Buying a car is a major investment and is invariably the second most expensive thing a person will purchase after their house. Because it is such a large financial decision getting the right car is crucial. The last thing anyone wants is to buy a car then find a couple of days later that it wasn’t roadworthy and costs a fortune to repair. While this is highly unlikely to happen with a new car there are instances when such events have happened with second hand vehicles. There are steps that you can follow if you’re going to get a second hand car to minimise this from happening.
Before committing to buy the car make sure you perform the following checks:
MOT – the MOT history of every car can be checked online where you are also able to check the mileage details to see if there are any advisories that need to be taken into consideration which will detail any work needed before or during the next MOT. In order to check the MOT you need the registration and MOT test number (on the MOT certificate or refusal certificate). It is free to check the MOT history.
Service History Check – Don’t even think of buying the car before doing a service history check; ask to see the service book. Check to see that regular services have been carried out and that the mileage readings make sense – i.e. that the latest service has a higher mileage reading than the one before.
Registration Document Check (V5C) – by checking the registration document you are reducing the risk of buying a stolen car. Ask to see the V5C (logbook) and use the DVLA vehicle enquiry service to check that they match the logbook. The DVLA will be able to tell you the year of manufacture, engine capacity, colour, tax rate, current tax disk expiry date and date of first registration.
Write Off Check – Check that it hasn’t been written off to ensure that it isn’t stolen or that it is a genuine write off.
Finance History Check – Ensure that there is no credit arrangements or logbook loans on it.
Do not buy a car without walking around it and doing a visual check as well as test driving. Both are critical and do not buy if you think that he car isn’t all that it seems.
Engineers Check – can show if all is well with the car and that it is in the order stated.
If all of this seems a little daunting then going to a second hand car dealers may be the thing for you. There will be more security if you buy from an accredited dealer and they are a lot less likely to do a disappearing act if something is wrong.