For many, a new car is considered a significant financial investment. You might easily spend tens of thousands of pounds on one, even if you’re buying secondhand. As such, it’s worth doing as much research as possible and giving yourself the best chance of avoiding a nasty surprise. To do this, you’ll want to look into a car’s history.
The more complete a picture you can get of the car’s history, the better. Every accident might have an impact on the car’s performance and value, even if the consequences don’t show up in an inspection. Major accidents will have been logged, and it’s worth making yourself aware of them through an online history-checking service.
An approved used vehicle will come with a guarantee that’s backed by the manufacturer. It will also have undergone a rigorous inspection process. As such, it tends to be a much safer option than buying directly from the previous owner. For example, if you were looking for a secondhand Citroen, then you might look for approved used Citroën dealerships in the vicinity.
Service and maintenance records
Similarly, the service record matters. Ideally, the car will have undergone a full service every year, and more services in between if the mileage warrants it. While minor accidents might have been ignored, every service the car has been through should have been logged. Make sure that you have the information before you buy.
The fewer owners your new car has had, the better. When one person owns a car, they’re better incentivised to look after it. After all, you’re more likely to neglect a vehicle that you’re only going to be driving for a week. If the car has been part of a rental fleet, then you might consider it a red flag.
Sometimes, ownership isn’t such a simple thing to determine. Look into whether there are any liens or loans outstanding on the vehicle, too.
Cars which have travelled fewer miles will tend to have suffered less wear and tear. Don’t take the reported mileage for granted: digital odometers can be tampered with just as easily as traditional ones. Fortunately, there are ways of using technology to check that the mileage is genuine, especially if you know a trustworthy mechanic.
The general rule applies to odometer readings as it does elsewhere: if you’re buying from a reputable, trustworthy seller, then you’re less likely to get your fingers burned!
Conclusively, knowing a vehicle’s history is important before purchasing as it can provide valuable information about the condition of the vehicle and potential issues it may have had in the past. Being aware of any problems, accidents, or past service records helps is highly recommended before committing to your purchase, ensuring your new car is safe, that your dealer is authoritative and, of course, you are getting value for money.