What to check while buying used car in uk?

Buying a used car can be a rewarding and cost-effective choice, but it's essential to approach it with caution. Conducting a comprehensive car check before making a purchase is crucial to ensure you're getting a reliable and safe vehicle. In this blog, we present the ultimate car check checklist, covering key areas you should assess when buying a used car in the UK. By following these expert tips, you can make an informed decision and avoid potential pitfalls.

1. Exterior Inspection:

The first step in the car check is to examine the vehicle's exterior thoroughly. Check for any signs of rust, dents, scratches, or uneven paintwork, as these can indicate previous damage or poor maintenance. Ensure that the doors, hood, and trunk close securely, and inspect the tires for wear and tear. Uneven tire wear may suggest alignment or suspension issues.

2. Most Asked Questions About the subject:

2.1. What things to check for when buying a used car in the UK?
2.2. What to check when checking a car?

When buying a used car in the UK, it's essential to check the vehicle's exterior for any signs of damage, rust, or wear. Thoroughly inspect the tires, doors, hood, and trunk, and assess the paintwork for irregularities. Additionally, evaluate the car's interior, engine, and performance to make an informed decision.

3. Interior Examination:

Move on to inspecting the car's interior. Check the condition of the seats, dashboard, and carpets for any damage or excessive wear. Test all electronic features, such as windows, mirrors, air conditioning, and infotainment systems. Ensure that the seatbelts and airbags are in good working condition, as safety is paramount.


4. Engine and Performance Assessment:

Conduct a thorough examination of the engine compartment. Look for oil leaks, worn belts, and loose or corroded wires. Start the engine and listen for any unusual noises or vibrations. Pay attention to the exhaust smoke, as excessive smoke could be a sign of engine problems. Take the car for a test drive to assess its performance, including acceleration, braking, and handling.

How much does a car check cost in the UK?

The cost of a car check in the UK can vary depending on the level of inspection and the provider. Basic car check services may be available for free, while more comprehensive checks with detailed vehicle history reports may have a cost. It's essential to compare different service providers and their offerings to find one that suits your budget and requirements.

5 . Safety Check:

Safety is a critical aspect of a car check. Ensure that all safety features, including brakes, lights, horn, and wipers, are in proper working order. Verify that the vehicle's registration matches the VIN, and check for any outstanding recalls or safety issues related to the specific make and model.

6. MOT Checklist:

In the UK, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) test is mandatory for all vehicles over three years old. The MOT is an annual inspection to ensure the vehicle's roadworthiness. While the MOT test covers a wide range of components, some key areas include brakes, tires, lights, steering, suspension, and emissions.

6.1. What is the checklist for an MOT?
6.2. What are the 2 types of MOT?

The MOT test in the UK covers various aspects of a vehicle's condition to ensure it meets safety and environmental standards. The checklist includes inspection of brakes, tires, lights, steering, suspension, emissions, and other essential components. There are no specific "types" of MOT; all vehicles undergo the same comprehensive test.


7. Fluid Levels and Leaks:

Inspect the car for any fluid leaks, including oil, coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Low fluid levels or visible leaks may indicate potential issues that need to be addressed.

7.1.  Do they check oil on MOT?
7.2. Do they check coolant in MOT?

Yes, during the MOT test, the examiner may check fluid levels, including engine oil and coolant. It's essential to ensure that these fluids are at the recommended levels and that there are no visible leaks.

8. Brake Pads and Components:

One of the critical components examined during the MOT test is the braking system. Ensure that the brake pads are in good condition and have sufficient thickness. The braking system should provide adequate stopping power and not exhibit any signs of unusual noise or vibration.

8.1. Are brake pads checked in MOT?
8.2.  What is not tested on an MOT?

Yes, the brake pads are checked during the MOT test. Additionally, the entire braking system is thoroughly inspected for proper functioning. While the MOT covers a wide range of components, some items not tested include the engine's internal condition, gearbox, clutch, and non-safety-related features like the radio or air conditioning.



A comprehensive car check is essential when purchasing a used vehicle to ensure you're making a reliable and safe investment. The ultimate car check checklist covers crucial areas, including the exterior, interior, engine, performance, safety features, and MOT requirements. By following these expert tips and asking the right questions, you can confidently evaluate a used car and make an informed decision, safeguarding your investment and ensuring peace of mind.

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