You need to be cautious and have your wits about you when buying and viewing a used car. There is a bit more risk involved in buying a used car and that car will come with a history and you need to be vigilant that i is in a roadworthy condition and don’t get scammed out of your hard-earned cash.
Don’t fret though as listed below is your go-to guide on what to look out for and check when viewing and test driving a used car.
First of all, before you ever view the car get a full car history check on that car. There tonnes of options available here such as Cazana.
The Cazana history check gives you a valuation for the car, its legal status, if it has ever been written off, it’s MOT history, the running costs of the car and the economy & environmental data for that car.
All of this data is presented to you in an easy to follow timeline and it is a good idea to print it off and take it with you when viewing the car. That way you can spot and check for any discrepancies.
Ask to view the documents and pay particular attention to the V5C registration document. Is the car taxed if you buy the vehicle will you be able to drive it home?
Check that the name in the logbook matches the seller name? If not, then why are they selling it? If you buy a stolen vehicle you run the risk of it being repossessed and you will also lose out on any money you have paid for it.
Check that all the important details such as the VIN number, registration plate and colour match the car you are viewing.
Don’t forget to ask about MOT and if any service repairs have been done recently ask to see the receipts.
It is vital to make sure the car has no outstanding finance on it! If it does hen that vehicle still technically belongs to the financial company. Here again, you will then risk it being repossessed by the financial company and lose the money you paid for it.
- Viewing the car
Always view the car during the day and preferably when it’s not raining as this will make the car harder to inspect and might cover up any external damage.
When viewing the car don’t just check the exterior also thoroughly inspect the interior. Check that all seat belts and locks are working correctly. The windows wind up and down without any hassle and the doors open and close again without difficulty.
Check that the tyres have adequate tread depth and that windscreen wipers don’t have any pieces missing and arE in good working condition. Check all windows and mirrors for any cracks.
Next check all the lightbulbs are in perfect working order and not dimming or broken. Make sure the license plate hasn’t been tampered with and is well stuck on.
- Test drive
When you are satisfied with your inspection, ask for a test drive. It is a good idea to take someone with you either a family member or friend. Make sure you have the relevant insurance needed to test drive the car or the seller may not permit it.
While driving you will need to listen out for any strange noises coming from the engine. Check the horn is working and that all the lights in the dashboard are doing what they are supposed.
Make sure the handbrake is working effectively and same applies to the brakes.
All of this can be a little overwhelming and that is why you should bring a companion with you to help you decide and watch out or things you may miss in the moment.