What To Look for When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. There are all kinds of issues that can emerge – and some of them don’t appear until after you have bought your car. Luckily, there is an easy checklist to run through if you want to make sure that you are getting a reasonable deal. This article breaks down some of the most important things you need to look for when it comes to buying a used car in the United Kingdom. Of course, you’ll need to ask for a test drive to check a few of these things. If the previous owner doesn’t offer you a test drive, don’t bother buying their car!


A reputable licensed dealership offering used cars Gedling will always provide you with the correct paperwork when you are buying a car. If they don’t, they are breaking the law. However, private sellers might sometimes forget or deliberately not give you all of the paperwork you need to own to legally take control of a vehicle. So, make sure you check any papers over twice and don’t even take a car for a test drive if the old owner can’t provide you with papers.


It is easy to use a registration plate to look up the emissions quality of a car before you consider buying it. This is crucial – not just for the environment but also for where you will be allowed to drive. For example, London has already banned high emission vehicles from driving freely, and other cities are likely to follow suit to reduce dangerous particulate levels in the air.


Making a few checks under the hood can save you a huge amount of expense later on down the line. First, check the consistency of the oil. If it has congealed into a brown sludge, then the radiator may be leaking into the engine. Next, check the engine mountings and head gasket. Finally, make sure that the fan belt and timing belt run smoothly.


Brake and wheel alignment quality is easy to ascertain during a test drive. All that you need to do is find a safe place like an empty car park, move slowly forwards in first gear, and take your hands off the wheel. If the car jerks in one direction or the other, then the wheels are not correctly aligned. Likewise, if you find that the car moves slightly to one side when you depress the brake pedal, then the car likely needs to have new disc brake pads installed.

Gearbox And Clutch

Nothing is more frustrating to drive (or expensive to fix) than a car with a bad gearbox or stiff clutch. Always check the clutch bite point is reasonable when you are test driving a used car. Cars with high clutch bite points are likely to be nearing the end of their clutch cable life. Likewise, check that the car switches between gears smoothly and doesn’t make unusual noises when you engage the clutch.

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