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Vital checks when viewing a used car

What to look for when buying a used car

When buying a used car there are many vital checks to look at before the decision is made to buy. First and foremost a test drive to begin, the steering should be accurate and smooth with the gears easy to select, and the brakes should slow the car effectively without pulling to the left or right. Listen out for clunks from the suspension and see if the car pulls away smoothly. When looking at body work on a used car check for colour variation, any poor quality paintwork uneven panel gaps or rust. Also check apertures, the spare wheel well and under the bonnet for signs of respraying.

Electrics on a used car could be expensive to repair if not checked; switches for lights, windows, stereo and seats need to be in working order. Air con is also an expensive bill so look at the air con and make sure it is working correctly. Plenty of tread on the tyres would be a plus as this is another expense if in need of replacing in the short term.

One of the most important checks to consider when buying a used car is the paperwork. A valid V5C registration document, service history and mot certificate all need to be present, a quick check that the mileages tally and the cars VIN plate is correct is a necessity.

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