Used Beetles are relatively low end, daily drivers with typically very high total mileage, often in excess of 100,000. At the same time, most 10-plus year old vehicles have had multiple owners and correspondingly vague service records, if any.

The graph above reflects Turbo S models for sale in early 2020 and illustrates the reality of fleet condition: the average mileage is 138,000 based on this sample of 50 vehicles.

Careful inspection of acquisition candidates is therefore essential.

Acquisition checklist

VISUAL INSPECTION
VIN tagCARFAX report, no damage verification
key fobsfunctional operation
seats and seat beltsnote cover wear/soiled, proper operation
interior panels, dash, carpetclean, evidence of routine maintenance
interior mold/mildew/odorsif present, evidence of water damage
headliner water spotsif present, evidence of water damage
under floor mats/carpet conditionno water/corrosion
door rubber seal conditionno broken/brittle/missing seals
body panels, frame alignmentequal gaps, note any rust/corrosion/damage
wheel well conditionflashlight check
underbody sealant damagerequires lift
exhaust system conditionrequires lift
engine dipstick checkoil clean, proper level
engine bay conditionclean, no oil or coolant leaks
IGNITION ON INSPECTION
accessory power onnormal dash illumination
engine startnormal, no CEL
blower fan operationno unusual noise, scraping
power windows, locksnormal operation up/down, lock/unlock
heated seats (if applies)normal operation
air conditioning and heatnormal operation
glove box lightsnormal operation
cigarette lighter/power outlets12v check
hornnormal operation
interior warning indicatorsnormal operation
front and rear exterior lightsnormal operation
luggage compartment lightingnormal operation
turn signalsnormal operation
hazard warning lightsnormal operation
daytime running lightsnormal operation
automatic headlightsnormal operation
windshield washernormal operation
windshield wipersnormal operation
entertainment unit functionsnormal operation
TEST DRIVE
smooth engine idleno unusual sounds
exhaust pipedissipates without white or black smoke
accelerationfreeway entrance to 65mph, no hesitation
brakinghard stop does not pull to left or right
suspensionno significant thump or crash, normal feel
steeringno turning popping sound
transmissionsmooth operation
manual clutch operation (if applies)no gear grinding, no slipping
ODB2 code check (no faults)Ross-Tech VCDS
no fluid leaks, smoke, smellsafter drive, warm engine
no engine bay oil, coolantafter drive, warm engine