“I found an ad for a VW Golf 1.6 in a copy of Auto Trader. It was all black, right down to the leather seats, and I knew it was the car for me,” says TV star James Corden. “My dad argued that £5,000 was too much to spend on a first car. So we did a deal: I’d wait a month and, if the car was still up for sale, I’d have it. Those four weeks felt like the longest wait of my life. But a month later it was still being advertised so I bought it. I loved that car.”
Buying a second-hand motor needn’t be a tricky business if you know what you want and how to get it. Follow these top tips…
- Always view the vehicle before you buy it.
- View and purchase a car at the keeper’s address.
- Take a friend or relative with you – they might spot something you miss.
- Ask to see all the car docs – if there are none, walk away. Photocopies aren’t good enough.
- Check the docs belong to the car; do numbers match the engine and VIN plates?
- Never pay in cash.
- Check the car history, which will tell you about any accidents, mileage, or even if the car was stolen. To check a car’s history, bash the registration number into www.hpicheck.com It’s the best-known service and costs £19.99.
- Don’t be rushed. If you’ve one miniscule doubt, walk away.