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Tyres

The tyres of a car are in plain view and therefore easy to check. In order to find out if the tyres are still in good shape, you need to check each tyre individually. Start by measuring the depth of the tread, this will give you good idea of the lifespan. Because a tyre needs a minimum of 1/16th of an inch (or 1.6 mm) tread depth for MOT approval.

Checklist

You can use the PreOwnedCarAdvice Checklist during the purchase of a used car. Follow the checklist to use all the knowledge of our handbook in practice.

Purchase contract

When you are finalising your purchase, a contract will have to be drawn up. The contents of this contract will largely depend on the salesman, providing that you are not interfering with it yourself. It is important that you do not sign a contract without knowing exactly what is in it. So, make sure that all the promises are written down: e.g. when the car is delivered with a fresh MOT, make sure it is written down in the contract.

Engine

The engine is the most expensive part of a car and probably the hardest to judge. A quick peek in the engine bay is interesting, but what can actually be seen here? Under the bonnet you can find clues that point to the weak and worn out parts of the engine. A weak part may require maintenance, but can also mean very expensive repairs, in which case it is advisable not to buy the car.