how to guides for buyins a second hand car in the UK

How to guides for buying a second-hand car in the UK

A 30-year share of motor trade experience


Buying a used vehicle is important and usually in the top 3 financial investments during a lifetime.

It’s not just about making a sound investment. Safety is equally important and buying a vehicle that is a genuine article is the ideal way of achieving these goals.


I have three detailed guides to buying a used car based on the common routes to purchase:

Buying a car from a dealer
Buying a car privately
Buying cars at auction

To complement the methods get details about car inspection services. Here, I review a couple of the leading brands including the AA and ClickMechanic. As you will learn, car inspections are an ideal way of finding a car that is a safe, longlasting investment.

The final offering within the car buying section of my website is an informative car warranty guide. Mechanical breakdown insurance companies tend to have a poor reputation. I discuss the UK’s leading warranty company and how to choose the correct insurances in case of a claim.


Avoiding most of the pitfalls

Another way of buying a car is online. This often requires paying a deposit or perhaps the entire screen price before/without viewing the vehicle.

I do not recommend this route as the financial risk is extremely high. Therefore, I’ve decided to leave this method alone and not discuss it much on the website.

However, if you are buying a brand-new car from the manufacturer and are familiar with the type of car you are buying I guess an online purchase is ok. A new car purchase includes at least 3 years warranty and buying direct offers a vast array of consumer rights.

Within each car buying guide, I have included key points for you consider through your buying process.

The guides are designed to arm you with facts, knowledge and understanding that supports a sound and safe financial investment.


The risks of buying a second-hand car

I’ll note here that there are obvious risks when buying a used vehicle. It is virtually impossible to know if an engine water pump or alternator is going to fail in the next few thousand miles.

But, I share a wide variety of knowledgeable steps that help to reduce your risk by up to 93%.


Consider age and mileage

Being realistic is important. Expect some wear and tear if you are buying a car that is 8 years old and has covered more than 50,000 miles.

Expect to see some stone chips or a worn driver’s seat, especially when spending under £3,000.

Moreover, finding signs of wear and tear can often demonstrate a car is genuine.

Imagine viewing a car with 88,000 miles to find the paintwork is practically unmarked. This may signal new paintwork that has resulted from accident damage repair or panel resprays – an indication that the vehicle is less than genuine.

In contrast, a car with 20,000 miles that shows significant wear and tear could be an indication of incorrect mileage or even car clocking.


Common sense is one of your closest allies when it comes to buying a second-hand car. It is my hope that The Used Car Guy compliments your common sense with some additional knowledge and wisdom when making such a significant investment of time and money.


Use my second-hand car buying mantra:
‘Is the condition of this vehicle in keeping with its age, mileage and asking price?’

Marcus Rockey
Used Car Guy

Free car history check

My sister website, CarVeto holds all data
for any UK vehicle:

Finance, accidents, mileage, theft, insurance…

CarVeto logo for buying a second hand car