MOTOR NEWS - Buying second-hand? Pick a reputable dealer. A trustworthy dealer will ensure he or she has only high quality stock on the floor. This is not related only to size: don't forget your smaller dealerships. Avoid auctions where there are little or no rules protecting the consumer. If you find a car online through a private sale, make sure you check the car out in person and take it for a test drive.
The car's mileage doesn't actually give you much information about how the car was treated. Instead, check out the owner's manual. The best way to get a thorough history of the car is to ask for the number of the previous owner and immediately give him or her a call. You don't want to give the dealer time to alert the person in question, so call straight away. If the dealer won't give you the number, that's a big red flag, suggesting something is being kept from you.
When you do get the previous owner on the phone, ask about any problems they've had with the car. Most previous owners would be honest about this. They've got nothing to lose on the transaction at this point.
Check whether the mileage matches the wear and tear. If the car is looking worn and tired, but the mileage is fantastic, chances are the speedometer had a "haircut" to feature a more attractive number.
Compare the mileage on the speedometer to that of the service book. Do they match? If not, don't buy that car!
Ask for the service book
When last was a service done? Was it done by the car dealership itself, or someone else? Also check the last stamp in the book.
If it was done by the dealer you're visiting, there's a chance they added the stamp themselves.
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