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    Cheapest/Most Efficient Checks when buying a Car

    First off - I Sold my car. Woohoo! Shame to those who knocked my asking price, as I managed to get an offer that was close enough.

    Anyway, in the search of a new car..I wanted to know if anyone could advise me on the cheapest/most efficient checks when buying a car. I looked at taking an RAC Engineer or whatever but thats about £140 a pop! Never knew it was so dear...also I hear I should be getting HPI checks on cars and what not. So if a seller says they already have HPI papers does that I mean I do not need to check myself?

    Now I know theres certain precautions I need to take as a buyer but I would like to spend most of my car budget on the actual car and not checking to see if everything is in tact! Any recommendation to cheap and efficient tests?

    Many thanks in advance.

    8 Comments

    I would use RAC for the HPI check. Its £5 for one check or £12 for 3.
    Well worth just for piece of mind..
    As for engineeri check not really sure. I usually take a friend who knows what they are looking at!!!
    Good Luck
    What you after?

    From your post i presume you are looking to buy private?

    To save hassle, would you not buy from a dealer?

    Yes it might cost you a little more, but you should get a 12 month warranty depending on which manufacturer you visit.

    smithyp1;2945793

    From your post i presume you are looking to buy private?To save hassle, … From your post i presume you are looking to buy private?To save hassle, would you not buy from a dealer?Yes it might cost you a little more, but you should get a 12 month warranty depending on which manufacturer you visit.



    Good point..worth considering :thumbsup:

    Original Poster

    smithyp1;2945793

    From your post i presume you are looking to buy private?To save hassle, … From your post i presume you are looking to buy private?To save hassle, would you not buy from a dealer?Yes it might cost you a little more, but you should get a 12 month warranty depending on which manufacturer you visit.



    To be honest I'm not ruling out either. Just wondering in the event of me checking out a private car. Seen a few cars on auto trader and quite a few of them are private.

    DarloNige;2945739

    I would use RAC for the HPI check. Its £5 for one check or £12 for 3.Well … I would use RAC for the HPI check. Its £5 for one check or £12 for 3.Well worth just for piece of mind..As for engineeri check not really sure. I usually take a friend who knows what they are looking at!!!Good LuckWhat you after?



    Yeah I had a look at that. Cheers. To be honest I'm in two minds about what I want. My budget allows for an 02ish A3...or a Golf MKV. Im in decision. Depends on the best deals I can find for each.

    I guess something to bear in mind is the flooding in recent years. I would take care if buying a car in certain areas of the country.

    Original Poster

    bump bump

    The most important checks are:-

    - Leaks - Check to see if there any leaks from underneath the car or where the car was standing prior to your test drive.

    - Smoke - Check the emmission smoke. If it Blue/Grey then the engine is on its way out. Black or white smoke is not too bad.

    - Noise - Check for any weird noises, ticking too much, banging or knocking.

    - Check all bits n bobs i.e. Electrics, windows, central locking, power steering and sunroof. All doors lock when locked and all open when unlocked.

    - Oil - Check oil via dipstick. Very black just may mean it needs an oil change which is inexpensive.

    - Ride - Ensure the ride is smooth and steering and brakes operate as they should.

    - Tyres - Check the tread on the tyres as these can cost upto £25 for 2nd hand or £40-£60 for new ones.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Banned

    To add to that, check for wear and tear on the stuff thats gonna cost you to replace.

    -Check the exhaust for rust
    -Check the tyres for wear
    -Check the body for rust or damage (check each panel specifically, cos I bought and completely missed a dent under the front headlamp)
    -Check the engine compartment for evidence of seal erosion (usually where thick black goo ooses out)
    -Check the windscreen for chip damage.
    -Check the interior for upholstery damage/stains
    -Check for the parts required for breakdown (a lot of sellers remove these to sell on Ebay) i.e. Spare tyre, wheel brace, car jack.
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