What to look for when buying a used car


Buying a car can be a very overwhelming experience, whether it is your first time or your fifth time, it is important to do your research beforehand in order to be prepared when you are making your decision. You must be especially careful if you are buying the used car privately and not through an authorized dealer. There are several things that you will want to do and to check for in the used car you are considering purchasing, and we will discuss them with you now.

Check for documents
  • You will need a V5C registration document in order to tax the car
  • Check that the person selling the car is the one whose name is on the V5C registration document
  • Check that there is a watermark on the registration document
  • Check for any spelling or grammar mistakes on the registration document to ensure it is not a fake
  • Check that the VIN (vehicle identification number), the engine number, the number plate, and the color of the vehicle match the V5C form
  • If you look at the glass or lights, they should also match the VIN plate as well as the V5C, check for any scratches that could indicate tampering
  • Check that the fuel filler looks as if it has been forced or replaced
  • Check that (if the car is more than three years old) the car has a current MOT
Check over the car, inside and out
  • Check the car’s exterior, look for any accident damage that they may not have disclosed to you
  • Check for any signs that the car has been tampered with on the exterior as well as under the hood
  • Check that the mileage on the odometer lines up with the mileage recorded on any service records and MOT certificates, etc.
  • Check for any leaks or tears around the car and under the hood
  • Check the interior of the car for any damages that were not disclosed
  • Check that the tires are in good condition and observe when they will need to be replaced
  • Check that the spare tire/emergency kit is still in place and in working condition
  • Check that all the seat belts work properly
  • Check that the airbag lights work as according to the handbook
Check all the functions are working properly
  • Check that all the general functions of the car are working properly, the air conditioning, stereo, windshield wipers, horn, lights, washers, gauges, mirrors, windows, seat controls, etc.
Drive the car yourself to test it out
  • You will want to drive the car yourself to make sure that it drives as you expected, as well as everything is functioning properly
  • Test that the brakes, including the handbrake, are in working function and that the car brakes evenly
  • Check that there are no odd noises when you hit the brakes
  • Check that there is no vibration of the steering wheel, especially when pulled to one side
  • Check all the lights, blinkers, hazards, etc.
Pay close attention to the engine
  • Check for any unusual noises when starting the car
  • Check for any odd emissions coming from the car
  • Check that there is no sludge or grime on the oil cap
  • Check that no service or engine lights are coming on
  • Check that it has undergone car inspection in McKinney to ensure it is in good working condition and that it has been serviced consistently

There are a lot of things to look for when privately purchasing a used car, you may want to take the vehicle in for car service in McKinney to ensure its disclosed condition before making the final purchase. For all your car servicing needs, here at Nortex Lube and Tune, we can help. Let our trusted team ensure your car is in tip-top shape. Contact us or come by today, and let us make sure that you’re being safe on the road.


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