Common Questions - Purchasing a Car


To minimise the risks, ask yourself the following questions:

• Does the car advert tell you to call at specific times?
• Is the contact number given in the advert for a mobile telephone?
• Does the person selling the vehicle insist on bringing it to you for viewing?
• Can the seller produce a V5 registration document?
• Does the V5 correctly describe the model, make, engine number and colour of the vehicle?
• Does the same key fit all locks?
• If the windows of the vehicle are etched, is the etched number the same as that on the registration plate?
• Is the VIN number the same on the VIN plate (usually in the engine compartment) as that on the V5 or is there no VIN plate fitted?
• Is there a stamped-in number on the VIN plate? If so, is it clearly readable?
• Can the engine number be clearly read?
• Will the person selling the vehicle accept a cheque, even if on condition they hold the car until the cheque clears?
• Does the seller appear familiar with the vehicle?
• Is the seller happy for you to carry out a hire purchase check?
If you are planning to buy a car, don't take large amounts of cash with you unless you can do so in safety