Hatfields News

4 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car could be as valuable as buying a brand-new car, however, there are risks involved that need to be considered. Just as you would when buying new, great care needs to be taken to guarantee you make the right purchase and it doesn’t come back to haunt you in the long run.


The engine is essentially the heart of the car therefore it is vital it is in good shape even if it is not bought first-hand. An easy thing to spot when looking over the engine are leaks. Simply check underneath to see if there is any spillage, as a well-maintained car shouldn’t spring any sort of trickle. You can also open the bonnet and check around the engine for repairs that may be needed, with specific issues that you should look out for being oil leaks, which could be either brown or black. Coolant leaks are usually green, pink, or yellow. Power steering is a red-like brown and so are those in the gearbox, however the difference between them is that gearbox liquid has a thicker texture than that found in power steering.

Clutch and Gearbox

When checking this it is more about what you feel rather than what you see so maybe a test drive would be most beneficial to examine the gearbox and clutch. Manual and automatic gearboxes behave differently.

For manual cars you need to check the clutch and the best way to do this is by testing the biting point. The biting point should be felt around the middle part of the pedal’s travel and if you need to push it all the way down then there may be an issue with the car’s clutch. Switching gears should also go smoothly, and any resistance or grinding may be an indication of a problem.

For automatic gearboxes ensure you engage the car in all the gears to make sure the kickdown works, which is the function that changes down gears when you press the accelerator. If you notice something odd with this, it may be worth bringing it up as there may be an issue with the gearbox.

The Body

This is one of the easier inspections you can carry out. During this inspection you would be searching for any signs of repainting or replacement panels that might suggest the car may have been in an accident. You may come across common dents on doors and scratches that are the product of damage caused by other drivers during car park stays, but it would give you a piece of mind to investigate this. Essentially, you should check as much of the car as you can both inside and out.

The Wheels

Another external check you can carry out is that any used car you’re looking to buy has a high-quality set of tyres. If it doesn’t then this puts you in a position to negotiate the price of the car or you could request new tyres if possible. Keep an eye out for signs of damage to the wheel, however, grazes are common and aren’t usually serious but large dents will need repair. Another thing you may need to look out for is the tyre tread, and this should be around 1.6mm all around otherwise the car would be illegal to drive on the road.

Contact Hatfields to take a look at our extensive stock of used cars.