Buying a used car is a great way to save money but there are plenty of dodgy sellers out there. They will use sneaky tricks that mean the bargain you think you’re getting is actually a ticking time-bomb, ready to explode with expensive repairs and legal issues. The majority of car sellers are honest but there are a few things you should do to avoid buying a second hand car that ends up more expensive than a new one.


Undertake Prior Checks

The internet has made checking car details easier than ever, so you must take advantage of this. Any car’s identity can be checked through a vehicle details enquiry online which will tell you the age, date of registration, colour, tax disc expiry date and tax rate. This should bring up the MOT test number too, which you can use to check its MOT history in case of any major incidents.

If these don’t all add up with the seller’s details then you should leave the car. It may be stolen or still on hire, especially if the seller doesn’t have a registration document (V5C), there are many alterations on it or it doesn’t have a watermark.


View and Test Drive

Purchasing online can bring up some fantastic offers but it’s still necessary to view and test drive the vehicle, as any faults can be easily hidden. Check the car’s condition first, including any scratched paintwork, chipped windows or mirrors and the tyres. Faults with any of these could add up to more expensive costs.

When test driving the car check the brakes and clutch first. Go through all the gears and see if there are any odd sounds or smells that emerge. These could signal a problem that needs fixing. Any strange banging, rattling or shaking should be asked about as it is likely something that needs fixing.


Use a Legitimate Company

Buying through private sellers can save time but using a car dealership such as Exchange&Mart will also secure some great savings and comes with added security. All vehicles they sell will have undergone checks and even come with a ‘check history’ option next to every listing. Links to the dealer’s website and an insurance and finance quote are included too. There is still the advisable option of viewing and test driving the car first as well, along with a huge range of choice all in one place.