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Buying or selling a car? This section provides some general advice and useful tips.

General Advice when Buying a Used Car

  1. Don’t pay more than the advertised price.
  2. Take someone who knows about cars with you when you go to view it.
  3. Check that the seller is the genuine owner.  If unsure, check the registration document, and make sure the name and address are on it are correct.  Don’t be afraid to ask to see the seller’s ID.
  4. Ask whether the vehicle has been involved in an accident, check the log book for faults it may have had prior to the sale.
  5. Check the warranty, what does it cover?  How long for?
  6. Check for signs of a respray, touch-up, rust or any other suspicious damage.
  7. Use a used-car price guide to check the price being asked.
  8. If you buy the car, make sure you get a receipt from the seller.

Ask

  • Do you own the car?
  • May I see the log book?
  • Is the MOT Current?
  • Why are you selling the car?
  • Is the car serviced regularly? (If yes, ask to see records)
  • Is there a warranty/guarantee?

Check (get an expert if possible)

  • The Tyres – look out for uneven wear or damage to the rim
  • The Bodywork – make sure the panels line up, and if possible, use a magnet to check for filler which may be hiding damaged bodywork or rust
  • The Engine Number – make sure it matches the one listed on the registration document
  • The Shock Absorbers – to do this, press down on each corner of the car, if the shock absorbers are in good condition it should bounce once, then steady itself.