire a used car?

A used car, unlike a new car, does not arrive fully assembled and ready to drive. There’s a lot to accomplish before it’s ready to go on the road.

If you’re not sure what to do after buying a secondhand car, this article is for you. Continue reading!

Five Steps to Buying a Used Car 

  • Transfer the Title and Register the Vehicle.
  •  Insure Your New Vehicle.
  • The Owner’s Manual should be read.
  • Resolve any remaining issues.
  • Engage a Mechanic to Check the Car.

Registration and Transfer

You won’t be the legal owner of the car until you have all of the relevant documentation in your name. You should transfer ownership of the car to you before claiming it as yours.

When buying a used car from a private seller, what should you do?

It is recommended that you obtain a clear car title from the vendor. The title serves as confirmation that the vehicle belongs to you. In addition, request any previous owners’ official statements showing that they have abandoned ownership of the vehicle.

Apply for a Car Insurance

The car is officially yours, but hold on. You can’t drive it without insurance. It is advisable to get car insurance from a trusted insurance provider of your choice before you can drive it. Most car dealerships will guide you through the insurance application process. 

In case you bought your car from a private seller, make sure to arrange for the car’s insurance. With so many insurance providers available, you must carry out extensive research to settle on the right policy for your vehicle. 

Once you pay for the policy, your provider will offer you proof of insurance that you should stick on your car’s windscreen in the left corner. It is important to note that driving a vehicle without insurance is listed as one of Kenya’s serious traffic offenses.

Read the Owner’s Manual

This is perhaps one of the less exciting steps on the list of what to check when buying a used car, but it is something that everyone should do. The owner’s manual will provide you with a wealth of information that will assist you in properly maintaining your new vehicle. Don’t worry about reading it from cover to cover; but, you should be familiar enough with the handbook to know where some of the more significant items are located, such as maintenance recommendations, service intervals, oil type, tire pressure requirements, and so on.

Here are some essential points to look for in the manual or accompanying brochure.


Instructions for basic operation – Do you have any questions about how the windshield wipers function or how to turn on the automated lights? While the dealership may have demonstrated how to use some of your vehicle’s important features, it’s easy to forget what you learned once you leave the lot. Fill in the blanks with information from your owner’s manual.


Vehicle maintenance – One of the most significant sections in your manual, this section contains an overview of the engine as well as basic maintenance instructions. You’ll learn how to do things like checking the oil, changing the air filter, replacing headlight bulbs, switching windshield wipers, and even how to adjust the headlights. Your manual will also offer a maintenance schedule with items to check on a regular basis as well as when to change parts like the oil, filter, and spark plugs.


Setting up infotainment features – Your handbook will walk you through setting up the features of your vehicle’s infotainment system, from navigation to phone integration. Doing this before you get behind the wheel will help you avoid fumbling with an address or answering a phone call while driving, allowing you to focus on the road.


Warning lights – Understanding the numerous warning lights on your vehicle might be difficult, so have your owner’s manual handy.


Driving suggestions – Your owner’s manual may include driving tips to assist you during the vehicle’s break-in period (typically the first 1,000 miles). You’ll also find a list of excellent driving habits that will help you save money on gas and extend the life of your vehicle.


Roadside emergencies – No one wants to think of being in the middle of nowhere, but they do happen. With instructions for jumpstarting your vehicle, operating the warning lights, and other

critical information to keep you safe if you find yourself on the side of the road, your manual will help you prepare for the unexpected.


What does your warranty cover, and how long does it last? Your owner’s manual explains the terms of your vehicle’s warranty in great detail. You’ll learn how to get warranty servicing, as well as a comprehensive list of parts covered by the guarantee and what isn’t.

Resolve any remaining issues

Here’s hope you gave the car a test drive and then had a trained mechanic inspect it thoroughly to determine if there were any major issues that needed to be addressed. If there were a few of issues discovered but you were still comfortable buying the car and resolving them later, now is the time to have them corrected. One of the finest decisions you can make is to get these repairs done now rather than waiting until you’re stranded on the side of the road. Also, checking to see if the car has any service recalls is usually a smart idea, whether you ask the former owner or a dealership to see if the repairs have been taken care of.

When your used car breaks down, you may not be entitled to a repair or refund in particular circumstances, such as when:

  • When you were informed about a problem before acquiring the car.
  • You (or your mechanic) should have inspected the vehicle and discovered the issue, such as a dent.
  • It was your fault.
  • The problem is caused by regular wear and tear. This indicates that it is normal given the vehicle’s usage (for example, change of tires or brake pads)

Engage a Mechanic to Check the Car

While you should have done a pre-purchase examination before purchasing the automobile, it’s always a good idea to take it to a reputable technician afterward.

When speaking with your mechanic, inquire about the following:

  • Each and every filter
  • All of the liquids
  • The braking system
  • The wheel

This is also an excellent way to screen mechanics. After checking internet reviews, certificates, and warranty information, give the store a spin and trust your instincts. Finding a trustworthy mechanic is critical when purchasing a new vehicle, but keep in mind that some shops specialize in maintenance and repair

Final Thoughts

Buying a used automobile might save you a lot of money, but you should make sure that all of the details are taken care of before hitting the road. Transfer ownership, obtain insurance, obtain license plates, and have a mechanic evaluate the vehicle. You can drive the car with confidence now that this process is complete!

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