Buying a used car can be a great way to save money compared to buying a brand new car. However, it’s important to take your time and carefully evaluate the car before making a purchase. Here are some things to look for when buying a used car in the UK.

1. Mileage

The mileage of a car is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a used car. The higher the mileage, the more wear and tear the car has experienced. However, it’s important to note that not all high-mileage cars are bad. Some cars are designed to handle higher mileage better than others.

When looking at the mileage of a car, also consider the age of the car. A car that is a few years old with low mileage may be a better option than a car that is 10 years old with high mileage.

2. Service History

The service history of a car can give you insight into how well the car has been maintained over its lifetime. Look for a car with a full service history, meaning that it has been regularly serviced and maintained by a reputable mechanic.

If the car doesn’t have a full service history, ask the seller for any records they do have. This can include receipts for any repairs or maintenance that has been done on the car.

3. Condition of the Bodywork

The condition of the bodywork is an important factor to consider when buying a used car. Look for any scratches, dents, or rust on the body of the car. If there are any issues, consider whether they can be fixed easily and at a reasonable cost.

Also, check the condition of the tyres and brakes. Make sure that the tyres have enough tread and that the brakes are working properly.

4. Test Drive

Before making a purchase, always take the car for a test drive. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the car and to check for any issues.

During the test drive, pay attention to how the car handles and whether it feels comfortable to drive. Also, check for any unusual noises or vibrations.

5. Check for Outstanding Finance

It’s important to check whether there is any outstanding finance on the car before making a purchase. If there is, the finance company may be entitled to repossess the car even if you have bought it.

You can check for outstanding finance by running a HPI check on the car. This will also give you other important information about the car, such as whether it has ever been in an accident or has been reported stolen.

6. Get a Professional Inspection

Even if you feel confident in your ability to evaluate a car, it’s always a good idea to get a professional inspection. A mechanic can give you a more detailed evaluation of the car and can spot any issues that you may have missed.

Also, consider getting an independent valuation of the car. This can give you an idea of how much the car is worth and can help you negotiate a fair price.


Buying a used car can be a great way to save money, but it’s important to take your time and carefully evaluate the car before making a purchase. Look for a car with a reasonable mileage and a full service history.

By imedia

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