Our Essential Tips for Viewing a Used Car in the UK

Spread the love

When viewing a used car, there are some essential tips to ensure you get the best possible viewing experience and spot those things a seller tries to hide. This article is designed to highlight our top tips for viewing a used automobile. It’s okay to also call it the best-used car checklist to pay attention to.

1. Never View a Used Car on Your Own Alone

Firstly, never view cars on your own. This is not only a safety point, but it always provides you with a second set of eyes looking over the car. With an additional person with you, they may spot something on the car, for example, a mark or blemish, or may pick up or have a question about the vehicle you did not think of. So always make sure you have at least one more person with you. You will later get to find out how important this is when selecting insurance for the used car you newly purchased.

2. Arrange a Viewing At the Seller’s Home

Where possible, try to arrange a viewing at the seller’s home. You can check the address provided against the V5C document of the car, to ensure you are there. If a seller does not allow a home viewing we would be suspicious of the reason behind this. Do they have something to hide about the car if something goes wrong?


We have seen it many times before, but try to avoid viewings in supermarkets and petrol stations. They might sell you a stolen car that probably didn’t have any of these anti-theft devices.

3. Arrange a Viewing on a Good Weather Day

The weather can play a major role in the viewing of a car. Never go on an evening or when it is dark. It may seem obvious, but you want to be able to give the car a proper inspection. 

Secondly, try to view the car when it is not raining. Rain droplets are great at hiding blemishes or dents in a car. On nice clear days, these marks will be more visible to you and give you a good bargaining chip to use when negotiating for the car. 

Anything you fail to spot during the inspection of your car can affect your car insurance premiums and it will be too late to do anything about it.

3. Check Locks and Windows of the Used Car

One key area we always advise people to check now is locks. Check all the doors open with the key, as well as manually open from inside the car. If the vehicle has a sunroof, make sure you check the opening and closing of this too. 

We once viewed a car that had different locks on each door. It did raise some questions, and after completing a Reg Check we found the car was on finance, but worse still it was recorded as stolen! Imagine buying from someone whose UK car insurance loan hasn’t been paid off.

Without completing this check, we may have purchased this car, and lost our money and the car when the police notified us of this issue. By spending a few pounds, we saved thousands! Always endeavour to do your due diligence and report any form of fraud you notice.


4. Don’t Forget to Check the Inside of the Car

An inspection should never stop on the outside. Always make sure you check inside the front and back of the car. Check the centre console for missing buttons (we’ve seen this before too!), check the door cards, seats and even look under the mats if they are in place. Make sure you check all the seats in the vehicle and make sure the seat belts actually lock into place.

Also do not forget inside the boot and the spare wheel kit. Are all parts of the kit still in place? Importantly, does it have the jack? 

As well as allowing you to view the vehicle properly, and forming part of your decision if this car is right for you, these small defects can also become a powerful negotiating tool.

5. Vehicle Inspections Helps During Negotiations

Some people are great at talking and negotiating, however, others do not like to approach this. By completing the steps above, it may raise some issues to you, hopefully not enough to walk away. You can use these issues to open up a conversation about the price. 

Negotiations do not need to be as daunting and complicated as some people say. If you are buying a used car from a dealership, you can also use specific months to help increase your chance of good negotiations. As they tend to work on quarterly sale targets, good times buy around the months of March, June, September and December. Also, try to visit during natural quiet times and avoid weekends and dates around payday.


Don’t just buy a used automobile in the UK because it is literally affordable, please, ensure you check what the cost of insuring the car will be. Cars with high insurance costs ought not to have any fault at all that is capable of increasing your premium. Here’s an article that revealed the top 10 cheapest cars to insure and their average annual insurance cost.

One key aspect I would say helps with my negotiation skill is ‘don’t fill the silence’. A lot of times when it is close to an agreement figure, the seller may stay silent hoping you accept. Don’t be pressured into filling the silence, and try to make them fill this silence with a better offer. 


Don’t forget you can always walk away if the deal is not something you want or have budgeted for. Never go above the budget you have set. The famous saying is true and sometimes by walking away, or even starting to, sellers often reconsider and can be more open to negotiations. This negotiation strategy works whether you are trying to buy a yacht or a vehicle.

You may also like

Comments are closed.

More in:Car

0 %