Used Car Checks Before Buying


We all know that the process involved with buying a used car can be a stressful one, not only are you investing a lot of money in something that’ll depreciate as soon as you drive it out of the parking lot but you are also going to be financially responsible for any damage that might occur whilst you own the car. Before you part ways with your money there are a variety of things that you need to make sure, you need to test drive the vehicle, check the mileage, the condition of the engines, tires and much more.

The aim of this guide is to provide drivers with a checklist they can refer to when considering buying a new car if you notice any damage to the vehicle you can either use it to bring down the asking price of the vehicle or you could just walk away. Listed below are a variety of thing to keep an eye out for before purchasing the car.

Used car checklist

Must Check These Before Buying A Used Car


  • The seller should be able to provide the V5C documents that come with the car as you will need it to be able to tax the car.
  • Match the VIN and engine number on the V5C form to the actual numbers, if they do not match then the vehicle might be stolen.
  • The VIN number scathed on the glass or lights should also match the numbers on the V5C form and VIN plate.
  • You should also remember to ask for the MOT history of the used car.


  • You should check the tires to ensure that they are in good condition, remember that tires that are less than 3mm will have to be replaced. You can either use this as a way to knock money off the car and purchase new tires online or you could ask the seller to replace the tires before you purchase the vehicle. Also, remember to check the condition of the spare tire.
  • Is the jack and inflator kit intact and usable?
  • Check the seat belts to make sure that they function properly.
  • Check that the airbags are still intact and in working condition.
  • You should also remember to check the locking wheel nuts are fitted correctly.


  • When you first start the engine listen out for any abnormal sound.
  • Check that the right warning lights come up as soon as the engine is started.
  • Has the seller replaced the cam belt in compliance with the service schedule?
  • Is the clutch in proper working condition? Listen out for any sounds that might not be considered normal.
  • Check the catalytic converter to make sure that it is in working condition, you can ask the seller for a report from previous MOT tests.
  • Make sure that all the locks work properly including the boot and the central lock.
  • If the car fitted with a sunroof you should make sure it shuts properly.
  • Check that the heating, air-conditioning, radio, ventilation and other minor controls work properly.


  • Make sure the seller points out any damage to the upholsterer to avoid surprises once you have bought the car.
  • Look for scratches, chips, dents, and rust. Remember that any chips on the windscreen.
  • Check the pedal for wear on the rubbers as the car might be older than it seems.

This guide serves as a basic checklist to help new drivers when they are considering buying a used car, there are other things that should also be done. You make sure that you test drive the car so you can identify problems if an. You should also consider going to view the vehicle with a friend and in the daylight. If after all this you decided to go ahead and buy the car then you should make sure that you meet the seller and exchange money for the car keys in person. Finally, you should always remember that if a deal seems too good to be true then it probably is.


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