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Mon - Fri: 8:00am - 5:45pm

Sat: 8:30 - 4:00pm

Sun: Closed

Top Tips for Buying a Used Car


Used cars are bought all over the world on a daily basis – from family saloons to first cars for new drivers and even supercars for the super rich, all kinds of cars are available to buy second hand, no matter what your budget and requirements happen to be. However, buying a used car isn’t as simple as turning up at the car dealership or owner’s home and exchanging cash for keys – there are a number of things you should remember and be wary of when buying your (sort of) new transport.

MOT Check

Ensuring that the vehicle you are planning on buying has passed its MOT and is road legal is vital. You can check that the car’s MOT certificate is genuine using the car’s logbook and its online MOT history. In the logbook, the car’s registration number can be found and the car’s MOT number should be on the MOT certificate. Enter these details online and you will find information for when the car last had an MOT and any comments or discoveries that arose from the test.

Service History

Ask to see the vehicle’s service history – this will show what work has been carried out on the car and any mileage the car has achieved. The mileage on the latest service should be higher than on previous services. Also make sure that the cam belt is in good working order – ask when it was last changed, as if it breaks, it could mean that the engine is damaged.

Finance History

Ensure that the car is not subject to any outstanding payments or credit agreements. If you are unsure and want peace of mind, there are companies that can check the data of the car and find out information with regards to any outstanding payments. These checks can also tell you if the car has been written off or stolen. Car dealerships should carry out a data check before they sell the car, so you can ask them to show you these details.

Test Drive

Make sure it drives properly! Things to check on a test drive include: condition of the seats, the brakes (test this by doing an emergency stop on an empty road. If you hear or feel grinding or squeaking, this can be a sign that repairs are needed). Check for any unusual noises, or any listing (pulling to one side), as well as difficulties changing gear or strong smells of oils or petrol. Some of these can be easily rectified, but others (grinding when braking, blue or black smoke from the exhaust, etc.) can indicate more severe issues.

By carrying out comprehensive checks and asking questions to the person selling you your car, you can ensure that the car is suitable for your needs and doesn’t require any expensive outlay on your part, as well as ensuring your safety on the roads.

Here at Tyres Northampton, we provide a wide range of services from tyre fitting to MOT testing and wheel alignment. If you would like to know more about what we do, please feel free to get in touch with us today and we’ll be more than happy to help you.


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