Checks to Make Before Buying a Car

Purchasing an automobile is a huge investment, which means that it is important that you take your time to ensure that it is the right choice. Too often motorists will rush into a purchase only to later discover that it is not the right car for them or that there was an underlying issue with the vehicle (particularly common with used cars). With this in mind, here are a few checks that you should always go through to help you make the right choice:

History Check

A vehicle history check from a reputable company like Cap HPI is essential. You can pick up on some issues by eyeballing the vehicle, but its past can be easy to conceal. This check will pull information from dozens of industry bodies to determine important issues related to the car’s history. This includes whether it has outstanding finance, if it is recorded as stolen, the number of previous owners, if it was an insurance write-off and other potential issues.

Vehicle Valuation

You can also get vehicle valuation checks carried out to determine an accurate price of a used or new automobile. Getting ripped off is a huge concern for motorists, but these checks will provide you with the fair price which you can pay or attempt to negotiate.

Running Costs

Paying the fee for the automobile is only one part of the investment – you must also factor in the running costs. Vehicle data and valuation companies can give you an idea of the associated running costs, but you will also want to check the fuel economy, CO2 emissions and road tax.

Mechanic Check

There is a lot of helpful advice on how to check over a car, but unless you are a mechanic you can never be entirely sure. It is for this reason that it is worth having a mechanic give their assessment. You can usually pay the mechanic to come to you, or alternatively, you may be able to take it to their garage. This will give you peace of mind.


Equally as important as the car itself is the logbook. Always check all of the accompanying paperwork and be wary of photocopies or printouts. Ensure that the VIN number in the logbook matches the one on the chassis, and also that the person selling is the same person listed as the recorded keeper.

These five checks will help you to navigate the car market and find the right automobile for the right price.