Autoview Motorsport & Motoring

Friday, 2 December 2011

5 top tips when buying a used car

1. Take a good look at the V5 document or log book, it can tell you if the vehicle has had an accident recorded by the insurance company. Check the mileage (if it's recorded) and number of owners here too. Check that VIN numbers match on any documentation, including MOT.

2. Check for service or other repair history, showing that somebody has taken care to have maintenence or other essential work carried out. If the car has a cambelt, check when this was replaced, as a failure can be unnecessarily expensive, and/or lead to a wrecked engine.

3. Take along an expert to check the vehicle over for you and road test it thoroughly, looking for signs of abuse or neglect, or if you are confident, do it yourself, making sure to listen, look and feel. Try the controls, lights and all the systems. don't be afraid to drive the car 'vigorously' (within speed limits and reason!)to show up any knocks, rattles or weaknesses in the drivetrain.

4. Don't be afraid to take a really close look at bodywork and panels, does the colour match? is the paint 'dull' or uneven. Do the panels appear to fit correctly?

5. Locate the Vehicles identification No.(VIN) (usually found in the passenger side lower windscreen on mordern cars and various other places). Check that there are no signs of tampering or removal, as this might indicate foul play.Check also that this number corresponds with the one on your V5 document.

A genuine seller will never usually object to your thorough examination of the vehicle prior to making a purchase. Indeed, most sellers would take it as an opportunity to showcase their wares! It is better for all concerned that buyer is happy with their new car, as, surely, nobody wants the hassle of having a car returned by an unhappy purchaser. Do try to be realisitic - a second-hand car will almost certainly have some reasonable signs of wear and tear.

Vehicle crime is still a massive problem in the UK with criminals 'ringing' or cloning vehicles and then feeding them back into the system. With around 350,000 vehicles stolen in the UK alone, are you sure you aren't buying yourself someone else's misery?

There are thousands of components on your vehicle, many of which cost hundreds, if not thousands of pounds to diagnose and replace, together with the inconvenience this causes.

There are no guarantee's that things will never go wrong, but for a few pounds you can start from a good base. visit a data checking web site such as My Car Check or click the banner on my website to learn more about having your potential purchase data checked.

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