Some tips for buying a used car


Even if you know a lot about cars, buying a used car can be a bit of a gamble, so for the majority of us who are not experts it can be a daunting time. Cars are an expensive purchase, and we want to make the right choice, not end up with an unreliable car with problems that will cost us even more money.

Arrange your test drive for a clear bright day. You won’t see the scratches or other bodywork issues properly on a rainy day or in the dark.

If you can, take someone with you. If it’s someone who is knowledgeable about cars then great, but even just another pair of eyes to spot issues is useful.

Of course you must check that all the paperwork is present. All cars need work doing so there should always be some paperwork, MOT certificates, service history or garage receipts for work. If things are missing, then do query the seller as to why. There should also be details of previous keepers of the vehicle. Contacting them could be a wise move, they’ve already long since got rid of the car, so they’ve nothing to hide. You might find out about an expensive long term problem with the car from them.

Problems can be hidden too. Always look under mats and car seat covers. Don’t be embarrassed to rummage around a bit, don’t forget you could be parting with several thousand pounds for this car.

Don’t rush into anything. Take your time and do your research. You don’t have to agree to a purchase straight away after a test drive. Go home, think about it, and get online to see if you’re getting the car for a good price.