When your car breaks down it can be a bit of a nightmare because you may be faced with an expensive call out charges from the roadside recovery companies, and then you may receive even worse news when you hear that it is irreparable. Given the current climate due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are worse off than they have ever been, so buying a new car is not an option.
The only recourse is to enter the second-hand car market. The problem with the used car industry is that you never know what you’re going to buy, so in this article, we are going to take a look at everything that you need to know.
Check the Registration Number
The very first thing that you should do when you consider buying a used car is to check the registration number because this can tell you a lot about the vehicle. Running a car check can give you important information about whether there is outstanding finance on the car, whether it has ever been written off or scrapped, or even if it has been stolen. This information is extremely important because you want to ensure that the seller is legally allowed to sell it and that it is not a dud, otherwise you could find that you have made a costly mistake.
Check the MOT
Every vehicle in the UK must have a valid MOT certificate once it is more than three years old. This certificate is valid for a year and proves that the car has been checked by a qualified mechanic and is roadworthy. When you buy a used car it is important that you see the MOT certificate and that it has as long to run as possible. If you find there is only a month left, for example, then you run the risk of many things being wrong with the vehicle, so it would be better to have the seller pay for an MOT before you purchase it. If they refuse then alarm bells should ring and you should forget that particular car.
Check The Service History
Just as important as the MOT is service history. Every car should have a logbook that will detail all the services and work done on it, in its lifetime. Obviously, the nature of a used car is that it will have had some wear and tear, but you should be aware of vehicles that seem to need work done to them regularly. If there is no logbook and no service history then stay clear as you will have no idea what may have happened to the car in the past.
As we have learned it is prudent to be extremely cautious when buying a used vehicle. Check the registration number as this will tell you if the car has been stolen or has outstanding finance on it, and make sure that it has an up to date MOT certificate with as much time left on it as possible. Finally, check the service history because if the car has a history of unreliability, it is likely to continue under your ownership and this could be very costly.