Where & How to Find a Manual for a Used Car

When purchasing a new car from its manufacturer, an owner’s manual will come with it to guide your use and care of it. Sometimes, these manuals will also exist with pre-owned cars, though only sometimes.

Owner’s manuals might seem optional initially. Still, when an indicator light illuminates, or you need to know which oil type to put into your car, they quickly become indispensable tools. Drivers can gain valuable knowledge and safety advice from their owner’s manuals for peace of mind while operating their vehicles or for assistance if they find themselves broken down.

Does your vehicle come equipped with an online owner’s manual?

If you need an owner’s manual, an easy and quick solution may be to search online. Many automakers have started offering free versions of their vehicle owner’s manuals online to reduce paper usage while giving customers access to an invaluable tool without cost or the risk of misplacing or damaging it and without wait time!

How can I locate an Owner’s Manual for my used car?

Unfortunately, if you purchased a used car without its manual included, chances are it didn’t come with one either. Luckily, though, there’s no need to panic; there are multiple methods available to you that can help you find one for your used car and give you peace of mind when driving your ride.

Method 1 of 3: Search online manuals.

Step 1: Search Online Manual Databases. Almost every car manual can be found online; Vehicle History and Owner’s Manuals for Cars both offer free PDF versions of owner’s manuals that you should be able to find with a simple Google search.

Step 2: Browse manufacturer websites. Many manufacturer sites also provide free online owner’s manuals; to gain access, however, you may have to log in or enter your vehicle identification number (VIN).

One downside of online manuals is their limited accessibility compared to traditional owner’s manuals; an online manual cannot fit easily in your glove compartment and may not provide as much help when an unexpected vehicle issue arises while driving.

Online manuals can be an ideal resource for answering vehicle-related inquiries at home, plus you can print them and keep a hard copy in the glove compartment if desired.

Method 2 of 3: Contact the Manufacturer directly for a User Manual

Step 1: Contact a dealership. If you would like a physical copy of the owner’s manual for your used car, the best action would be to contact its manufacturer and ask them for one – most automakers are more than willing to comply and provide one. However, you may need to pay a small fee in return.

Start by contacting your local dealership and inquiring whether any owner’s manuals are in stock; if your car is relatively new, the dealership may already have them; otherwise, they may need to order one from another source.

Step 2: Reach Out to the Manufacturer. If calling the dealership is unsuccessful, try contacting a customer service representative at the manufacturer and ask if they can send you a copy of your owner’s manual.

Method 3 of 3: Order a copy online

Step 1: Search the Owner’s Manual Websites. If your local dealership cannot provide an owner’s manual for your vehicle, chances are it is rare or older than expected and may make finding one harder, though still possible.

If this is the case for you, your best option may be to search online for copies for sale.

Here, we explore several such avenues and ensure you can locate all the information needed.

Manufacturer’s Website

One of the most reliable sources is a car manufacturer’s official website. Manufacturers frequently offer digital versions of manuals for different models that you can directly download onto your computer from this source. Visit this official site, navigate to “Owner’s” or “Support,” enter your car details into an entry field, and find your manual(s).

In the world of car manuals, many websites stand out as exceptional sources, and Autoguidegalaxy is one of them. In addition to offering visitors free access to this extensive library of car manuals covering a wide range of makes and models, their user-friendly interface allows easy navigation of more than 100,000 manuals in 16 languages.


eBay can be an invaluable source for those who prefer hard copies or enjoy collecting automotive literature. Many sellers offer physical copies at competitive prices; just be mindful that availability may depend on your car model; to find exactly the manual that fits, be specific in your search to locate it quickly.

Library Services

Local libraries may provide unexpected sources for car manuals. Some libraries provide access to digital databases or physical manuals you can borrow – check with your library today to see if they provide automotive resources. 

Automotive Communities Online

Online automotive forums and communities can be an invaluable source of shared knowledge, with passionate car owners sharing manuals and guides. Websites like Reddit or, dedicated forums for certain car brands or general automotive discussion boards offer access to individuals willing to share knowledge or guide you toward resources for further investigation.