When looking at used cars for sale
it is very much a case of caveat emptor - Let the buyer beware! There are certainly a few things that you should always do in order to try to make sure that you end up with a genuine and suitable vehicle.
Firstly, make sure that you give the car a really good test drive and that you are happy with not only the way that the car handles, but also that you are comfortable driving it. Ensure that when everything is adjusted for you, the driving position gives you a good clear view of everything around you and that you are happy and confident driving the car. Although this does sound very obvious it is one of the most important things. After all, you don't want to end up with a car that you don't enjoy driving or struggle to control. You'd be surprised how many people have regretted buying a car further down the road, so to speak, because they didn't spend long enough in the initial stages checking that they were happy driving it.
When test driving the vehicle also take the opportunity to check out all of the electrical systems - order:, :4:6:windows and so on.
Of course, you need to not only make sure that you are happy with the way that the car drives, but that it is actually suitable for any particular needs that you have too. If you need a car with a good deal of flexibility of storage space, does it offer this? Will the rear seats fold flat to allow you to carry larger loads?
Secondly, take the time to check all of the paperwork properly. Just because you may have seen the car advertised on a reputable website such as this one
doesn't mean that everything will be above board and genuine.
The paperwork you should insist on seeing includes the V5C registration document which will prove that the person selling the car is the named legal owner. You should also ask to look at the service history as this will show how regularly the car has been maintained and whether major services have been carried out. Also, if the car is old enough to require one, see if previous MOTs are present too. A very useful tip here is that as long as you have the vehicle's registration number and the document reference from the V5C document as well you can check the MOT history going back to 2005 online by visiting https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history-vehicle
You should also try to ensure that the handbook is present and that keycodes for any audio system or alarm system are provided, if possible, as this can save you a lot of hassle and expense further down the line.
Following these basic pointers and, of course, applying a certain amount of common sense should help you navigate your way through the process of buying a second hand car without ending up making a purchase that you could later regret.