Why you should always look at the history before buying a used car

How to complete a car history check before purchasing your used car

There’s something rather exciting about buying a new car. Browsing at shiny models on the forecourt and going for test drives can get your heart racing – but before you make a deal, always complete a car history check. Discovering potential problems before you part with your hard-earned cash could save you a big headache down the line, so always know the backstory of a vehicle.

A car history report provides key facts and information

Many people make the mistake of buying a car on looks alone without checking the necessary vehicle service history and additional paperwork. This is not a good idea as it’s hard to get a detailed overview of a vehicle just by opening the doors a few times and flicking the light switches on and off.

With this in mind, ask the seller for a car history report or run one yourself – all you need is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This is typically located on the chassis and will reveal more information about a used car’s road worthiness and emissions status.

You can also head to the DVLA to find out various facts about a vehicle, including:

  • When its current vehicle tax expires
  • When its MOT expires
  • The date it was first registered
  • Its SORN status
  • Engine size
  • Year of manufacture
  • CO2 emissions
  • Current vehicle tax rate

If you don’t check your car historybefore a purchase, you won’t know what you’re walking into – and remember, while a car dealership has legal obligations to ensure the car is of a ‘satisfactory’ standard, you have less protection when it comes to buying a vehicle through a private seller.

A car history report will tell you more about the vehicle’s ownership

As well as finding out as much as you can about the car’s service history and physical condition, it’s also a good idea to learn more about the previous owners. A car that has had a single owner for a long time is often considered a safer purchase option than a car that has passed through many hands, but of course, this isn’t necessarily the case. All you can really do is make all the necessary checks and hope that everything works out for the best.

You should also pay attention to the type of previous owner too, as this could reveal more information about the car’s condition. An owner who operated a taxi company, for instance, could have racked up more miles on the clock than a car that’s been used for social trips. There’s likely to be a fair amount of wear and tear on highly used vehicles, so keep this in mind when buying.

If you are looking for a top quality used vehicle that will get you from A to B with ease, head to the Carwise dealerships located in Harlow, Maidstone and Dunstable. Open seven days a week, we stock a host of great vehicles in excellent condition.