Next time you are buying a car, just print this page and take it with you when you go to view the car and make sure it passes this TOP 10 TIPS Test.
- Before you decide to view any car, ask the Seller if he is in possession of the V5 Vehicle Registration Document (Log Book). Also do an HPI check to ensure the vehicle has no finance attached to the car. If no V5 document is available or there is finance outstanding on the car, then forget the viewing and move on to something else !
- When you first see the Seller, immediately ask for the Vehicle Registration Document (Log Book) and make sure that the Chassis Number in the Document matches the Chassis Number on the car (usually located in the bottom right of the windscreen and under the bonnet)
- Check that the Car Registration Number matches the one in the Vehicle Registration Document
- Make sure that on the Vehicle Registration Document it does not say Category C
or Category D, as indicates that the car is an Insurance Write-Off and this will put up your Insurance Premiums considerably
- Ask if all of the previous years MOT Certificates are available and if the answer is YES, then this is normally a good sign, that the vehicle mileage has probably not been “reverse clocked”
ie. fraudulently tampered with
- Ensure that the current MOT Certificate & Road Tax expire at the time that was advertised to you
- If you are viewing an older car, then look underneath the 4 side edges of the car body and also in the boot, to see if their is any signs of serious corrosion, since welding repair costs can be very high
- Check the car bodywork and bumpers to see if their is any misalignment or different shades of paint on it, as this is a sure sign of past accident damage and will devalue the car
- Check that all of the electrical equipment works on the car such as the lights, radio, wipers, central locking, electric windows, air conditioning, alarm etc. Then look at the interior upholstery, trim and roof lining for signs of wear or damage.
- Test Drive the car for at least 20 minutes and listen out carefully for unusual noises (with the windows down), look for smoke coming from the exhaust, make sure that the engine is not overheating, and the clutch and gears work perfectly, the power steering is fine, and the car brakes well.
If the car/seller fails ANY part of the above test, then either lower your bid price to take into consideration the time and repairs expense (maybe even total loss) that you will have to suffer, or just walk away from the car and do not part with your hard earned money.