Ask Owner of Car
Generally, a car owner maintains a file carrying history of all repairs that the car has undergone, including the history that the previous owner had with them, if you are buying a car that has changed more than one hands. A good owner will always keep record of repairs and let you know even before you ask for the record. Nevertheless, it is your right to ask for the repair record.
Ask for Vehicles Record
You should also ask for the car's record. This will include the distance it has covered and after getting the record from the owner, inspect the odometer to verify it. Although it is not possible to reverse the numbers on odometer, still check for clarification. You can also ask a mechanic to see if the metre is tempered with.
Vehicle registration is another way to know the history of a used car that you intend to buy. You can check it online. There are certain websites that hold the data of used vehicles, which they source through different sources. For example, CARFAX gathers data by using VIN number of the vehicle. It is always handy to look for the information online.
Checking With Garage
If you are buying a used car from a private owner, ask them for the maintenance record, and if somehow they do not hold it, ask them about the garage they have been taking their vehicle to. It is better to check with that garage to know the maintenance history of the car before buying it. If you are buying a used car from a car dealer, you are entitled to get the car maintenance record. Generally, dealers display the car maintenance history on front screen of the car so that potential owner can get aware of it.
Try to buy the car from its first owner, and if a car has changed too many hands and without a maintenance history, avoid buying. It is likely that you are not aware of the future maintenance it will need, as some cars face certain problems regularly and need frequent inspection and maintenance.