Questions to ask when buying a used car

It is easy to get excited when buying a car and buy something without thinking everything through. You are likely buying a used car to save money, but it could end up costing you a lot of money unexpectedly if something goes wrong.

You should also note that if you have any unpaid parking fines or were involved in any accidents in your last car, then these will not disappear just because you have a new car. Click here to see how to check if you have a warrant.

Can you view the car?

Before paying for a used car, you should always be able to see the car first. Don’t trust photos as they can be deceiving.

When you do view the car, have a thorough inspection. Look for any scratches as well as the mileage. If you do not know a lot about cars, then take someone with you who does.

Can the car be legally sold?

There are several reasons why the car might not be able to be legally sold. For example, there might be outstanding finance on it, or it could have been stolen. If you buy a car illegally, then you could face a large fine or even a driving ban.

Why are they selling the car?

It is good to have an idea of why they are selling the car. Is it because there is anything wrong with the car?


A used car will have a set of documents, such as service history. You should look over them and check the car’s history. Again, if you don’t know very much about cars, ask someone who does to look over the documents for you.

Has the car been involved in an accident?

If the car has been involved in an accident, then there could be internal damage that you can’t see. And if it was written off, then it might be illegal to drive it. Details should be in the service history of the car.

Are they the registered keeper?

Whoever is selling you the car should be the registered keeper. If they are selling it on behalf of someone, it might be a good idea to speak to them as well.

Is the car as described?

When you go to see the vehicle, is it as they said it was? If you notice something different from what they described, then it might be a red flag – what else are they hiding?

Can you drive it home?

If you can drive it home, then it means it is suitable for the road. It has no problems, which will mean you will break down on the way back.

Can you test drive it?

The seller should be happy for you to test drive it. This will allow you to have a feel for how the car runs as well as inspecting the mileage and condition of the inside of the vehicle. If you are unsure of what to look for, then bring someone with you to test drive it on your behalf.

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