The Importance of Car Checks Before Buying A Used Car

The Importance of Car Checks Before Buying A Used Car

When buying a second-hand vehicle, it’s essential that you gather as much information about its history as possible before handing over your cash. Although most used car sellers are perfectly genuine and honest individuals, there’s always a risk that the person you’re buying from isn’t as trustworthy as they seem.

Completing thorough car checks before buying a used car ensures you have all the information you need to make a decision on whether the vehicle is right for you… And can let you know whether you’re really getting the bargain you think you are.

What can car checks show?

Research suggests that a huge one in four used cars have a hidden history that the seller may not want you to know about! The car may have been stolen, written off, or have outstanding finance that needs to be cleared before the sale occurs.

All you need is the registration number for a vehicle to run a quick and easy check against the car’s background and history. These checks can reveal a variety of factors, including:

  • The registration details for the vehicle that the DVLA holds
  • A complete history of all MOTs passed and failed by the car
  • The registered mileage
  • Information on whether the car has been imported or exported
  • Vehicle performance data
  • Average running costs of the car’s make and model
  • Any relevant environmental information you should be aware of

These factors can all be established by running a free car history check. If you want more information on the vehicle, you could also pay a small fee to run more comprehensive mot history checks that can show:

  • Any outstanding finance against the vehicle
  • The number of previous owners
  • Whether the car has changed colour during its lifetime
  • Whether the car has ever been scrapped
  • If the car has been VIC inspected
  • A valuation for the vehicle

A full car history check could go into even more detail, such as providing additional information on any outstanding finance agreements or insurance details if the car was written off. You’ll also be able to spot any mileage discrepancies and an expert’s opinion on whether the vehicle is considered “high risk.”

Complete car history checks can also run an investigation to see whether the vehicle is registered in any police or insurance databases. This will let you know if the car has been stolen, if there are any insurance problems with it, or if there’s anything else you should legally be aware of.

Why does it matter?

If the used car you’re buying has been stolen or there’s outstanding finance against it, then the vehicle isn’t the seller’s to give away. This could mean that you hand over your money, only to have the car repossessed by the ‘true’ owner at any point, and you end up with nothing.

Checks will also help you establish whether there are any discrepancies with the vehicle. For example, if the car is a different colour from the information stored by the DVLA, this could indicate that there is damage that’s being covered up.