Buying a Second Hand Car

    • inspect it in daylight, in dry weather if possible.Use a torch to look underneath for rust, tyre bulges, oil leaks etc.
    • check engine oil, it will be reasonably clean if recently serviced.
    • look from 20 feet away and check the car is level. If not, the suspension may need attention.
    • press hard on each corner in turn. When released, the car should not bounce more than twice. If it does, the shock absorbers need renewing.
    • check inside for damp areas indicating water entry and/or rusted floor panels.
    • check slack in steering action. More than 2 inches of play indicates a badly worn mechanism.
    • check the doors open and close easily. Misalignment could have been caused by accident damage.
    • on the test drive, check for a clean exhaust and smooth clutch and gear operation. Check braking pulls the car up smoothly in a straight line.