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What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Buying a second-hand car is more complex than buying new. Since the car is pre-owned, you need to be sure that all the components are running well, there are no hidden issues, and all the paperwork is in order. If you’re thinking about buying a second-hand car in Chirk, here are our top tips on what to look for.

Buying a Used Car Chirk

The V5C or Logbook

The V5C (better known as the logbook) shows you who the registered owner of the car is, so it’s crucial you have this when you buy second-hand. If you are buying a pre-owned car privately and the person selling isn’t the person in the logbook, that is a major red flag and you should probably walk away from the sale.

The logbook will also tell you the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which should match up with the VIN on the car (which is usually at the bottom of the windscreen). If it doesn’t match, the car isn’t the right one and you should walk away.


If the car is more than three years old, it should have an annual MOT history that shows it’s roadworthy and safe to drive.

Any used car you’re thinking of buying should have an up to date MOT, which is easy enough to check through the gov.uk website.

On the site, you’ll be able to see whether it passed, when, and reasons for any past failures.

It’s handy to know if the car has advisories too because these will probably be repairs you’re committing to making in the future.

Service history

Servicing is usually done once a year but each car manufacturer has slightly different guidelines. When buying a used car, make sure it comes with a full service history. These are not required by law, but having one shows the car has been well-maintained throughout its life and is less likely to have major issues.

History check

As well as servicing, check the overall history of the car. It’s risky buying a car that was written off in the past, stolen, or with outstanding finance. All of these make the sale more complex.

Make sure you are happy with the car’s history and the seller can give you as much of it’s record as possible so you go in with open eyes.

Inspect the car

Once you’re happy with all the paperwork, it’s time to inspect the car to make sure there are no major issues that could affect the sale price.
No used car is perfect and you can expect some standard wear and tear, but there are a few things you should look out for:

  • Are the alloy wheels scuffed or heavily dented?
  • Do the tyres have plenty of tread left?
  • Is there rust, dented bodywork or evidence of DIY repairs?
  • Does the engine start without issue?
  • Is the oil topped up?
  • Do all the interior electronics work?
  • Is there any obvious interior damage?

Ask for a quick test drive to check on most of these points. If you see any major red flags, walk away from the sale.

Your reliable, local used car dealers in Chirk

If you’re looking for a reliable, affordable second-hand car in Chirk, our team at Chirk Service Station can help. We have a range of second-hand cars that have all been thoroughly checked and inspected by our skilled mechanics. We also have a range of finance options available to help you make the right purchase.


Car Garages in Chirk

"Great service by Paul and his team. Car was fixed in a timely manner and even took the time to sort a couple of extras at no extra cost."

Alex Knopp

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