What To Check When Buying A Used Car

Are you planning to buy a used car in Tonbridge, UK? Please don’t do it blindly! You can avoid tears and regrets by seeking the advice of professionals when purchasing a used car. When buying a used car, understanding potential issues is crucial. Sovereign Motor Engineers is the specialist you need to prevent making a poor purchase. Auto repair and diagnostics are our areas of expertise. Our offerings include sales, repairs, and MOT testing.

Need a Hand in Buying a Used Car?

At Sovereign Motor Engineers, we ensure that you have all the information you need to buy a used car that’s right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this list of things to check when buying a used car.

With our help, you can avoid making a costly mistake when buying a used car. Let us help you find the perfect vehicle for your needs. And if you are wondering what a good mileage for a used car, check out our blog.

Contact Sovereign Motors today – we would be happy to help!

When Buying a Used Car

When purchasing a secondhand car, mistakes are quite simple to make. Bad vendors may outsmart you if you are not watchful enough. You will need to check everything about the car’s condition;the wheels nuts,seatbelts and even the car’s history of major repairs and all.

Sovereign Motor Engineers will be your guardian angel!.

We will gather all the required information, including the vehicle’s mileage, engine condition, auction house terms, and a comprehensive car checklist that you may use as a guide.

Here are 8 Major Checklist When Buying Used Cars

When buying secondhand vehicles, checking the car before deciding thoroughly is recommended. Here are some important things that you need to consider:

1. Car History Check

The first thing you should do when buying a used car is to order a vehicle history report. A car history check enables you to get a vehicle that will offer years of dependable and secure transportation. This check includes a plethora of information on a car’s maintenance history, actual mileage and damage history. A car history check essentially gives you all the past details about a particular car.

This report will tell you if the car has been in any accidents, if it has been stolen, or if it has any outstanding recalls.

2. Full-Service History Check

If the car you’re interested in buying doesn’t come with a maintenance and service history, be sure to ask the seller for records of any recent work that has been done on the car.

This will give you a real idea of how well the car has been cared for and can help you spot any potential problems.

3. Title and Registration Check

The car dealer should give you the car’s title and vehicle identification number when you buy a used car. These documents will show you how many previous owners the car has had. 

If you discover that the car doesn’t have a title or registration, be wary of buying it.

4. MOT History Check

The car must have a valid MOT test document if it is over three years old. The MOT history of a vehicle will reveal the type of condition it is in (or has been in), which can help you determine whether the purchase is worthwhile. This certificate shows that the car has passed a mandatory safety, road-worthiness, and emissions test.

Don’t make a mistake. Sovereign Motor Engineers can provide you with MOT testing services.

5. Car Insurance Check

Car insurance is a must when buying used cars. You should also own car insurance and ensure that your coverage is adequate for your needs in case of minor or serious accidents. 

6. Warranty Check

Having warranty means you are covered if something goes wrong with your used car. The last thing you want as a buyer is to have to spend any more money than required to maintain a vehicle after making a significant purchase.When buying a used vehicle, you should always ask if the car is still covered under warranty. If it is, make sure to get all the details in writing to know what’s covered and what’s not. This will give you peace of mind!

7. Private History Check

Checking the personal history of a car is important to get an idea of its previous owner or owners. This will give you an insight into how the car was driven and treated.

8. Test Drive and Inspection

When you receive the car’s history record, it’s time to test drive it and have a professional mechanic look it over. This is a crucial step when purchasing a used car because it will enable you to spot any potential issues with the vehicle. Don’t try to handle this alone. Engineers that are qualified and skilled will perform a comprehensive inspection for you.

Pre-purchase inspections are available from Sovereign Motor Engineers. Our team of professionals will carefully vet the car and provide you with a comprehensive report of their findings.

A Comprehensive Guide: Actual Checking of Second-Hand Car

Car’s Interior

Here is a list of things to check when inspecting the interior of a used car:

  • Seats: Check all seats, including the driver’s seat, passenger seat, and back seats, for comfort and adjustability.
  • Upholstery and carpets: Look for rips, stains, or tears in the upholstery and carpets.
  • Dashboard: Make sure all the gauges work. Check the readability of the displays in different lighting conditions. Check if the warning lights operate properly. Look for any warning lights that are illuminated.
  • Center Console: Check the center console for any cracks or damage.
  • Windows and Mirrors: Ensure all windows and mirrors are clean and cracks-free.
  • Seatbelts: Make sure all seatbelts are in good condition and work properly.
  • Steering wheel: Check the steering wheel for any cracks or damage.
  • Air conditioning and heating system: Ensure the air conditioning and heating system work properly. The thermostat and fan should also be tested.
  • Audio system: Check the audio system for any damage. Make sure all the speakers work.
  • Mileage: Check the car’s odometer reading to ensure it has not been tampered with and matches the correct mileage on the vehicle history report. High mileage may not be a problem, but it’s something to be aware of when considering a used vehicle.

Car’s Exterior

Here is a list of 10 things to check when inspecting the exterior of a used car:

  • Body and Paint: Check the car’s details. Look for dents, scratches, or rust on the car’s body. Check for any chipped or faded paint.
  • Body Panel: Make sure all body panels are aligned properly.
  • Wheels and Tires: Look for any cracks or damage to the wheels. The expiration date is also a must to check. Check uneven tire wheel and poor wheel condition. Ensure that locking wheel nuts are fitted nicely. Inspect all tires for tread wear and make sure they’re properly inflated.
  • Spare wheel: A spare tire must also be in good condition.
  • Lights: Test all lights such as headlights, taillights, plate number lights, and turn signals to ensure they work properly.
  • Windshield and Wipers: Inspect the windshield for any cracks or chips. Check the windshield wipers to make sure they’re in good condition.
  • Doors: Check all doors to make sure they open and close properly.
  • Trunk: Open the trunk and check for leaks, stains, or musty smells. Storage compartments and their doors must open and close properly.
  • Number plate match: Make sure the number plate on the car matches the one on the registration document.
  • Central Locking: Make sure the central locking system works properly.

Some faults may be so hidden that you will not be able to locate it. To avoid regrets after purchase, call Sovereign Motor Engineer now!

Under the Hood

Here is a list of 10 things to check when inspecting the under the hood of a used car:

  • Oil Level and Quality: Check the oil level and quality. The oil should be clean and at the proper level.
  • Coolant Level: Check the coolant level and make sure it’s topped off.
  • Hoses and Belts: Inspect all hoses and belts for leaks or damage.
  • Battery: Check the battery terminals for corrosion. Make sure the battery is securely fastened in place.
  • Air Filter: Check the air filter to make sure it’s clean.
  • Spark Plugs: Inspect the spark plugs to ensure they’re clean and in good condition.
  • Transmission Fluid: Check the transmission fluid level and ensure it’s topped off.
  • Brake Fluid: Check the brake fluid level and ensure it’s topped off.
  • Power Steering Fluid: Check the power steering fluid level and ensure it’s topped off.
  • Unusual Noises: Look for unusual noises from under the hood.

Why do people choose Sovereign Motor Engineers?

  1. Sovereign Motor Engineers is an award-winning vehicle service garage in Tonbridge, UK.
  2. We have over 10 years of experience bringing joy to car owners.
  3. We provide the best service for all makes and models with the help of our skilled staff, who performs diagnostics and repairs to the highest standards.
  4. We only use high-quality parts in our repairs and service.
  5. We offer many services, including MOTs, servicing, repairs, diagnostics, and more.
  6. We offer a wide range of vehicles you can choose from.
  7. We are passionate about cars

Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Car


  • Compared to buying a new car, buying a used car can help you save a lot of money.
  • A used car is more affordable than a new one.
  • A old car depreciates less quickly than a new one.
  • Your possibilities are more when browsing for a secondhand car.
  • Buying a used car may result in lower insurance premiums.
  • When the warranty on a used car expires, you don’t need to be afraid.
  • A used car could have some extra features.
  • Some people think that older cars are more reliable than new ones.
  • It is better for the environment to purchase an old car.
  • A used vehicle may have more personality than a new one.


  • A used car could have a lot of miles.
  • Trying to estimate how long a secondhand car will last can be challenging.
  • There may be no warranty included with a secondhand car.
  • Finding a reasonable price on a secondhand car can be challenging.
  • You might have to settle for a less-than-perfect vehicle.
  • The search for finance for a secondhand car might be challenging.
  • Purchasing a used vehicle can take some time.
  • It’s possible that the car’s former owner didn’t take excellent care of it.
  • Finding a secondhand car that fulfills all of your needs and desires might be challenging.
  • You might not discover hidden damage in a used car until after you’ve purchased it.

8 Tips for Buying a Used Car

  1. Check the car’s history: Check the vehicle’s history to find out if it has ever been in an accident or experienced any other issues. When purchasing a secondhand car, a checklist is essential.
  2. Personally, take the car for a test drive: Take the vehicle for a test drive yourself to get a sense of how it handles and whether there are any issues.
  3. Research market value: Knowing what the car is worth will help you negotiate a better price.
  4. Red flags to watch for: Be alert for anything that can raise suspicions, such as unusually low pricing or off-putting odors.
  5. Negotiate: Don’t be scared to haggle over the car’s price.
  6. Be prepared to walk away: If you’re not getting what you want, don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal. 
  7. Take your time: Purchasing a car is a significant decision, so don’t rush anything.
  8. Get a professional inspection and opinion: A professional inspection of the car is always a good idea to ensure everything is in working order compared to buying a car privately, where you won’t have the same legal protection. We at Sovereign Motor Engineers would be happy to take a look at the car for you.


Q: What is Credit Arrangements offer?

A: Sovereign Motor Engineers offers a credit arrangement to help you finance your vehicle purchase. This is a great option if you want to buy a used car but don’t have the full amount upfront.

Q: What is the Motor ombudsman’s code?

A: Sovereign Motor Engineers abides by the Motor Ombudsman’s code, which is a set of standards that aim to provide the best possible service to our customers.

Q: What should I do if I’m interested in buying a used car from Sovereign Motor Engineers?

A: You may contact us through our website or give us a call to set up an appointment. Our expert staff would be more than happy to help you and answer any questions you may have.

Final Thoughts

When buying a used car, it is important to do your research and inspect the vehicle carefully. To avoid making a poor choice, it is advisable that you allow experts do the inspection for you.

Sovereign Motor Engineers is a family-run company with more than 10 years of experience in auto maintenance and repairs. Our staff are skilled experts, capable of doing diagnostics, repairs, used car sales, and other services for all makes and models. Our clients always receive excellent customer service from us, something we take great pride in.

Contact us today to get started!

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