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Have a Used Car Checked by Experts

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 2 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Used Car Experts Professionals Checked

It is always a good idea to get a second opinion before buying a used car. Of course, the buyer should make a thorough inspection of the car himself to make sure it is safe, roadworthy and worth the asking price, but it is easy to overlook a fault when going it alone.

So when viewing and test driving a car, a savvy driver will take along a friend – preferably one with a wealth of car knowledge. Failing that, call in the professionals and get the car checked properly before parting with hard-earned cash.

It will cost money to have a used car examined by experts. A basic inspection is suitable for those confident enough to carry out checks on cosmetic appearance and bodywork themselves, but need an expert opinion on the car’s mechanical condition and operations and checks for previous accident damage. These inspections will cost in excess of £120.

Full Safety Check

A comprehensive inspection will include a full examination of the car inside and out. The car’s bodywork, upholstery, locks, windows, entertainment system, heaters and air conditioning will all be checked for an extra £40 or so. Prices and conditions vary, but all types of inspection should include a full safety check and road test, a verbal report and multi-page written report.

Some buyers may be put off by the price of a professional inspection, but those who skimp on it may pay a far higher price. The AA claims that 82 per cent of the vehicles it inspects need either essential or advisable repairs.

Every year 190,000 cars are written off by insurers, yet many of them still end up on a forecourt or in the small ads. Unfortunately, there are many insurance write-offs and cut ‘n’ shut cars about, but these can be avoided with the help of an expert inspection. Millions of other cars are not roadworthy, have major defects or other damage and these points can be picked up too.

Get a Second Opinion

Remember that an MOT certificate, although vital, is no guarantee of roadworthiness, as a buyer will not know what has happened to the car since the test took place. Only safety checks carried out at the time of purchase can be trusted, and it is easy for a buyer to forget the important checks while looking at shiny paintwork. It is, therefore, always useful to get an objective second opinion, even if a buyer can do his own initial checks.

A professional inspection may prove more cost effective than it initially appears too, as the results of the checks can be used to insist that the seller either repairs any defects or reduces the asking price accordingly.

Buying a car is a major investment – one of the biggest for most people – and a buyer has to be confident the car is safe before he starts driving family and friends around in it. A professional inspection will give the buyer peace of mind and help him to protect his considerable investment.

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