Used car buyers urged to always ask for one item to learn about vehicle's past

Mechanic in car dealership workshop standing by car, with open bonnet, holding pen and paper, analyzing engine
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


A car guru has shared some top tips on social media to help drivers find a reliable secondhand motor.

While there are plenty of great deals available in the pre-owned car market, buyers must ensure they don't fall for a vehicle with a dodgy backstory. Car YouTube channel AutoZone has posted a video giving key advice to prospective purchasers, stressing the importance of asking to see a vehicle's service history.

Its guide recommended: "Don't hesitate to ask for the service records. These documents are a treasure trove of information, revealing how the well previous owner maintained their vehicle. Frequent oil changes and timely maintenance checks are good signs of a well-cared-for car."

Purchasing a used car is always promising when the owner has retained all related costs regarding servicing and repairs for the vehicle, reports the Express. These records can offer insights into any past issues the seller may have experienced with the car and should indicate whether an authorised dealer performed these works.

Furthermore, scoping out the service history can also help potential buyers establish when parts like tyres and belts may need replacing down the line. AutoZone's host further upped the ante by suggesting that punters should perform a check on the number plate using a vehicle history check website.

He went on to say: "Always check the vehicle history. This isn't just a suggestion, it's essential. A vehicle history report can reveal if the car has been in major accidents, faced serious maintenance issues or even if it's been recalled."

While there are several websites that provide information such as MOT history and mileage for free, paid services can offer access to a much broader range of data.

Lastly, AutoZone advised used car buyers to always be on the lookout for rust and generally steer clear of models with high mileage.

The video continued: "Steer clear of common traps with these pointers. When considering a used car, it's wise to be cautious about those with a high mileage.

"While a well-travelled car might come with a tempting price tag, high mileage often signals significant wear and tear.

"Next on the checklist is rust. This isn't just a cosmetic issue, excessive rust can compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle and lead to hefty repair bills. Make sure to give the car a thorough inspection, particularly around wheel arches and under the sills."

Join the Daily Record's WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages