Car buying Guide
29 Apr 2017

Car buying Guide

Shopping for a used car can be time consuming and, at times, unnerving.

Follow our handy car buying guide to help you navigate the pitfalls

When buying a car what do I look out for?

  • Under the bonnet

    Oil

    Check for correct oil level and oil conditon - for contaminaion – milky appearance (oil & water mixed) indicates blown head gasket or cylinder head problem..

  • Accident damage or rust

    Check inside the boot, the floor wells, doors and lower sills for red or other dark stains, dimpled or bubbled paint. Use a soft fridge magnet to check panels for plastic body filler. A vinyl roof may conceal rust or other damage..

  • Glass

    Windscreen

    Check carefully for unrepaired stonechips or cracks as these could potentially fail an Mot.

  • Under the bonnet

    Engine number and VIN (vehicle identificaion number) / body number

    These numbers must match the numbers on the registraion document. Check for signs of interference - scratches, grind marks, drill holes etc. They could indicate illegal interference with the numbers..

  • Damage

    Hail damage

    Found mainly on horizontal panel surfaces (e.g. bonnet, roof, boot lid). If hail damage is evident, for insurance check with your insurance company - they may have conditions..

  • Paint

    Paint damage

    Look for colour variation, overspraying, dents or ripples.

  • Inside

    Upholstery, trim and carpets

    Check level of wear and tear, any rips or burns. .

  • Panels?

    Panel fitment

    Loose panels may indicate accident damage or that the car has been regularly driven over rough roads.

  • Tyres

    Check they are legal

    Check all 4 tyres are above the legal limit 1.6mm and are ideally over 3mm. Also check there are no cracks, damage or that the edges are bald.

  • Accident damage or rust

    Check inside the boot, the floor wells, doors and lower sills for red or other dark stains, dimpled or bubbled paint. Use a soft fridge magnet to check panels for plastic body filler. A vinyl roof may conceal rust or other damage..

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