Buying any car is an expensive purchase, so it is important that you can assess whether it is worth it or not. This is especially true when it comes to second-hand cars. Being able to check the MOT history, any technical aspects and whether the car has been imported or exported will save you a headache down the line.

The importance of knowing a car’s history
When looking at the plethora of used cars for sale, it can be hard to know when you are getting a safe car at a reasonable price. Therefore, it is important to get as much information as you can via a history check. A history check provides information such as MOT expiration details, SORN status, tax expiration date and the year of manufacture.

MOT history
Having a yearly MOT is a legal requirement when owning a car so being able to check the results of past tests is important. The seller should produce the certificate, however, they can be found online if not.

Having the MOT history will tell you what state the vehicle is in, or has been in. Buying a vehicle that has some issues that you were not aware of can end up costing you more money down the line.

Number plate changes
Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous sellers in the marketplace who swap or clone number plates. Being able to check the plates will save you a whole host of legal issues once the car is in your legal possession.

Whilst having different number plates over the years is not uncommon, it should be disclosed by the seller. Being sure that your newest purchase isn’t stolen gives you peace of mind and helps you to be sure that the car is worth buying.

Technical aspects to check
Buying second-hand often means that if you don’t spot any issues, or the seller doesn’t disclose any, then any that later arise are your responsibility.

Checking the engine is essential as it is often costly to fix. The engine can take a lot of wear and tear but there are so many intricate parts to navigate. Leaks can be easy to spot and often they come from the engine. Remember to check underneath the car for leaks as well.

Taking a car for a test drive is crucial for you to get a feel of the way the car drives, but it can be used to spot any potential issues as well. For example, when using the gearbox, changes should be smooth and quiet but if they aren’t, then there could be an issue there. Also, if you have to put your foot on the floor to feel the biting point, then there is likely to be an issue with the clutch.

Imported or exported
If a car has been reported as exported, you will not be able to insure it. Without insurance, you are unable to legally drive the car. Similarly, an imported car is more expensive to insure, and it can be harder to find replacement parts if something were to go wrong.

Whilst buying a used car is budget-friendly, there are things to check before completing the sale to make sure there isn’t anything that will come back to bite you in the future.