Check vehicle history and paperwork
So, you've found the car you want. You've checked it over, given it a test drive, and everything seems to be fine - what now?
Well, now is the time to check that there are no nasty secrets in the car's past! No matter how carefully you examine your potential purchase, it can still be difficult to spot signs that your car is not all it should be. Read on to find out what you must do to avoid being landed with a dud!
Clocking– despite measures being taken by manufacturers to prevent fraudsters winding back the mileage of used cars, for example the use of digital odometers, the practice is still prevalent and buyers need to be wary. On cars with the older ‘tumbler’-style odometer, misalignment of the digits or signs of damage/disturbance to the trim around the dials are reasons for suspicion. However, with digital readouts being altered at the touch of a button, there is no outward sign of tampering, so buyers should consider carefully whether the overall condition of the car matches the displayed mileage.
Car History– recent studies have shown that many thousands of used cars on sale in the UK have hidden histories, so carrying out a proper check on a potential purchase is vital. Click here [insert link] to check whether the car has been stolen, suffered major crash damage, whether the displayed mileage is incorrect, or if there is outstanding finance. The continuing popularity of ‘imports’ means they are around in large numbers, and unscrupulous vendors are known to pass these off as UK-sourced cars – a history check would alert you to this. You should check the history of any car you are thinking of buying – all types of car are at risk of having a dodgy background, including family models so don’t think this just applies to expensive or high performance cars.
Has it been stolen or crashed?– while having a history check carried out is a sensible, and in some cases vital, precaution there are still a few checks you can carry out to avoid being landed with a problem car. For example:
Recalls of new (or indeed older) cars for rectification of some potential fault is common and should be nothing to worry about. Just about every manufacturer has issued a recall at some – from the humblest hatch to the most expensive supercar – and it is their way of ensuring that their product is as safe and durable as possible. The Government’s Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) website produces a list of recalls and it is worth checking this before making your purchase. That way, you can speak to the vendor and check any paperwork to ensure any recall work has been carried out.