Buying a Used Car? Here Are Some Things to Keep in Mind

by Harry Johnson in Tips

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Make Sure the Dealer is the Real Deal

Remember, you’re the consumer and you have rights. And these rights are better protected if you buy your used car from a dealer who has a trade association membership. They are bound to follow a code of practice if they are signed up to a trade association.

This is something you can’t guarantee if you buy privately or from a non-associated dealer. It’s also a good idea to ask around for recommendations before you decide where to buy your motor from.

MOT History

If the car is more than 3 years old it’s always best to see a recent MOT certificate before you buy. An MOT is probably the single best way of judging a car, so take full advantage of it and don’t be afraid to ask to see a certificate. Some dealers like Motorline Direct offer a full 12 months MOT if it’s due any time in the next 6 months. This is something also worth making the most of.

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Checking the Car

There are no end of checks you should be doing when casting your eye over a potential buy. First of all you should look for any visible accident damage. And if you suspect the car of being stolen you should carry out a full vehicle history check to be on the safe side. As well as this, check the tires, locks, windows, spare tires, seatbelts and airbags. The AA offer a full list which covers everything you should check.

Always Drive Before You Buy

Once you’ve checked it over and you’re satisfied you’re going to need to finish the job and take it for a ride. No matter how much you like the car while it’s parked on the forecourt you can’t be sure of anything until you’re behind the wheel. You’ll regret it later if you hand over the money and then discover you don’t like the way it handles.


Yes, I know documents are more boring than dashboard gadgets and horsepower. But when you’re buying a car they’re just as important. And the most important of all is the V5C registration document – if you buy a car and don’t get given one of these something fishy is going on. The buyer should receive the new keeper part and the rest should be sent off to the DVLA by the seller. As well as this it’s worth making sure you get all the manuals that should come with the car. Even if you think you won’t need them, you just might one day.

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