5 things you need to check before buying a second hand car

According to Sky News, the value of used-car sales has increased by nearly 6% to a record-high, as 7.2 million second-hand vehicles changed hands in 2014. Buying a used car can be the quickest and cheapest way to your ideal car – however, you’re going to need to do some thorough checks before you commit to buying. You’re going to want to ensure you’re getting the most for your money, especially if you’re paying with www.carcashpoint.com logbook loans. Below are five things you should check before handing over your cash:

Service history
Ideally, a used car should have a full service history and all the receipts to show all repair work. Check over the bills and look at dates to see how recent the work has been carried out. If there’s no history, ask why. If something doesn’t add up or feel right, don’t buy the car.

It’s important to take time fully checking the condition of the car. Inspect the bodywork for any signs of damage including scratches and dents, check the panels are the same size and test the doors, windows and boot work properly. Inside, examine all the electrics, odometers, light and brake functioning and make sure the heating and air conditioning systems work. Check over the seats and upholstery for damage too. If the condition isn’t as described, question the price.

Is the vehicle safe to drive? Does it feel safe? Check everything that will affect the safety from tyres and seat belts to airbags and lights. Ensure that the locking system works properly and test the keys to make sure it isn’t temperamental. Does it work in the door and remotely?

Does the seller have all the necessary documents that belong to the vehicle? You’ll need the log book (V5C Certificate), handbook and MOT certificates. Any details of previous work carried out may also be useful. If you can, check the car’s identity on the DVLA website. Ensure that all details match up including the year it was made, engine capacity, expiry date of current tax and tax rate. Do as much research about the history of the car as you can. According to The Express, only 10% of used buyers check a car’s history. This means that 2.5m of the 2.8m used cars sold every year are not checked for such issues as outstanding finance, being written off for insurance, or even being stolen.

Engine repairs are costly so be sure to undertake thorough checks. Inspect under the bonnet for wear and tear and check fluid levels for leaks around components, as well as on the ground. Whilst inspecting the engine check the battery connectors are rust-free and in good condition. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, get a qualified mechanic to check over the car in question.

It goes without saying that a car should be test driven before making a purchase. It’s really the only way you’re going to find out if the car is nice to drive and suitable for your needs.