What Should I Look For When Buying A Used Car?

Are you looking for a used car? Here are a few things to look out for before making a purchase.


You should always ask to see the V5 as this is the registration document and the car will not be able to be taxed without it. Make sure that the details on the V5 match up to the car you are looking at.


Make sure that you check the mileage history of the car to see if it goes up steadily throughout the years or may have any significant changes per year. You can check the mileage record on service records and MOT certificates.
Check a MOT history and status here.

Is there any damage?

If you are going to a private seller, you can easily check if there has been any damage by looking at any paint differences around the car. Always have a good look around the car to see if anything looks like it has been replaced.

At a used car dealership, used cars have to be checked over before they can sell so you have full trust in knowing that the car has been checked over by a qualified mechanic.

The condition of the car

It is always best to look at the tyres, if the tyres have less than 3mm of tread consider that they will need to be changed soon.
Check if there are any warning lights that come up on the dashboard. This could signify that there are some issues that are not visible and will need to be checked by a mechanic. A good way of checking the condition of the car is taking it for a good test drive.

You should be allowed to go for a test drive to get a feel for the car.  As well as this, it is a way to listen out for any strange noises or if the gearstick is hard to control or if the pedals don’t feel right.


Does the car fit into your lifestyle? It isn’t worth just picking any car. Make sure it fits in with your everyday life.

  • Your budget – Can you afford the car as well as the tax, insurance and the after care of the car. Also, if you are going to a private seller, research similar vehicles to see how the price compares to other vehicles in your area.
  • Driving to work – Do you commute to work? If the used car has a high mileage, have a look into the servicing history to see if all parts are still working correctly and can sustain driving long distances.
  • Is there enough room for you, your luggage and/ or your family?

On a whole, going to a dealership is considered safer than going to a private seller when buying a vehicle and you should be prepared to check the car thoroughly before making a decision.

What Should I Look For When Buying A Used Car?
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