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Make sure you have your finance in place before you go looking for your next car. This is because once you’ve found the right car at the right price, you risk losing what you’ve gained by rushing into the wrong finance deal. AutosOnThe.Net have launched a “Car Finance” section, for some of the best deals currently available. Click here to visit.

Auction Buying

Auctions have been very much surrounded by a cloud of uncertainty for most private buyers. You can pick up a bargain at most auctions but, you must know what you are doing. If you don’t know vehicles and what to look for, take someone who does. Go a couple of times just to see what goes on. Take a notepad and make notes on what vehicles were sold for what money. Decide how much are you willing to bid for a vehicle and stick to it. You are likely to be bidding against the trade so when they stop bidding, you should too. Don’t get all raveled up in the buzz and bid too much. It is easy to do so, be calm and have your wits about you.


The vehicles that you will find for sale at auction can be from the private sellers, trade or from fleet sellers eg car rentals, or large companies replacing vehicles. Check the sticker on the windscreen, it’ll give you some history. Bear in mind that vehicles from rental companies may have high mileage but will be serviced, valeted and pampered for most of their usually short lives. As far as legal rights are concerned, they may not apply. Check if the seller is selling ‘as seen’ which basically excludes most of your rights. Also, check out the terms and conditions of the auction.

Check Out List

If you know nothing about vehicles and what to look for when buying, get either a friend or a professional to look at the vehicle for you. Motoring organizations can usually arrange a complete and full inspection of the vehicle, but you will have to pay.


This money could be well spent, as the inspection would generally highlight to you any accident damage, whether the car has been stolen, has outstanding finance or is generally safe to drive. Some inspections will actually audit the price that the seller is asking and say whether it is a fair price or not. Well worth considering, especially if you are buying a very specialist type of vehicle.

Stolen cars

If you have bought a stolen vehicle, even in good faith, the car can and will be taken from you by the Police and returned to its rightful owner. And you will get no compensation. Often stolen cars have had their identity changed so things to check:

  1. Check the sellers’ details on the V5. If there isn’t one, ask why not? Check that the V5 has a watermark, it could be forged. Are there any spelling mistakes? Be wary.
  2. Always check the three main identification marks on the vehicle. These are the registration number, the engine number, and the vehicle identification number. Look particularly at the latter, does the VIN plate look like it has been tampered with? Is it dented? Are all the information on the plate correct and the same as on the V5?

It sounds a daunting prospect buying a vehicle, doesn’t it? It isn’t, you just need to be aware of the pitfalls. Remember, fore-warned is fore-armed! If you have any doubts what so ever, just walk away.

There are hundreds of thousands of vehicles for sale at any time, so chances are there is another one exactly the same somewhere else.


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