Buying a 2nd hand Toyota Vios? Read this first.

Buying a 2nd hand Toyota Vios? Read this first.

Updated on February 22 2024

Buying a second hand Toyota Vios? Read this first.

The Toyota Vios is one of, if not the most popular vehicles sold in the Philippines. Ever since its introduction in the market in the early 2000’s the Vios has dominated the segment and the whole market in general. In fact, in 2022 the Vios reigned supreme and was the most sold car for the year.

It’s no surprise because of the Vios’ practicality, reliability, efficiency, and affordability. The nameplate's success has translated to the Vios also being popular in the 2nd hand car buying market.

Despite its reputation for being solid, just like any other car if not taken care of properly, it deteriorates. So if you’re in the market for a 2nd hand Vios, here are the things you should check first.

Exterior Condition

Let’s start with the first thing we notice; the looks. At first glance, most vehicles (especially if clean) appear to be in tip-top condition. To bypass this, buyers should closely inspect the paint of each panel if the color matches. As much as possible, all panels should be aligned with no panel gaps present.

This next tip may seem nitpicky to most, but it’s probably a good idea to check if all the badges of the vehicle are still there. Not to mention the brand logos and other exterior trims that were placed on the car when it rolled off the production line. While not definitive, misaligned or crooked badges could mean that the vehicle was involved in an accident, and needed a repaint – plus reapplication of badges.

Parts age and wear

Next up is to check out the age of the tires placed on the vehicle. The Tire Date Code is included on your tire’s sidewall and is included in a series of numbers known as the DOT Code also known as the Tire Identification Number (TIN). The final four digits, for any tire made since the year 2000, is the tire date code and represents the date of manufacture. The first two of these digits designate the week of the year the tires were made, and the final two digits are the last two digits of the year of manufacture.  (For example, 1219 means the twelfth week of 2019.)

Tires generally last up to 5-7 years depending on vehicle usage, however, no matter how new or old the tires are, it’s important to also see if the treadwear is still intact or faded. Faded treadwear could potentially be dangerous for further road usage.

Also don’t forget to check the spare tire, which can be found in the trunk area below the carpet. Apart from the spare tire, tools such as a tire jack can be found in a panel located in the trunk as well.

Interior Condition

We spend 100% of our time inside the car so the interior condition is vital to any ownership experience. Buyers should check all openable panels such as the glovebox, center console, and cup holders just to be sure all can open properly. The next interior item to be checked is the condition of the panels and parts such as the door cards, dashboard, and seats as these items could be costly to replace or repair.

Electronic and mechanical features check

This part is crucial, any faults in the electronic system of the vehicle could compromise the performance and safety. Before heading inside the vehicle, open the hood and check if the exposed wires in the engine bay are still in one piece. Watch out for melted, or cut up wires and check if the battery terminal is corroded.

Once inside the vehicle, turn the key until the indicator lights turn on in the instrument cluster. After which, start the vehicle to see if the indicator light disappears. Should any of the lights stay on, the vehicle might have either a mechanical or electronic feature. Take note though the handbrake or seatbelt signs normally stay on, and aren’t a cause for panic.

Don’t also forget to check if all the lights work (headlights, taillights, interior lights) and turn on the radio to find out if all the speakers and features of the infotainment are still functioning properly.

Take it out for a spin

As important as all the items above are, nothing beats the good old test drive check. If possible take the vehicle for a short spin to truly deduce if the car is mechanically sound. Listen for weird or unusual sounds from the suspension over bumps, from the brakes when trying to come to a halt, and from the engine at speed and while idling.

Other common issues found in the Vios

There are times wherein the very fuel efficient Vios may seem thirstier than advertised. If that’s the case buyers should check things like the spark plug, oxygen sensors, and air filters just to be sure the engine is at peak performance for fuel efficiency.

Next up is the radiator, just to be safe it would be a good idea to probably flush and replace the coolant. After all, one of the worst things an engine can do is overheating. There’s also a possibility that the clutch in the Vios will need to be replaced (for manuals) or in the CVT’s case just like an automatic there’s such a thing as CVT oil which will ensure smooth shifting.


In truth, there are a lot of things to take into account when looking at buying a 2nd hand Vios. The above mentioned items are just some of the things that can be checked by almost anybody, any other in depth checks are best done by a true mechanic. Also, any prospective 2nd hand car buyers should expect that these vehicles won’t be in perfect or 10/10 condition because they are used vehicles after all.

Should you want Toyota Vios at used car prices, but with nothing to worry about anymore, consider Automart Certified Vehicles. These vehicles have undergone a 176-point checklist to restore them to like-new condition. We currently carry a number of Toyota Vioses in various price points and mileage to cater to your needs. They also come with a 1 year, or 10,000 Km warranty, and a 5-day, money back guarantee.