• Published: 19 August 2021
Buying a used car can sometimes be a daunting task. There can be a few risks when buying a used car, so it’s important to do your research and know what your rights are. Saving you from spending more money than necessary and from any nasty surprises further down the line.

Here are some of our top five tips to get you set up for buying a used vehicle

1. Get your finances in order

Any car is a big investment, so the first thing you will need to do is accurately work out your budget and stick to it. If necessary, find out the best way to finance your car. Whether it's a personal loan, vehicle finance, or straightforward cash. Work out how much you can put down in deposit, and then calculate the monthly payments that you can afford. 

2. Keep on top of used car market prices

If you're in the market for a used car check out Spencers Car Sales on the internet to see what is around and what you can afford. You'll get a good gauge of our pricing, and with so much choice, you don't have to rush into buying a car if you don't think it's quite the right one for you.

3. Check all paperwork thoroughly

There’s no point attaching any value to the pile of papers that comes with a used car if you’re not prepared to check them out. If you are buying from a private individual rather than a dealer, start by making sure the listed keeper is selling the car from the address stated on the VC5 Logbook then check the logbook registration and chassis numbers against those on the vehicle

4. Check the car thoroughly

Rain on the paintwork can hide a multitude of sins, as will streetlamps or torchlight, so try and look at cars in good weather, and definitely inspect them in daylight. Take your time to look over every panel, and all the trim surfaces inside. Older cars are bound to have the odd scuff, so making sure all the switchgear and accessories work is more important. Do the electric windows all open at the same speed, and does the air-conditioning blow cold?

5. Take it for a test drive

It’s vital to ensure that the car drives and handles correctly, and performs as you would expect. Does the car start easily? Are there any unusual sounds from the engine or brakes? Does the steering pull to one side? Is there any tell-tale smoke coming from the exhaust? Remember to make sure you have insurance in place before setting off on a test drive.


Looking to buy a new car? Head over to our used car search!

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Transport For London

Cars need to meet minimum emission standards when travelling in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) or the daily charge must be paid.

Minimum emission standards

Petrol: Euro 4
Diesel: Euro 6

The ULEZ will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age. However:

Information from Transport For London

Check this car on the TFL website before purchasing: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle/

Spencers Car Sales

At Spencers Car Sales we charge an admin fee of £50 when you purchase a used vehicle from us. The admin fee pays towards the preparation of your new car, to make sure it’s safe and immaculate when you drive it away.

Admin fee is charged as listed below:

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