If you buy a car on your own, it can be more risky and lower protection as compared to if you buy from a used car dealer. But, it is usually the most affordable alternative.
But how do you make sure that the car you’re planning to buy is the one it says it is?
There are many reasons to conduct a history check before purchasing it. Use these guidelines to be sure you’re conducting an accurate check on the car’s past before handing over the money.
1. Run a car history check online
In the beginning, it’s beneficial to run your car through a reg check online.
In order to do this, you’ll require a registration number for your vehicle that you can get directly from the dealer. This online check of data can confirm:
When the current vehicle tax expires
the time it expires for its MOT.
the date on which it was first registered
Status of SORN
year of manufacturing
The current rate for vehicle tax
This is a fantastic tool to make use of when you first see the car you want to purchase, and make sure that everything is above the mark.
In addition in addition, in addition, the DVLA can give you information about the previous owner of the vehicle or its registered owner. It is crucial in order to make sure that the person selling the vehicle is legally is able to offer the vehicle for sale legally.
The DVLA also offers the option to get more information regarding the MOT history of your car.
If you’re worried that the seller might be acting in a fraudulent manner you should ask them to verify the information you’ve located on the internet. If the specifications don’t line to what you expect, it’s recommended to stay clear of the seller and locate your new vehicle somewhere else.
2. Check to see if your vehicle was ever involved in an accident.
This is usually in the forefront of the buyers’ minds, since omitting to mention any historical event that may have involved the car may indicate there’s a lack of disclosure about internal or external issues on the vehicle, which the seller has attempted to cover up.
If a car was previously been declared a total loss, it is illegal to drive it on the road. Find out what insurance category the car is classified under – A, B, S or N. The best option is to buy cars that fall under the categories S or N (formerly C and D, respectively). See Admiral’s guide to categories S and N cars for more details.
3. Verify if the vehicle has outstanding financing
It’s not legal for someone to offer to sell your car for the amount of money due on it without notifying that finance firm.
If this happens to you, then you could be liable for the debt, and the car could also be taken. It is important to research the situation and firms like HPI provide tools to let you know this.
4. Request to see the vehicle prior to buying it.
Sometimes it’s not enough just to just look up the condition of a car on the internet or rely on the seller’s word as the truth. If it’s safe take a trip to see the vehicle yourself.
The Money Advice Service suggest double making sure you have the correct information before you accept to meet:
“Check whether the address is identical to the address in the V5C certification certificate. If you find that the seller isn’t the registered keeper, then walk away. They are probably not legally entitled to sell the car. You should ask to go on testing in the presence of the dealer. If you believe that the seller’s insurance isn’t valid, request the proof of insurance.”
Check if the car is equipped in the form of an V5C registration Certificate or logbook. an entire service history, as well as the original handbook they can be costly to replace. Check the information in the logbook to the specifications advertised for the car.
Things to take into consideration when you are looking at the inside of a car
There are many external and internal checks you must conduct on the vehicle to ensure that it’s in good condition:
Make sure you know the mileage
Check the advertised mileage against real mileage because you wouldn’t want to buy a car which has been driven more than what you’ve been told.
Was the vehicle involved involved in an accident?
Find signs that indicate the vehicle was damaged in an accident. the AA suggests to look for “signs of gaps that are inconsistent between the panels or mismatched colors which could indicate of major fixes”, “traces of paint spray on the handles, window seals or mouldings made of plastic” or “any strange looking welding underneath the bonnet or within the car boot”.
Verify the cam belt
Find out when the cam belt of your vehicle was replaced or when it’s due for replacement in the service history. The repair of cam belts could cost thousands of dollars and may necessitate an installation for a completely new engine.
Do the numbers correspond?
Check that the chassis and registration numbers are identical to the ones on the car in order to rule out the possibility that your car was copied.
Check the tyres
Make sure the tyres are in good shape. If they’re not, they could be replaced however remember that it will cost more, and will be added to the price tag you’re considering.
The minimum tread depth legal is 1.6mm across the length of the tyre that you can test with the 20p coin.
Getting a professional to do a full car check
If you’re unsure whether the car you’re considering is in good condition it is possible to hire an organization to review the history of the car and perform all the required tests. It is best to choose a firm like HPI and the AAA which will charge you around PS30 for a complete vehicle inspection.
They are thorough and can reveal any issues in the car, for instance whether the vehicle has been taken away or has any outstanding debt or financial obligations associated with it.
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