Buying a UsedCar: The Red Flags to Watch Out For

Buying a new or used car is an exciting time, but there are some unscrupulous people out there, so it’s best to be forewarned of some of the most common indications that all is not what it seems.

Location, location, location

If a private seller requests that you view the vehicle somewhere other than their home address, you should definitely pause for thought. If there turns out to be a problem down the line, you may not be able to track the seller down.

High pressure

Whatever you do, don’t succumb to a high pressure sales technique. It’s really important to give the car a thorough check before committing to a purchase. If you don’t know a lot about cars, try and take along a friend who will be able to identify potential problems.

Specialist advice

You can always opt to pay for an independent report on the vehicle. These are not cheap, but should help you decide whether to pursue the sale.


Buying from an established dealer is likely to give you the peace of mind you are unlikely to enjoy with a private sale. Ask around for recommendations – for example, if you are looking at the Land Rover Inverness has to offer, simply Google the name of the dealer and you should find some online reviews form other customers that will give you an idea of their local reputation.


All cars should be supplied with the correct paperwork, which proves the registered keeper, shows the chain of ownership and service history. Check the V5C carefully, looking for any signs that it is not genuine or has been tampered with. If buying privately, check that the name and address on the documentation match those of the vendor. Ask to see their insurance document to corroborate the address. You can check the registration details online at the DVLA website, using its registration.

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