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Essential Checks to Make when Buying a Used Car

Buying a car?  Opting for a used model allows you to save money and find a vehicle suited to your needs from a wide array of options in the market. Whether you’re eyeing up a used VW car or another reputable manufacturer, you can experience precision engineering and a smooth drive for a fraction of the cost.

However, purchasing a used car does carry its share of risks. To make sure that the purchase will be safe and reliable for yourself and family members alike, conduct thorough checks prior to finalising any sale – here’s our advice:

Vehicle history check

Before purchasing from any source, the best step should be acquiring as much information as possible about their history. When dealing with dealers they should readily give this data; when buying privately you may also obtain this data through sources like the DVLA or online platforms if the owner doesn’t already possess it themselves.

Understanding a car’s previous owners, accident history, service record and MOT status will give you more peace of mind before signing on the dotted line.

Test drive

If allowed, take the car for a test drive under various driving conditions to evaluate its performance and handling. Pay attention to acceleration, braking responsiveness, steering precision and overall comfort.

Testing essential features like air conditioning, heating, audio systems, lights and safety warnings should also be conducted thoroughly to identify any unusual noises, vibrations or warnings signs that could indicate hidden mechanical problems.

Mechanical inspection

Before purchasing any used car, it’s always advisable to get a second opinion and/or hire an independent mechanic for inspection purposes. Bring them along or schedule one.

Professional mechanics have the training to identify any hidden mechanical or safety concerns during a test drive that aren’t immediately obvious, such as with your engine, transmission, brakes, suspension and electrical systems. They should focus on key components like your engine, transmission, brakes suspension and electrical systems for best results.

Exterior and interior examination

Conduct a comprehensive inspection on both the exterior and interior of your vehicle, inspecting for signs of rust, denting, scratches or inconsistencies in paint quality; check tread depth as well as signs of uneven wear on tyres; examine bodywork for cracks/rot.

While inspecting an interior car, pay special attention to any signs of damage, excessive wear or malfunction in terms of upholstery, dashboard and controls. Even minor wear-and-tear might allow for negotiation to secure you the best price possible.

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Jack Reuben Fletcher

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