Used Cars

The right questions to ask when buying one

Used Cars

Buying a used car instead of one that has just entered the showroom has plenty of benefits. Of course, the vehicle will be available for a cheaper price tag than if you bought it new, while you won’t need to worry about any niggling issues that can occur on cars that have just left production line.

However, make sure you get the right answers to these questions to ensure you do not end up purchasing a motor that should be destined for the scrapheap:

Is what you see what you get?

There are two major pitfalls you need to watch out for in the used car market – clocking and cloning.

Clocking is a strategy whereby someone trying to sell a second-hand vehicle will attempt to wind back the odometer to make out that it has done far less miles than it has. Meanwhile, car cloning will see a set of number plates being switched from one car to another, in the hopes of increasing the chance of getting a better price for the vehicle.

Make sure you do not fall for either of these sneaky – as well as illegal – practices by asking someone selling a car for the registration number, make and model of the vehicle involved, disc details and MOT test number.

With all this information, you will be able to conduct thorough research to determine just what you will be getting for your money.

Have you looked through the log book?

Whether you have or haven’t, this is of utmost importance for one specific reason. Every log book will have a serial number, and it is up to you to check that the figure isn’t between BG8229501 and BG9999030 or BI2305501 and BI2800000.

If this is found to be the case, get in touch with the police as soon as possible and report the vehicle and its owner, as there is a good chance that the car you have viewed is in fact stolen.

Have you been on a test drive?

Your own judgement could be the critical factor that determines whether you shake hands on a deal or walk away from the offer.

Take a used car out for a test drive and you will be able to find out if you feel comfortable behind the wheel, if it is suitable for your needs – perhaps you are looking for a family car and would like to check children will appreciate the new ride – and if it is smooth when performing manoeuvres.

If the seller refuses to grant you a test drive, alarm bells should start going off in your head and it is best that you look elsewhere – better to be safe than sorry.

This article was submitted on behalf of  - the UK's first choice for used cars (and new ones!). Motorparks has car showrooms throughout the UK including Ashford, Blackburn, Preston, Wimbledon and more. Visit the motorparks website to see all their locations throughout the UK .

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: