10 things to check when buying a used car

10 things to check when buying a used car

10 things to check when buying a used car

Before shaking hands on a used vehicle, it’s important to be 100 per cent sure you’re getting exactly what you’re about to pay for. There’s nothing worse than getting home after agreeing the deal and realising that your new motor has a few more skeletons in its closet than the previous owner let on.

So, here are 10 things to look out for when buying a used car.

First things first…

Check that the advert description matches the car you’re looking at. If you see something right of the bat that the advert didn’t disclose, bring it up with the owner immediately. Also, make every effort to view the car in daylight rather than at night or in the evening, and bring along a friend or family member to provide a second set of critical eyes.

1 Dents and scratches

Perhaps the most obvious place to start is the car’s bodywork. Take time to closely inspect the car all over for any signs of damage – chances are the owner will have already disclosed them, but you never know what hey might have missed (intentionally or otherwise). Small scratches or dents are easily fixed, but do include them in your negotiations.


2 Panel gaps

Also take a look at the gaps between panels in the car when checking the bodywork as large panel gaps could be a sign of poor repair work after a crash. Ensure that there are no colour differences between the panels.


3 Glass

Be very careful to check the front and rear windscreen in the car, as well as the door windows, for damage. Even the smallest chip could lead to the appearance of an expensive crack further down the line, or even an MOT failure, depending on where it is.

4 Tyres

Check how much tread the tyres have got. 1.6mm is the legal minimum – if they’re below 3mm, they’ll soon need to be changed. If you’re purchasing a high-end car, it should come equipped with tyres of matching quality. Also take time to check if the car has a spare wheel, and if it does, check the tread on it too – if it’s bald or damaged, factor that into your price negotiations.

You should also run your eye over the tyre changing kit, which should come equipped with a jack and a wrench, and if you’re buying a car with wheel bolts, make sure they’re definitely there or you won’t be able to change the tyres.