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The Pitfalls of Buying a Used Car

by Soft2share.com

New cars lose around 40% of their value within the first year, so buying a used car has become a very good option, especially if you want to save some money. But, if you’re buying from an independent dealer or a private seller, there are risks involved. However, the more you know, the more you can protect yourself from these risks. Here’s exactly what you need to look out for:



Clocking is where dealers illegally wind back the odometer on a high mileage care in an attempt to increase the asking price.

New as well as old cars are vulnerable to this scheme as technological advancements mean that odometers can be manipulated with computers without leaving any visible traces of tampering. If you’re suspicious, look for:

  • Any chips or scrapes at the front of the car that could indicate repeated, long motorway journeys.
  • The state of the pedals and steering wheel. If these appear worn then this is a very good indicator of the age of the car.
  • Likewise, if these appear brand new (or next to new) it is likely that the seller is trying to hide something.

Vehicle documents should help you confirm the mileage of the vehicle, so always ask to see it. Always check the mileage on service records and MOT certificates and if you’re still unsure, contact the garage that did the work and ask them to confirm the work. If you still have doubts, walk away from the sale.

Car Cloning

Some dealers have changed the identity of a car by swapping the number plates. Usually, these plates are stolen from another vehicle that is the same make, model and colour of the car that they’re selling. Usually, this is a trick associated with people speeding and running away from petrol stations but, it is increasingly being used in the used car selling market.

If you buy a cloned vehicle you’ll unfortunately lose both the car and the money you paid so, if you’re unsure, don’t take the risk. Be alert if someone is selling you a car without a V5C certificate and as always, if you’re still unsure, walk away.

‘Cut and Shut’

A ‘cut and shut’ is when two accident damaged cars are welded together and given the identity of one of the cars. This usually occurs when both cars have been written off and the parts are put together. Unfortunately, these are very difficult to spot but if you have reservations, invest in a car data check.

There you go, that’s the definitive guide to the potential pitfalls of buying a used car. If you’re looking to buy then be wary, but also take preventative steps. Buy from a reputable second hand car retailer and always be incredibly careful. If you’re in any doubt, just walk away. If you are careful, however, there are thousands of bargains around so get out there and grab yourself a bargain today.




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