Car Buying

What to Always Ask When Buying a Used Car

When the time comes for you to buy a new car, making sure you have the facts is always essential to getting the best deal. You need to be in the know about what you’re getting into before you commit to a vehicle. Asking the right questions can be the perfect way to get the answers you need, and we’re here to give you them.

In actual fact, questions like these can actually save you a small fortune, as well as find what you’re looking for in a car. Whether you’re asking to help make your mind up, protect your assets, or even rule out danger, they’re a useful tool to have.

Each one opens up new doors entirely, so make sure you’re happy with the answers you’re getting, or that you’re okay with not knowing if not.

How many owners?

A great way to get the ball rolling with what to ask when buying a used car is by asking how many previous owners the vehicle has had before you. Although sellers may not know off the bat if at all, finding this out can provide some serious insight into a problematic vehicle. Abnormally high numbers can suggest a problematic machine after all. Nobody wanting to keep it can be a very daunting sign. Always think about why (and don’t be afraid to ask that, either).

Any damage history?

Asking what damage that car has experienced in its life is another great question to ask your seller. Damage to a car, even if repaired, can have a big part to play in its health. It has all kind of implications, like likely repairs or cosmetic problems, as well as the potential for much worse still. If the car has been previously written off and made into a cat S or N, even this could cause you problems with insurance and a range of other problems too. 

Where are the Official Documents?

In addition, these questions you’ve had to ask already, taking things from another point still, asking about the legality of the vehicle you’re buying is absolutely another smart suggestion as well. Checking what legal documentation is available with the vehicle to ensure a smooth and legal purchase is essential, but so are other documents too if they exist. You need to make sure the car will be officially yours and that the seller has the right to give it to you.

Does it have a service history?

Whilst on the subject of understanding the history of a vehicle, the service history is another insightful tool that is always worth having. While not being essential to the purchase of the vehicle overall, it still is worth its weight in gold. This is a surefire way to be able to to tell that the car has been well looked after (or as much as it can be), and having one shows you what kind of things have been done. Again, this is not essential, but having one can make the car more valuable through having less risk, and the opposite can be applied as well.

Does it have a financial history?

One really serious question that can make a car sale void entirely is whether or not it has a financial history, and what state that history is in if so. Cars are being bought using financing schemes more than ever before in recent years, and with so many of these having over-inflated balloon payments when they finish, it’s not abnormal to see these being sold or returned early. If that finance isn’t clear when it comes to you buying, that’s a lot of trouble you are buying yourself into, and it could cost you a huge amount of money, if not the car too.

Does it come with a Warranty?

Used cars aren’t the most reliable of purchases. The whole reason for our vehicle inspection service being so popular and thorough is because we know this, after all. One of the best questions that you can ask when you’re buying a used car as a result of this is to what extent the warranty, if any, will be when you buy it. There are all kinds of shapes and sizes of warranty on the market, with some dealers offering free warranties, some the purchase of extended warranties (like our latest addition), and others leaving you to find out your rights on your own. Make sure you know where you stand and that you’re okay with the repercussions.

What comes with the car?

Finally, always make sure that you are crystal clear on what is coming with the car when you buy it. There are lots of little hidden extras that many people take for granted, and having a solid idea of what these are can help you work out what you’ll have to spend after you have purchased. It can save you a small fortune.

Things like second keys, mats, fuel in the tank, optional extras and even good condition tyres are all prime examples of this in action. Each can also go a long way in costing you more money, with every item in the list added together totalling up to around £500, if not even more. It really is important and can reflect the resale price too in cases like keys and extras especially.


Overall, if you are not sure what questions to ask when you’re buying your next used car, research is your best friend. Look at things like used car buying checklists and even online forums to see common problems. Cars are never a safe purchase unless you’re completely covered by the guarantee, and when you’re buying used, that isn’t something that exists.

We would always recommend speaking to professionals like ourselves to give your car the seal of approval. This provides a crystal clear picture about what you are getting into and helps provide a reliable estimate of what the car will cost you to set right where needed. 

If you’re still unconfident about making the plunge, feel free to contact us today and explain just how valuable our service can be. We’re only a call away.

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