The used car market is a fantastic place to shop when you need a new vehicle but do not want to pay full price, but it is also somewhere that you must be cautious. You need to thoroughly check over the car to make sure that it is in good condition, but you must also be wary of used car scams and fraudulent sellers. This can put many people off, but you simply need to be aware of a few things before entering the market.

Here are a few hidden things that you should always check before making the purchase:

Vehicle History Check

A vehicle history check is vital as it can be impossible to know a car’s full history without one and it could be harbouring a secret. These checks are used as the first line of defence against used car scams and they can also highlight any problems that could arise again. Have a vehicle history check carried out to make sure that it is a smart investment and for complete peace of mind.

Reputable Seller

It may be tempting to use a private seller because they can offer such low prices, but this can be a dangerous path and you are more likely to fall victim to a scam. Instead, always buy from a reputable seller like The AA – this ensures that you get legal protection and all the proper paperwork.


In addition to giving the car a careful inspection and taking it for a test drive, remember to pull the dipstick to make sure that the oil is fresh and check the oil filler cap as well – it may need a head gasket repair if there is white residue. Look for brown stains around the car as this indicates that the engine has been leaking.


Ask for all of the available receipts with the car from the seller as this will give you an idea of the state of its mechanicals and reveal if there are any recurring or big problems with the vehicle.


Clocking remains one of the most common used car scams. A vehicle history check can reveal this, but also look to see if the general condition of the automobile matches the mileage. If there is a lot of wear and tear but not many miles displayed then it may have been clocked.

These are a few of the more overlooked aspects to look for when shopping for a used car and should help you to safely navigate the used vehicle market.



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