Things to Look Out for When Buying a Used Car

Posted by at 21 February 2017, at 21 : 50 PM

Things to Look Out for When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can be a confusing process, especially if you’re buying your first car, or simply don’t know what you should be looking out for. We’ve compiled a list of three important things that you should remember to check when you’re buying a used car.

1. Documents

If you’re buying from a dealership or a private seller, remember to ask if the car comes with all the relevant documentation.

Check all the details on the V5C document – the registered keeper should match the seller’s details and you should make sure that all of the information is accurate before buying. This includes the vehicle identification number (VIN), engine number and colour.

Also, do they have full records of their service and MOT history? If not, you may be able to find some of it online on the website with the vehicle make and registration number. Having this information will give you a better idea of the vehicle’s condition and whether it’s been well looked after by its previous owners.

2. Mileage

Perhaps obvious, but a car that has done fewer miles will be likely to have more years left in it. One of the main scams that buyers should be aware of is odometer fraud, also known as clocking. Fraudsters can alter the mileage on the car to reduce the number of miles that shows on the odometer. There are some tell-tale signs to check if it’s been tampered with:

• Is the mileage consistent with the age and appearance of the car?
• Take a look at the MOT certificate and service documents to see if the miles match up.
• If in doubt, check the car’s history online to find evidence of previous mileage recorded.

3. Test Drive

If you’re buying from a local dealer, such as AA Cars, they will have performed checks for you to make sure the car is safe to drive. However, there are a few things that you can check during a test drive of the vehicle – something that’s vital if you’re buying from a private seller. A test drive is the best way for you to tell if the foot and hand brakes are working properly, if the car has effective steering and if all the lights and electrics are in full working order.

Don’t get caught out when you’re buying a used car. Whether you’re buying from a private seller or a dealership, you should follow our three tips to make sure you’re spending your money on a used car that you can rely on.

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