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Problems to look out for when buying second hand cars

Problems to look out for when buying second hand cars


Buying a car is a big deal and there is a lot of pressure on getting it right. If you don’t do your research, you could be left with an expensive mistake!

We’ve outlined a few problems you may come across when buying a second hand car, so you can be prepared before parting with your money.


Top tips on how to avoid buying a dodgy second hand car

Here are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to buying a used car:

  • If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If the mileage seems too low on the car, find out why this is the case.
  • Inspect and test drive the car before buying it. Make sure you take it up to the national speed limit to see how it copes on faster roads.
  • Check its service history.
  • Research if there are any common problems with the type of car you’re interested in.
  • Look online to see if a vehicle is taxed and has a valid MOT.


Common problems when buying a used car

Here are some common problems when buying a car, along with tips on how to protect yourself before committing to buy.


It’s faulty

You can try and prevent buying a faulty car by test driving and inspecting it before purchase. It’s also important to ask the seller questions about previous owners to try and get the best picture of the car’s past.

Getting a second opinion and reading car reviews may help your decision, as the thoughts of others can make you think differently about what you’re looking to buy. Some cars have common mechanical faults, so spend a bit of time researching and speaking to an independent mechanic - if possible - if you have any doubts.


It has a dubious past

If you buy a car that is stolen or has existing finance on it, you may have it taken off you and lose the money you paid for it. A car may have also been ‘clocked’ and its mileage wound back to make it appear newer.

An HPI check (just £19.99) can tell you all about a car’s history and offer you peace of mind before your next purchase.


It’s not covered by a warranty

If you buy an older car from a private seller, you may not be entitled to a refund or compensation if something goes wrong with it after purchase. Although you may pay more at a dealership, you can normally benefit from a warranty which covers the vehicle for a certain amount of time after you’ve bought it.

Newer cars may still be covered under the manufacturers’ warranties – so make sure you check this before you part with your cash.


Buying a used car isn’t all bad! There are trustworthy sellers out there, selling quality cars. You just need to be aware and do your homework before parting with your money.


If you are looking to get started with your next car purchase and want to finance it, get a great rate – even if you have a poor credit rating – at Red Potato


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