The Car Loan Warehouse|ClickMechanic's 8 Point Used Car Checklist

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ClickMechanic’s 8 Point Used Car Checklist

September 5, 2014

Last year, there were 84,000 complaints to the Citizens Advice Bureau regarding second hand car sales – which makes for a huge proportion of dissatisfied customers. From this, a massive 83% of the complaints related to faults on the vehicle. With an average purchase price of circa £5000, the British car buying public were left £363 million out of pocket.

We know drivers want to be sure they’re getting a good deal – and our friend Andrew Jervis at ClickMechanic has compiled a handy 8 point checklist of mechanic musts to check out before your next used car purchase, so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

The Car Loan Warehouse|ClickMechanic's 8 Point Used Car Checklist
Original image by Dennis Jarvis

1. Check the finance history

Check the vehicle has no outstanding finance that should be paid off. There are a number of handy sites to help you with this, including Experian.

2. Walk around check and give it a test drive

Take a look around the car, keeping an eye out for any leaks, marks or damage. Following this, take the car for a little spin and see how it performs.

3. Does it have an MOT Certificate?

Check the MOT certificate and ensure it’s up-to-date. Most used cars over 3 years old must have an MOT certificate, and failing to have this can be a law breaking offence.

4. Investigate if the car is a write off

When a car is written off, the insurer will inform the DVSA – who will then not submit a replacement registration document. Use Direct Gov to contact the DVSA and find out if the vehicle is a write off.

5. Whats the service history like?

Buying a car with a full service history lets you know that it’s been properly maintained. Have a look to see if the service book has been stamped, and that invoices and reports from previous work are present.

6. V5 registration document

This is the registration document showing who the registered keeper is. When buying, ensure that the seller matches up with the person on the document. If it doesn’t, you could be dealing with a stolen vehicle.

7. Has there been any recalls

Sometimes manufacturers recall cars when there could be a faulty part. Contact the DVSA to check the car hasn’t been recalled for any safety reasons.

8. Get the professionals to take a look.

It can often be very difficult to know if the car is in a good working condition. This is where professional car inspection services such as ClickMechanic can come in handy, as they allow a professional mechanic to take a full look for you.


If this 8-point checklist has prepared you for a used car purchase, the Car Loan Warehouse can help. We’re specialists in used car finance, and we can hook you up with the very best deal – regardless of your credit store. Try our online car loan calculator now to see what you could save – or apply now if you’re ready for your upgrade.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.