Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

Making sure used car buy checks out

08:45 29 November 2015

Check it out: Part of an RAC Car Passport used car check.

Check it out: Part of an RAC Car Passport used car check.

supplied

Buying a used car doesn’t need to be a gamble, particularly if you do your research and make some simple checks.

Carrying out a car history check is vital, but it’s worth knowing what information you will receive and where to find out other important details about a car you want to buy.

When you know which car you are interested in, you can tap its registration number in to a variety of car history checkers. These vary in price from a couple of quid to more expensive ones at around £20. Generally, the more expensive the check, the more detailed the information on the car and its previous life.

Alarm bells

Even so, a low-cost check should tell you if the car has been stolen, written-off or has outstanding finance still to be paid off. If one or more of these items is flagged up by a search, it should ring alarm bells.

If a car shows as being stolen, you should report it to the police as the seller may well be a criminal. Equally, it could be the car has not been properly registered as being stolen and returned to its rightful owner who is now selling it, but better to be safe than sorry.

There are different categories of write-offs, with D and C category cars allowed to be sold on, but the seller should declare this. If not, ask yourself why the seller is trying to hide the information.

As for outstanding finance, it means the car is effectively owned by the finance company and not the seller, so they should not be trying to sell it in the first place. The worst case here is you buy the car and the finance company reclaims it from you to settle the debt, leaving you out of pocket and with no car.

Checks, checks, checks

Clearly, a history check is hugely important for any used car you consider. However, there are other sources you can use to check a car’s background.

The DVLA’s website lets you check a car’s details using its registration number and make. This will confirm the car’s registered details, such as engine capacity, emissions and colour. It will also tell you when the current MoT test is due to expire.

Also using the DVLA’s website, you can look at previous MoTs of many used cars. This will let you know if the car has had any major faults that have caused an MoT failure and you can use it to tally the mileage at each MoT with what is displayed on the car for sale.

Using this information, you can also cross-reference it with the history and service file from the car. While this is not a definitive check, it is one that costs nothing and helps to confirm a car is genuine and not being sold by a dodgy criminal.

There are also some free car history check websites, but be aware they are not as thorough as the best paid-for services. Using these along with common sense should keep you clear of any iffy used cars.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Binge-drinker's night out ban

A binge-drinking plasterer has been banned from going out on Fridays and Saturdays after assaulting a police officer while being drunk and disorderly.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A Felixstowe bricklayer told magistrates he was ashamed after swearing at police while drunk and telling them taking him to court would be a waste of time.

Readers have shared their Pigs Gone Wild selfies and family photos as the trail reaches its final few days in Ipswich

We will miss them when they are gone but there are still seven days left to see the pigs in situ around Ipswich town centre.

Ipswich Crown Court

A dishonest Ipswich man who was caught by police after his DNA was found at the scene of two break-ins and a theft has been jailed for 20 months.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A motorcyclist has been injured in a crash which blocked a road on the Suffolk/Norfolk border today.

And indicative perspective of what a new retirement homes on the 30 Lower Brook Street site, might look like.
Development plans are going out for consultation.
The site is currently Archant's newspaper offices.

A public exhibition will give local residents Ipswich residents the opportunity to view and comment on McCarthy and Stone’s preliminary proposals to redevelop land between Lower Brook Street and Turret Lane.

Police are appealing for witnesses

Suffolk Police are searching for a woman who has gone missing from Ipswich.

File picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service fire engines.

Fire crews have been called to help a young pony that has become trapped in a ditch in Palgrave, on the Suffolk and Norfolk border.

The Red Arrows were able to complete a shortened display at the Clacton Airshow.

For almost everyone it was the perfect summer day on the beach – blue skies immediately above, temperatures in the high 20s, warm sea water.

Liverpool Street station

London’s Liverpool Street train station has been evacuated following reports of a suspicious package.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24