Motoring

Guide To Buying A Used Car

Loot.com/motoring offer private and trade classified ads for used cars in UK

Loot.com/motoring offer private and trade classified ads for used cars in UK

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The Guide To Buying A Used Car by LOOT.com: We take you through the must-do checks when inspecting a used car.

This guide helps you check the most common problem areas with a used car.

Remember, though, if in doubt, it’s always worth paying an expert to check the used car for you.

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Exterior checks

  • Leaks: Does there appear to be any fluid leaking from underneath the car?
  • Bodywork: Is the paint finish of the used car even and consistent?

  • Wheel arches: is the paintwork smooth or bubbly? *Bubbly may be a sign of rust.

  • Rubber door seals: evidence of a paint job? This may suggest previous damage

  • Tyres: ensure the wear on the tyres are even in distribution. Uneven wear and tear may be the result of issues with suspension, tracking or car crash damage.

  • Convertible? Make sure the roof moves smoothly and locks completely in place.

  • Suspension: Push the corners of the car and release. The car should rebound once just past the level position, then go back to normal if the shock absorbers are working.

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Under the bonnet

  • Cam-belt: Ask when the cambelt was last changed. Should this break, the damage to the engine can be bad news.

  • Dirty or clean? A dirty engine area  in a used car may suggest that the car has been neglected. However, a gleaming engine could have been steam-cleaned to disguise issues.

  • Blue/black smoke: Rev the engine briefly from idle. Blue/black smoke indicates issues with a used car.

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Inside The Car

  • Mileage: Does the mileage on the odometer inside the speedometer match the documents of the used car and the advert placed online?

  • Mileage continued: Generally a used car averages at 10,000 miles per year.

  • Test: air conditioning, electric windows, bonnet release, sunroof and adjustable seats.

  • Ignition: is there any sign of damage that may indicate the used car was – once – stolen

  • VIN: Is is tampered with? The VIN is recorded on a metal strip at the bottom of the windscreen, under the bonnet or beneath the carpet on the driver’s side.

  • Brakes: the brake pedal should move solidly when applied – they should not sink to the floor before engaging

  • Windows: Check the windows for damage e.g. cracks and chips.

  • Are the lights working? Inc headlights, fog lights, indicators and reversing lights.

 

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Paperwork

  • Address: does the address on the documents match the address of the used car currently?

  • Logbook watermark: when buying a used car check the logbook has a watermark.

  • MoT Certificate: Valid MoT certificate (if over three years old)

  • Make sure that the registration document serial No. is not stolen. If the serial number has been tampered with, in any way, walk away.

  • View the full service history, with receipts (contact the garage to confirm any work without a receipt was actually done).

  • Service History: The location of the garages should match what else you know about the car’s history.

LOOT.COM has thousands of used car classified ads across the UK – check out our website www.loot.com for the full list!

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