nclude the cost of insurance, MOT, road tax, petrol, repairs and servicing. Bear in mind that older prestige and sports cars may look cheap to buy, but that the maintenance, repair, insurance and fuel costs may be a lot higher. Ask dealers for estimates of typical repairs to get an idea. Don't rush into a decision - shop around, and compare prices from different sources.
3.Check all documentation
2) View the car in clear daylight
Dark or wet conditions will easily hide a car's faults. Take a friend or relative as a second opinion (two pairs of eyes are better than one). Do not arrange a seller at a service station or lay-by – you need a place where you can safely make a thorough inspection. Don’t let the seller bring the car to you: you want to see where he (or she) is based and get a better idea of the person’s trustworthiness. Why would they not want you to come to them? In the case of private sellers, check that the seller's address is the same as that recorded in the logbook and seek additional reassurance that the seller lives where they claim to - are they in the 'phone book'?
Make sure all the documentation you would expect to find is available. This will normally include the Registration Document or log book (V5), service and insurance records, MoT certificate (on vehicles over 3 years old) and receipts for repairs, maintenance, etc – as well as receipt or invoice that shows that the seller owns the car.
Then make sure everything tallies: check VIN numbers, registrations, dates, names and addresses and any other details you can cross check. Also investigate the keys - are they all there? Are there too many? Does the driver's door or boot need a different key from the rest of the car?. These clues may point to prior damage or theft – though they may be a perfectly innocent mechanical failure in the locks, too.
4) Consider an independent inspection
Once you’re satisfied the vehicle is probably in order, this is the next step. An expert from an organisation such as the RAC or Green Flag will help to identify potentially expensive mechanical problems and can also spot the signs of major accident repair. The results will either give you greater confidence that the vehicle is a good buy, tell you to walk away, or provide the basis for negotiating on price to take into account necessary rectification work. If the seller won't allow an inspection, that tells you something too!
5) Has it had an accident repair?
Over 5 million vehicles require bodywork each year. Given that there are about 24m cars on the road, this means we all have a 1 in 5 chance that our car will be accident damaged in any one year. Most damage is not disastrous, but the HPI Check will tell you if a vehicle has been so badly damaged that an insurer has declared it a total loss. But even where a car has not been "written off", don't assume it is free from major accident damage. But major accident damage can be acceptably repaired – and the HPI register will help tell you about how repairs have been certified.
6) Note details from the registration document
While the V5 is not proof of ownership, it does contain a lot of useful information. You can contact the previous keeper to confirm the car's history. Also you can compare keeper change dates with the result of the HPI Check to ensure you're not looking at a document which has been forged or altered. Also, use the service history to do a bit of detective work. What do the dates and mileages tell you about the car's past life? Is the "full service history" really full?