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The best questions to ask when buying a used car

  • The best questions to ask when buying a used car

Buying a car is an exciting time for any motorist, but it can also be a daunting experience too. 

It’s important to consider many factors when investing in a used car, so you’ll want to be prepared by asking the right questions. Whether you’re planning on purchasing the vehicle from a used car dealership or private seller, make sure you are clued up before you sign on the dotted line.

Read on for our recommendations of the best questions to ask when buying a used car, so that you can enjoy many years of happy motoring with your new four-wheeled friend... 

Is the sale legal?

This may sound like a silly question, but if you’ve chosen to buy from a private seller then you’ll need to be aware of the risks involved. If the seller isn’t the registered owner of the car then they may not have the authority to sell it - in some cases, the vehicle may even have been stolen.

Is there a logbook with the vehicle?

A vehicle logbook is also referred to as a V5C and is a legal document required by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). It proves ownership of a vehicle, its registration details, and tax history amongst other purposes. If the logbook cannot be presented, then be very wary indeed as these can be easily replaced if lost. 

Has the car been properly prepared?

If you’re buying from a used car dealership, they will no doubt have prepared their vehicle to the highest standards to ensure a smooth sale and happy customer. Comprehensive handover packs are usually included during the process, which will include details of a rigorous safety inspection of the car for your peace of mind. A private seller won’t be able to provide this service, so the main points to consider are; to check everything is working correctly, cleanliness of the vehicle, and that you have access to all the necessary paperwork. 

Does the car have a valid MOT?

Don’t assume that a car can be driven home straight away. If you’re buying a vehicle from a private seller, be aware that it may not actually be legally roadworthy. Make sure you ask to see a valid MOT certificate and not just accept the car is being ‘sold as seen’. A used car dealership will more than likely provide a brand new MOT for the vehicle, especially if less than six months remain, for example. 

Does the car have an up-to-date service history?

Any reputable used car dealership will provide you with a full background check for the vehicle alongside their assured checks process. Bear in mind that if you’re buying from a private seller, you’ll need to see these before committing to a purchase.

Is there any unpaid finance against the vehicle?

Most used car dealerships will offer a vehicle history check on their cars as standard, but if you’re buying from a private seller, this won’t be the case. In this instance, we recommend you check the car’s history first which can be done using online services either for free, or a small fee. 

Has the car ever been in a crash or written off?

As mentioned above, a reputable used car dealership will be able to confirm a car’s history, which includes information about its insurance history too. If you’re buying from a private seller, again, we recommend you seek the information online.

Does the vehicle have a warranty?

Just because you’re purchasing a nearly new or used car, it doesn’t mean that it won’t have a warranty. Depending on the car’s age, it may well still have an existing warranty through the manufacturer. Used car dealerships have no legal obligation to offer one with your purchase, but many will do. If you’re buying from a private seller and the vehicle is over a certain age, then the chances are it won’t have a warranty at all. 

A warranty you can rely on

Here at WarrantyFirst, we offer three levels of cover so that you can choose the perfect plan for you. We’re totally transparent about what’s in our plans, so you can make your choice with total confidence. 

We can and do cover almost any make or model of vehicle, including high performance sports cars and some light commercial vehicles. Trust us, a big purchase like a new or used car warrants a warranty; even nearly new cars can develop faults. 

Take advantage of our super-fast sign-up process and get a free quote and your warranty in place within minutes of picking up the phone or clicking online. Call us on 01733 830278 to get started.