Why car checks are essential before buying a used car

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1 in 4 of the 30 million cars in the UK have a hidden past, according to recent findings by Mycarcheck. When you consider that a car purchase is the second biggest that people make second only to buying a property, you would think it’s a no-brainer to get a check done prior to a purchase.

But with so many vehicles on the road which are either stolen, written off or still have outstanding finance, it’s clear that drivers are not taking checking their car’s history as seriously as they should. Is this due to negligence or drivers not willing to pay additional costs?

As an ethical car finance provider, Creditplus take this very seriously by ensuring that all vehicles that they finance are thoroughly checked free of charge. Creditplus take it a step further and provide the full car buying service, including arranging the finance, finding your chosen car (including a full comprehensive check), and supplying it directly to the customer with 6 months’ warranty and 12 months’ fully comprehensive breakdown cover included, both of which are also provided by the RAC.

What is a car check and what does it cover?

There are essentially three areas that need to be checked to ensure a vehicle is legal, safe and road worthy:

  1. Finding out your beloved new car is actually stolen is a nightmare that no one wants to be faced with. Not only will you be stopped by the police, but your car will be seized immediately, leaving you out of pocket and with no vehicle. With almost 70,000 vehicles being stolen in the UK in 2015 (according to the Office for National Statistics), it’s still a problem to be taken seriously.
  1. Unknowingly buying a written-off car can be very serious as you could be putting yourself, your passengers and other road users in serious danger. It’s not easy for even an experienced car buyer to notice signs of accident damage as the damage can be very well hidden. It’s worth noting that a written-off car simply means that the repair costs exceed the car value, and does not necessarily mean it’s not road worthy or illegal. However, some unsavoury sellers will try and sell a written-off car without making it known to the buyer.
  1. If a car you buy has outstanding finance (also known as debt), then the previous driver is not the owner of the car; the finance company is. As a result, the finance provider can repossess the car at any time and, like with a stolen car, you’ll be left with no car and an empty pocket.

How much does a car check cost?

Car checks start from around £19, which will still check the essentials stated above, and provide you with an immediate report. At such a low cost, and with so many people having a smartphone with internet access, it’s hard to see why any car buyer would not choose to check the vehicle they are interested in buying first.

Getting the most from your car buying experience

Being such a significant purchase, it’s easy to see why drivers can be easily focused on the car they wish to buy and nothing else, especially when they have already driven a vehicle they are happy with. Why would you want to face the disappointment of finding out it’s not really the car you thought, as well as potentially upsetting the seller and maybe not getting such a good deal? In many cases drivers only get to live the car buying experience occasionally, so negative thoughts are easily put to the back of the mind.

However, there is evidence that car buyers are becoming more aware of the challenge involved in finding the right car, as Shaun Armstrong, Managing Director of Creditplus states: “Creditplus, as a solution provider for motor finance, has seen a further 18% increase this year in customers asking for assistance in finding the right car, as well as the best car loan for their needs. As consumer law, customer education and our own process management is very clear and strong - and backed with our fair wear and tear policy on vehicles from our dealer sources - we are finding that more than 34% of all our applicants are now also asking for advice or assistance around car supply.”

With the Creditplus full car buying service - Find, Fund and Deliver - becoming an increasingly popular buying service, it’s clear that customers are either not interested in window shopping for their car or simply don’t have the time to do so. It’s a winning service for everyone involved, which can be backed up by the excellent Trustpilot reviews customers have left.

Whichever way you decide to purchase your next car, just ensure you include a car check in your plan. You can then enjoy a worry-free driving experience without any potential issues arising further down the road!

Got a question for us?

If you require further assistance, our team of Customer Advisors are here to help. We're open six days a week - you can view our opening hours here - and we're more than happy to answer your questions.