Top tips for vehicle buying – the dos and the don’ts


We pick up some top tips from David Bilsborough, of Cheshire Cars in Crewe, who’s provided the following advice when deciding whether or not to invest in a second-hand vehicle.

These tips should help you to stay reasonably safe and secure when making sure the vehicle you choose is genuine.



– Check the vehicle’s Vehicle Identity Number (or VIN for short) that it’s correctly positioned and unmarked, and that it matches up to that inside the Registration Document (V5)

– Look for the vehicle’s service record, making sure the dates and mileages tally up

– Check on the website for the vehicle’s MOT history – this will show the previous MOTs and any work done plus any future potential work to be done

– Complete your own inspection with either HPI, or similar providence check, for: accident write-off, outstanding finance, any mileage discrepancy

– If not confident, ask for someone to come along with you with the relevant experience, as a back up to check what you see and are told by the seller

– Ask questions of the seller (such as the reason for sale and how long they have owned the vehicle)

– Pay for an independent inspection if the seller hasn’t already had one carried out, only accept written proof of one having being completed

– Take a long test drive using a mixture of slow and fast roads with different surfaces



– Don’t be rushed take your time in making a decision

– Don’t take “I think so” as evidence of a spare key or missing service history

– Don’t take the answer “no, it’s not been a write-off” – use the companies that specialise in data to confirm that it isn’t

– Don’t be afraid to say “no” and walk away


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