Things to Look Out For When Buying a Used Car

Posted by at 22 May 2017, at 22 : 19 PM

Things to Look Out For When Buying a Used Car

The second-hand car market is an enormous one filled with hidden gems, but it is also very difficult to navigate with a lot of scams, vehicles with hidden histories and bad deals. It can be daunting to shop for a used car, but here are a few things to look out for to make it a straightforward process:

Reliable Dealer

Perhaps most important is where you get the car from. A reputable used-car dealer like Motorpoint will be a good place to start and help you avoid scams, but if you are looking at a private seller, then, be extra vigilant and always meet the dealer and view the car in person.


Always view the car in good light and look out for mismatched panels and signs of crash damage, as well as rust. A few dents and dings are ok, but any more than this and you should negotiate price off.

Wheels & Tyres

Look out for large dents or bends in each wheel as this could result in costly re-pairs/replacements. Carefully examine each tyre (including the spare) for splits, bulges and cuts. Uneven wear could indicate poor wheel alignment.


Any leaks will need to be addressed so ask for money off, insist that the seller gets the repairs or walk away from the deal. You should also start the engine and look for exhaust smoke (a little is ok to begin with).


Check that all of the doors open and close, that all of the light works and all of the electronics and equipment inside operates normally. It is ok for the inside to be a little lived in, but ask for money off if there are tears in the upholstery or burns in the seat.

Test Drive

Always take the car for a test drive to ensure that it performs well and that you enjoy driving it – there are guides for how to take a car for a test drive online.

Documentation and Checks

Always ask to see the car documentation and get a vehicle history check carried out. This will ensure that there is no hidden past and that the automobile is safe to purchase.

Check Online

Finally, check online before making a purchase to see if there are any known problems with the automobile that you are looking at as sometimes issues do not present themselves until down the line.

It can be daunting to shop for a used car and particularly with so many horror stories, but when you know what to look out for and are careful with your checks, you should be able to find what you are looking for.

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