A Guide to Buying a Used Car

Buying a car second hand can save you a lot of money, assuming there are no hidden issues with the vehicle that are going to come back and haunt you. Our car garage has put together this guide, to help you buy with confidence.

Viewing the Car

If you have ever turned up to a car viewing and realised you have no idea what you are looking for, you’re not alone. We don’t want you turning up to a viewing only to stand there awkwardly before giving the car a once over and deciding it’s fit to buy. Our buyer’s checklist gives you a list of things to run through.


Get down on your knees and inspect them properly, have they got much tread, do they have any cracks or can you see any nail/ pins stuck in them? If you are buying a lower end car, the cost of new tyres isn’t much in the scheme of things, but it is still worth factoring in.

2.Dents & scratches

Give the bodywork a once over, are there any scratches or dents? Are there signs of kerbing on the wheels? You should always go to view the car on a bright day, darkness can hide a lot and you don’t want any surprises once you’ve already committed to buying.

Don’t be put off by small dents or scratches, these can be fixed fairly cheaply at any decent car garage, do use them to negotiate a lower price though.

3.Panel gaps

As you are looking over the body work keep an eye out for large gaps between panels, this could be a sign that the car has been badly repaired after a crash. Another sign could be differences in colour between the panels.

4.Fluid levels

Open the bonnet and check all the fluid levels, including oil, brake and power steering fluid. If they are low this could be a sign that the owner has not been looking after the car very well. Whilst you’re under the bonnet also look for oil leaks.


Are there any chips in the windscreen, or any of the windows? If there are, these could quickly turn into cracks, meaning you’ll have to replace the whole windscreen. Also, if these cracks are in the drivers eyeline it could be cause for an MOT failure. Don’t forget to also check the front and rear lights, keep an eye out for chips or fogging.

If you still have doubts about the car, it could be worth taking it for a test drive and popping it into a car garage, so the experts can give it a once over.

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