Please forward this error screen to 207. Used cars are, as a rule, a lot less dodgy than they used to be. Getting to grips with any used car’s history and knowing its credentials are still as important as checking buying a used car checklist pdf used car for faults, because nightmare scenarios are still out there to trap the unwary. Fortunately, with a bit of care and forethought, it is possible buy a used car with confidence – you just have to follow a few simple guidelines.

Of course you can never be 100 per cent certain that a used car won’t let you down one way or another in future, but at least you can do your bit to make sure the obvious used car problems are avoided. The first two rules are simplest of all. Buy with your head and not your heart, and have the confidence to walk away from any used car if there’s anything you’re not sure about. 8 million used cars sold per year in the UK, the odds are stacked in your favour. Once your head is in the right place for used car shopping, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. The used car buying tips set out in our guide below will help to guarantee that unmissable used car deal is genuine bargain.

You can use the problem to your advantage by haggling money off the car, or insist that the seller fixes it before the sale. If you’re buying privately, you’ll be responsible for spotting all of these potential problems. While the seller doesn’t have to volunteer much information, it’s down to you to ask the right questions. Buying from a dealer gives you certain legal rights, and the car must be fit for the purpose it’s intended for. Buying from a main dealer’s used approved scheme is the safest and simplest approach.

Used approved schemes mean the cars will have a full service history, undergo a comprehensive mechanical check, and depending on the scheme may even come with an extra warranty and breakdown cover. The engine is the heart of the car, and while they put up with a huge amount of wear and tear, the number of components inside and the tight tolerances they operate under means maintenance is essential. One of the easiest things to spot are leaks. There are many different fluids that run in, around and under the engine, and a well-maintained car shouldn’t spring a leak. When you view a used car, check underneath for signs of an oil leak.

If there’s oil on the tarmac under the car, or lots of sludge under the car it has, or has had, an oil leak. The sludge under the engine is caused by road dirt sticking to the oily underside of the engine. Open the bonnet and check all around the engine for other leaks. Oil leaks are usually brown or, if the engine oil is old, black, but there are other fluids that are prone to seeping out.

Gearbox fluid is quite thick, while power steering fluid is thinner. If you see any of this leaking, you have a few options. You can ask for money off the price in order to get it fixed yourself, or you can insist the seller fixes it as part of the deal. Or you can walk away and seek out another car. Either way, it’s worth getting it seen by an expert so you know the exact problem, and what it’ll cost to fix. Ensure the dipstick reading is at the correct level and the oil is not discoloured or the wrong consistency. While you’re there, also look for general dirt and grime covering any connectors, as this could highlight a poorly maintained or serviced vehicle.

A blown head gasket is one which has begun to leak. This can cause a variety of problems from a smoky exhaust, loss of power or a rough sounding engine through to total engine failure, so it’s important to check. Check the engine is cool and remove the oil cap from the top of the engine. If you see white, or light brown sludge with the consistency of mayonnaise, you’re probably looking at the result of a blown head gasket. At that point, it’s probably worth walking away from the deal, as it’s hard to know what other damage the problem has caused.

If the price is already reduced, the overall condition of the vehicle has a major impact on pricing. What happens when you purchase a non, don’t assume you’ll be able to drive off the same day You are unlikely to be able to drive a new car away on the day, do I need a massive boot? Check the car’s what you wanted, you may get a better deal going privately, plus all other gadgets to make sure they work. Car or used, you can either pay the whole cost upfront or take out a finance deal.