21 Oct Garda Message – Vehicle Security Buying a Used Car
So, you have decided to buy – did you ask yourself or the vendor the right questions?
• Am I buying from a recognised / established dealership, or if buying privately, do I know the party selling the vehicle and can I verify his/ her bona fides?
• Can I establish the previous mechanical service history of the vehicle?
• Are the service records available?
• Has the car ever been crashed?
• Were any repairs carried out to the vehicle and do I know what caused them and who repaired them?
• Are there any obvious tell-tale signs of renovation and/or repair, and if so, why? (e.g. replaced carpets, pedal pads, re-sprayed bodywork, new engine parts etc.)
• Did you or your engineer carry out a diagnostic test drive?
• Did I consult with the previous owner(s) as to the reasons for the sale of the vehicle?
• Are the legal documents for the vehicle in order and do the details, such as engine, chassis, V.I.N. numbers etc. correspond with those on the vehicle? Are they any signs of interference with them?
• Are the legal documents readily available and if not why?
• Am I satisfied that there are no outstanding finance claims owing against the vehicle to credit agencies?
• Has the car been imported and, if so, have all taxes and duties (e.g. VAT, VRT) been paid?
• Has the vehicle been taxed to date, and if not why?
• Have I viewed the vehicle in good lighting conditions at the vendor’s premises with an independent engineer?
• Am I satisfied that the asking price of the vehicle is a reflection of its true value? If not why?
• How was the vehicle advertised? Are contact details verifiable/ traceable where a private sale is offered?
A more comprehensive guide to buying a used vehicle is available from the National Consumer Agency – a copy of which can be downloaded from their website