Are you planning to buy a used car? What are the things you should look at before buying a used car?

We will discuss today how to spot damages on used cars showing if the car is stolen, or they have altered the mileage. It is preferable to buy used cars from dealers as they bring with them a trust factor, which is not the case when buying privately.

If you are buying a used car, be it from a car dealer or privately, asking the right question and a thorough check-up may reveal a lot about the car’s history. If by any chance you are not confident about doing this, you can hire a car checking service to do it for you.


You need to check if the car owner has the following documents and if those documents are in order or not.

  • V5C Registration Document
  • V5C registration should in the name of the person selling the car.
  • Registration document should have a watermark
  • Check for spelling mistakes on the document
  • The V5C should have VIN, engine number and colour which matches the car on sale
  • Number Plate should match the V5C
  • Check if the VIN number has been tampered with
  • The VIN number on the glass or lights should match the VIN plate and V5C
  • Signs of scratches on the glass to remove the VIN
  • Check if the fuel filler has been forced or replaced
  • The car should have a current MOT


Check the following this to determine the correct mileage of the car

  • Mileage should match the appearance and age of the car
  • Check if the instruments have been tampered with
  • Check the mileage recorded on different documents like MOT certificate
  • Do the documents give out a consistent mileage increase?
  • You can check the MOT status and the history online

Accident Damage

Look for the following to make out if the car has gone through an accident :

  • Inconsistent gaps and mismatched colours
  • Paint finish should be even across the car
  • Paint spray on handles, window seals or plastic mouldings
  • Check the hidden areas to check if they have changed the colour of the car


Check for these safety features

  • Tyres should be in good condition with all their kits in serviceable condition
  • All the tools are present
  • Operational and not damaged seatbelt
  • Airbags are fitted
  • Check if all safety features are present and are operational
  • Test drive
  • Test drive the car and check if everything operates normally


The past MOT certificate gives a detailed description of the engine quality. Anyway, test drive the car to check for any abnormality.

Locks, windows and general controls

Check every minute detail of the car and every component before going ahead with your buy.