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DALL·E 2024-05-13 14.28.58 - A scene showing a potential used car buyer inspecting a vehicle with a critical eye in a used car lot. The buyer is examining the engine u

Used car buyers need to do their due diligence

Buying a car, even a second-hand one, is a big financial commitment and the buyer needs to know they are getting bang for their buck, along with all the things which they most desire in a car. Safety should always be a top priority but how certain can one be that your chosen vehicle has never been involved in a serious accident or will not require expensive repairs shortly after the purchase?

When you buy a second-hand car, it comes with a roadworthy certificate, but this alone will not provide a confirmation that no material issues are present. A roadworthy certificate is a legal requirement to complete the registration and transfer of ownership when one acquires a used motor vehicle or for any vehicles carrying passengers for reward like mini busses/busses/ heavy load vehicles.

A roadworthy test conducted by the vehicle examiner identifies visual defects with the electrical items, bodywork components, steering, suspension, and interior seatbelts and an overview of the undercarriage. It makes sure the vehicle is roadworthy but will not necessarily pick up if the vehicle has been in a previous collision or requires major repairs of certain components.

Until the consumer can be 100% sure of the status of the second-hand vehicle they are purchasing, particularly if they have viewed it online, they are encouraged to educate themselves, by taking the following steps and taking control of their car-buying journey.

  • Never buy a car you have not physically seen.
  • You also need to go beyond the roadworthy test. An accredited vehicle testing station that is a member of the Vehicle Testing Association

VTA will undertake a comprehensive multipoint check on the car. The multi-point inspection (MPI) covers a range of additional categories. It is conducted by a trained and qualified examiner of vehicles and will give you a far more comprehensive report on over 120 points of the vehicle.

A second-hand car which has not been involved in any major accidents, which has a complete service record and has been well maintained could be a very good option. Conversely if you do not do the proper due diligence, it can become a financial nightmare.