Used Cars For Sale

used cars for sale in the uk

Car checks are essential when buying a used car We also provide you with other fundamental car buying advice to help with the car buying process and avoid those deals that are just too good to be true.

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Used Car Buying Advice

Buying a used car privately will always save you money. The reason private used cars are cheaper lies solely with the lack of come back if anything goes wrong - meaning higher risk. However if you follow a few rules, steps & some advice you can easily eliminate those risks & grab yourself a great deal.

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If you need technical assistance or mechanical help when buying a used car,
have a look at our mechanical help pages for fault diagnosis or our past mechanical Questions & Answer pages

We also have mechanics available to help with any mechanical problem.

Its always good advice to take advice.
You already know what car you want and perhaps the colour but what you don't want is a big garage bill after only a few weeks and even worse have the car repossessed and loose all your money. Its always good advice to take advice and if you follow these simple rules you should be well on your way to miles of happy motoring.

if you've not yet found the car you are looking for you can buy a used car from the thousands or cars for sale we have advertised.

Contacting the seller

  • When you first contact a seller its important to ask as many questions as possible about the car and make some notes to get a good overall picture before you decide to view.

    1. Ask if they own the car. If they don't, be very wary. You need to know everything you can about the vehicle. If they are not the owner they can't answer your questions and there is a greater chance the vehicle could be stolen.

    2. Ask how long they have owned the vehicle for. You can then check this against the V5 logbook if you decide to view the vehicle.

    3. What service history has the vehicle got? Have they got the service booklet with dealer stamps and do they have receipts for each service?

    4. Ask if the car has sustained any accident damage or had any insurance claims made against it. Although at this stage you are taking their word for it if you later find out the answers don't match you know to stay well away.

    5. Make sure their insurance will cover you for a test drive and if they're not sure check to see if yours will cover you. Insurers can be flexible and may be able to add the car to your policy for a short period. If not there are specialist companies who can offer one day insurance such as Info

    6. If you are happy with what you have heard so far then arrange for a test drive from the owners home. It's not a good idea to meet a seller at a motorway service station or some middle ground. If you decide to buy there and then you may not be able to find the seller if something goes wrong.

    7. Ask for the vehicles registration number. When buying privately or even from a dealer it is always good advice to get a car data check. There are many firms which offer this service with a range of prices some of which you can find in our car data checks section.

Checking Documents

  • Its a good idea to take a copy of your insurance policy with you when you go to view the vehicle and of course your notes. Any honest seller will not have a problem with you making as many checks as you like and will be happy to answer your questions.
  • Check the service history book to see if it has all the services and stamps stated by the seller. Look for what has been replaced or renewed and ask for receipts. If the mileage is above 60,000 the vehicle may soon be in need of a cambelt service. This does vary depending on the make and model so its a good idea to check with a franchised dealer when the service is due. A cambelt service can be expensive and if its due you can negotiate this in the price.

V5 Logbook Checks.

  • Check the V5 logbook to see if the address matches and the registration is the same as on the vehicle. Also on the V5 is the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) which you can check to see if it matches the VIN on the car. The VIN can usually be found riveted on a small plate under the bonnet half way up the wing and stamped on the chassis next to the drivers seat on top of the sill. The VIN can occasionally be found on the leading edge of the windscreen or in the door pillar.

  • Make sure the V5 document is genuine. In the digital age of scanners and digital cameras, making a good looking fake does not need the hands of a master counterfeiter. If it is a Genuine V5 DVLA document it will contain a water mark. If you have a V5 or can look at a friend's then its a good idea to familiarise yourself with a genuine document before hand. If the seller can't produce the original V5 document it is illegal for them to sell you the car.

Used Car Checks

  • There are a number of checks you can perform on the vehicle before you take it for a test drive, even if you don't have any mechanical knowledge. You will find these displayed in detail in our Car Checks section.

Check the seller's address is genuine

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