Jump to content
The Motorists Guide
  • News.jpg.a3a6c69c93650459a44e5b34996b30b9.jpg   Forum.jpg.568ba478c8725b01484b024e8beb6877.jpg   Car Repair Guides   Reviews.jpg.316eb89b4b6e26fac9536f7e77fc2a1c.jpg   shopping-cart-e1480563044836.jpg.3a371c74965b07e5e3ccd69587d00e9b.jpg

  • Sign in to follow this  

    Buying a Used Car

       (0 reviews)

    What to look for when buying a used car - Used Car Buying Checklist


    • Can the seller show you the V5C registration document? You won't be able to tax the car without it.
    • Is the seller the registered keeper shown on the V5C? If not, why are they selling it for someone else?
    • Does the registration document have a watermark?
    • Any spelling mistakes on the registration document?
    • Do the VIN (vehicle identification number), engine number and colour match the V5C?
    • Does the number plate match the V5C?
    • Has the VIN plate been tampered with?
    • Do VIN numbers etched on glass or lights match the VIN plate and V5C?
    • Any sign of scratches on glass to remove etched-in marks?
    • Does the fuel filler look as if it has been forced or replaced?
    • Does the car have a current MOT (if the car's more than three years old)? Check the MOT history and status of a vehicle


    • Does the mileage, age and appearance of the car look consistent?
    • Any sign like worn screws that the instruments might have been tampered with? (Digital odometers can be tampered with electronically so clues like this won't exist)
    • Check recorded mileage on service records, MOT 'certificates' and other documents.
    • Does it look consistent with current mileage/condition and increase steadily year on year?
    • Check MOT status and history online (with vehicle registration and make).

    Accident damage

    • Any signs of inconsistent gaps between panels or mismatched colours that could be a sign of extensive repairs?
    • Is the paint finish even across the car?
    • Any traces of paint spray on handles, window seals or plastic mouldings?
    • Could the car's colour have been changed? (Look under carpets and in other hidden areas in particular.)
    • Any unusual looking welding under the bonnet or in the boot?


    Test drive

    • Do all warning lights operate normally?  Lights will generally come on to test and then go out – unless there's a fault.
    • Are the brakes effective or does it take a long time or a lot of effort to stop?
    • Is braking even or does the car pull to one side?
    • Any unusual noises when you brake?
    • Is the handbrake effective?
    • Any steering vibration or pull to one side?
    • If ABS is fitted, does the warning light go out after the engine is started?


    Locks, windows and general controls

    • Do all the locks, including central locking and remote control, work properly?
    • Do all windows, including any sunroof, open/close normally?
    • Any signs of forced entry, damaged or different locks, suggesting they've been replaced?
    • Have you got all the right keys? Check the handbook to see which keys were provided when the car was new. Modern keys are expensive to replace, particularly the coloured 'master' key provided by some manufacturers to programme new spare keys to the car.
    • Are locking wheel nuts fitted? Check that the special adapter required is included with the tool kit. Make sure it fits too.
    • Do all the minor controls operate correctly – heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, radio/CD, navigation etc?

    Original article source: courtesy of the AA http://www.theaa.com/car-buying/used-car-inspection-checklist

    Sign in to follow this  

    User Feedback

    Create an account or sign in to leave a review

    You need to be a member in order to leave a review

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

    There are no reviews to display.

  • Our picks

    • The Renault Clio, a chic looking supermini but is it any good as a used car purchase? Steve went to Northern Ireland to find out.





      As the Mk4 Clio is now six years old buyers will have plenty of choice with regard to the Spec and engine options that should suit most budgets. The key specs available to buyers are:
      • 0 replies
    • The Delorean DMC12, a timeless classic but will the driving experience take Steve back in time or to the future?
      • 0 replies
    • Tom Barnard, a local author, racing driver, engineer, boat builder, track designer, car designer along with a string of other accomplishments.  His book 'I gathered no moss', an autobiography detailing his fascinating life story

      His book starts with the advent of WW1 when his father returned from the war and purchased Bluepool at Furzebrooke. He then set about landscaping the grounds with rare plants and trees. Soon enough, tourists started flocking to this wonderful place of tranquillity.  

      WW2 then disrupted proceedings and Tom writes about the Army taking over the land and buildings, overhead dogfights and near misses from exploding bombs. 

      After the war, he schooled at Eton and entered into a social life in London. Around this time, he got interested in Engineering but also in Motor Racing. This was the golden era for racing and he was fortunate enough to compete in races with the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss and driving cars for Colin Chapman at Lotus. 

      A few years later on, he decided to adapt his engineering business to small-scale racing cars that children (or an adult) could race on any track, The Barnard Formula Six. The car could be adapted so that it was safe for any youngster to drive at a very early age and the controls were within reach of a supervising adult.

      His early childhood, first in South Africa and then in South Dorset was suddenly interrupted by World War Two. The Barnards were evicted from their house, which became a military hospital, and bombs soon became part of daily life. 

      After schooling near Swanage, and then at Eton, Tom was called up for National Service in the Army. He then spent sixteen years in his chosen profession of engineering but managed, during this time, to fit in seven years as a racing driver, mostly with Lotus. 

      His invention of the Barnard Formula Six miniature racing car earned him enormous publicity in the UK and abroad with over four hundred models sold. This was followed by boat building, classic car restoration and then four years helping to develop Silverstone Circuit. His success with race track designing led to projects in a dozen countries spread over a further twelve years. Finally, with a quiet life in mind, he began a study of his family history and the writing of his book. 

      The fourteen chapters confirm that the title is fully justified. He has been throughout his life, a true rolling stone. 

      Buy this Book here
      • 0 replies
    • In 2018 a number of new driving laws, rules and regulations will come into force

      A number of new laws and rules have been and will continue to be introduced over the course of the year, which could have an impact on drivers.
      • 0 replies
    • So, what is a Faraday Cage? and how it can stop your Car from being stolen!

      In simple terms, it shields electronic components from static electric fields by using a metal screen that conducts electricity, much like a force-field

        • Like
      • 0 replies