How to Buy Used Cars in London

Buying a used car in London can be a major task if you do not know what to look for. In some cases, a used car can be great buy because you get a car in good condition for a lot less than a new vehicle. However, some London residents have bought used cars only to find that it becomes a money pit because of repairs and other maintenance issues. A good idea is to purchase a used car from a dealer who can back up his product in case you have problems later. Other advantage of buying from a car dealer is low price, free tax option, warranty, service, up-gradation and part exchange. However, if you are not satisfied or didn’t have a good experience of buying a used car from a dealer then you can search for private car owners.

Those who find buying a used car is a tricky affair can seek assistance from our step by step guide to buy used cars in London.


  • 1

    Leasing companies

    In order to purchase a used car first you need to secure your finances. As your funds will determine which used cars will fall in your budget. If you don’t have enough money to purchase a used car, think about getting a loan. Different banks and leasing companies in London are offering loan to its clients for used car purchases. Below is the list of few banks and leasing companies that are providing loans for used car purchases in London.

    (a) NatWest

    (b) Bank of Ireland

    (c) Lloyds TSB Bank PLC

    (d) CC Leasing

    (e) Seat West London

    (f) W J King Garages Ltd

  • 2

    Find car dealers

    After securing your funds, weigh your options, whether you will purchase car from a used cars dealer or find one from a private owner.

    If you choose to purchase the car from a dealer then, below are some used cars dealers in London which you can add to your search list.

    (a) Car Giant Ltd

    (b) MFI Trade Sales

    (c) London Motor Co Ltd

    If you prefer to buy the car from an individual or private owner, below are some online websites from where you can begin your search for a right car.

    (a) Visit Car Giant Website

    (b) Visit Auto Trader Website

    (c) Visit Buy Your Car Website

  • 3

    Short list cars

    Short list the cars after weighing your options. Try to short list cars with low mileage. Prefer to purchase a car that had not more than one to two previous owners. Also give priority to a car that have a good resale value. Check almost 4 to 5 cars before selecting a particular one, as it will give you a fair idea about the market price and can get a good condition car.

  • 4

    Check V5C registration

    Before going into negotiation with the used cars dealer or private owner verify that the car is legally registered in the name of the owner. You can check this information by the V5C registration certificate or log book.

    Through log book you can also find out about the other details of the car, which includes all previous owners, name and address of current owner, date of sales, registration number, chassis number, car make, model, year and original colour. Don’t forget to confirm that the document you are viewing is original. Genuine documents have watermarked on them which proves their originality. Also check whether the tax disc is current or not along with car's service history.

  • 5

    Check car

    After checking V5C registration, take a good look at the body of the car to find out whether there are any signs of major accident or repairs. Check if there are any oil leaks or damaged hoses or if the car requires any wear and tear to the upholstery. Also check the tires, rusty bits, working of the central locking, wipers, all lights and electric windows. If you are not confident to inspect all these things then call a professional mechanic to do the job.

  • 6

    Check VIN number

    Further inspection of car includes verification of Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to the number on the registration papers. The VIN number can also be found on three other places of the car: on the windshield alongside the tax disc, somewhere on the body of the car and under the hood as it varies from car to car or make to make. Current owner can help you find this VIN on the car, if you failed to locate it. Never buy any vehicle if VIN number is been tampered.

  • 7

    Verify MOT

    If the car is three years old ask for the current Ministry of Transport (MOT) certificate from the owner. This certificate is mandatory and should be up to date and valid.

  • 8

    Sign transfer-ship documents

    If you find everything in order and feel that the car is a good buy then, sign and write your name, address on the registration papers in ownership tear-off section. The registration documents should also be filled out and signed by the current owner.

  • 9

    Send documents to DVLA

    After completing the registration papers send them to the Drivers Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea, or find one near you. After receiving your papers DVLA will issue you new registration documents in your name.

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