Advice and tips on buying used cars
Use our advice to get a great deal (and avoid any problems) when you buy a used car
Top 10 tips when buying a used car:
Do a background check: Make sure you check the car's history; it will alert you to any problems. You can buy multiple checks for as little as £5 (you can buy 5 checks for £25), so you can check several cars on your shortlist.
Ask questions: Make sure you ask the seller the right questions. If you don't ask, especially when buying privately, you may have little comeback if there's a problem later.
Check the car: Inspect the car thoroughly to spot any expensive repairs needed or signs that it's been in an accident. Look at the VIN too.
Go for a test drive: We've got a checklist of things to look out for on your test drive. Don't forget to make sure you're insured.
Get the price right: Make sure you have a budget, and stick to it. We've got tips on haggling, to keep the price down. And decide how you want to pay for the car.
Take delivery: Remember to notify the DVLA, sort out insurance, and remember to get an MOT when needed
Act quickly if there are any problems: You only have a short time to reject a car if there are problems. So make sure you take action as soon as possible.
Enjoy! Hopefully, you'll get years of trouble free motoring from your car.
Planning your purchase
This section covers articles that provides advice about what you would need to know about second hand cars as well as advice about where to buy it from.
Top 5 articles in this section include:
- The risks of buying a used car
- Beware of vehicles with outstanding finance
- How old is it? Registration (number) plates and years of issue
- Where to buy used cars?
- Buying privately
See more articles about planning and purchase
Choosing and buying
This section covers articles that provide advice about what you would need to do while checking the vehicle, how to pay for it and what to do afterwards once you bought it.
Top 5 articles in this section include:
- Questions to ask to seller when buying a used car
- Checking and inspecting a used car
- How to haggle when buying a car
- Notifying the DVLA when you buy a used car
- Road tax and used cars
See more articles about choosing and buying
Buy now...check now
If you know the registration plate or the car(s) you're interested in,
you can access your AutoCheck in seconds.
Get an AutoCheck from just £5.
You can buy one check for £19.99 or five checks for just £24.99
Buy now...check later
Off to a car supermarket or auction?
Don't know the vehicle registration number?
Don't worry! If you don't know the vehicle's registration plate yet, you can buy your AutoChecks now and run them when you've got a shortlist.
Start your AutoCheck now
Help and advice
Some relevant frequently asked questions
When does the 60 days start? When I register, purchase or when I check the first vehicle?
The 60 days start from the date of purchase of the AutoCheck.
Can you buy a check over the phone?
This service is an online service only, so we are unable to carry out a check over the phone.
When do I get my check?
You report appears as soon as you have successfully made your purchase. The results are instant.
How much does the data check insurance cost?
There is no extra charge for the data insurance, it is included in the cost of your check.
View a sample report
Here you can see an example report of an AutoCheck.
This will show you how your report will be presented to you once purchased.
Thank goodness for AutoCheck! It saved me a 130 mile-round trip and stopped me buying a clocked, written off car. What a fantastic service
The primary reason I chose AutoCheck was to make sure the car did not still have finance outstanding. I can't thank AutoCheck enough as, by choosing their report over others, I escaped inheriting a significant amount of debt held against the vehicle. Because of this I'd always recommend AutoCheck over other vehicle check providers.