How to Make Sure Your Used Car is Legit

Buying a used car offers many benefits. However, there are also risks involved with this decision — which is why taking steps to authenticate and verify your choice is so crucial. Still, knowing where to begin can feel like a minefield, and it’s not always clear how to proceed. Thus, today, we’re looking at a few noteworthy things you should know before handing over money for a second-hand car. Hopefully, this will help you pick a genuine vehicle that provides valuable solutions overall.

8 Tips to Verify Your Car Purchase

If you’ve been looking to verify your investment, the following car purchase tips could help. But remember even a seller who seems genuine can be trying to scam you (or unknowingly mis-selling the car). So, always do your research carefully first.

#1 Check the Seller

One of the first things to consider is the seller himself. Does the seller’s profile look genuine? What other listings have they made? Do these other listings seem genuine? Considering these points can help you see whether they’re genuine or if they’re more likely to be a scammer.

#2 Check the Model’s History

When selecting a new car, checking the model’s history is highly important. For this, try to look for any common complaints or recalls with your chosen vehicle model; this can help ensure there are no major warning signs you should be aware of first. If there are, be sure to check this with the seller when purchasing (if they don’t want to share much, be cautious).

#3 Look for Inconsistencies with the Detailing

When checking a vehicle over, always look for inconsistencies with the detailing, both inside and out. These could suggest that the car may have had unannounced repairs during its lifetime, which could significantly impact the vehicle’s value and potentially even be indicative of a bigger problem.

If you do notice any inconsistent detailing, be sure to ask the seller for an explanation. This may only be a minor issue, but it could also indicate a more involved repair job.

#4 See the Car in Action

Before you hand over any money, always make sure you have viewed the vehicle in action and on the road.  Indeed, it’s much easier for a scammer to hide common faults when the vehicle is not running. Luckily, these are typically much easier to notice during operation; so, viewing the car on the road is essential.

Even if the seller isn’t happy for you to have a test drive, at least ask them to drive the car first to show it running. If they are not willing to do so, be sure to ask yourself: why?

#5 Run a Car History Check

Thus far, we’ve mainly looked at options to avoid a potentially dodgy car sale. But if you think you’ve found a suitable vehicle, how can you verify this?

Well, running a car history check is one of the best options here. These solutions are designed to provide a wealth of information about a car’s history. In turn, this can help you verify the seller’s claim and make an informed choice.

#6 Check the Paperwork Carefully

When buying a vehicle, the first thing to look for in terms of paperwork is a V5 document. This is a logbook that contains important information about a vehicle, such as the VIN and engine number. It’s important to ensure that these numbers match with the history report and the actual vehicle. For further clarification, plug an OBD scan tool into the car to review the engine and VIN numbers electronically.

#7 How to Test Drive a Used Car

To begin with, check if the car comes with a spare key, as obtaining one from the manufacturer can be costly. Next, cold start the vehicle and listen closely for any unusual noises under the bonnet. Then, take the car for a test drive; it should smoothly accelerate. When it’s safe to do so, perform a hard stop to check the brakes. Finally, ensure the gearbox goes through the gears smoothly without jerking.

If you are a first-time driver, it’s essential to test drive the car with an experienced driver. This will allow you to have a second opinion on how the car drives and determine if it is ideal for you.

#8 Exterior Inspection of a Car

Start by inspecting the paintwork carefully to ensure there are no dents or that the panels have not been repainted. Test the doors to ensure they open and close softly. Look at the gaps around the body to ensure there is no mismatch, as that can indicate the panel has been changed or the car has been in an accident. Take a torch to inspect the brakes and brake pads, as this will determine if you need to change them.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been looking to buy a new car, there’s a lot you’ll need to think about. As part of this, today’s simple tips to verify your car purchase will hopefully help. However, the single most important step is to run a car check; this quick distinction can mean the difference between buying and avoiding a fraudulent vehicle. So, don’t risk it — always verify the vehicle with a history check first.