What To Look Out For When Buying A Used Car


AN IMPORTANT purchase in a marketplace that is sadly rife with dishonesty and individuals seeking to pull a fast one.

WWN Motoring is dedicated to helping its readers avoid the pitfalls and common mistakes made by naive buyers of second hand cars. When buying a used car from a private seller you have few legal rights, so follow these tips to make sure you’re not duped:

Location of sale

If the seller asks you meet in a dimly car park at 3am, it’s a bad sign. Where possible encourage them to meet you in a public place with a number of witnesses, demand that they meet you at in the middle of Croke Park during a championship game. Oh, they don’t want to drive out in front of 80,000 people? Sounds like they’re not legit. Bullet dodged.

The logbook, NCT, VRT cert

And don’t buy any dodgy excuses like ‘my dog ate the logbook’ even if their dog is visible choking. ‘Please help my dog’, ‘oh God, buddy don’t die on me you’re my best friend’, ‘sorry I really don’t think I want to carry on this sale now my dog has died in front of us’ – don’t fall for this bullshit.


Examine in detail for rust and damage to the inner lining of the seller. If they’re falling apart logic follows so is the car they’re selling you.

Be forward

Ask straight up if the car has been used in any dangerous crimes such as a bank robbery or a gangland hit. Let your disappointment be known and explain that the answer being ‘no’ will negatively affect the price you’re willing to pay.

Assessing the motor

Tyre kicking just doesn’t cut it anymore if you want to indicate to the seller, who may be untrustworthy, that you won’t be juped or hoodwinked.

In addition to tyre kicking, twerking on the bonnet of the car to test its suspension is a must, along with removing the engine and taking it apart and putting it back together over the course of 18 hours before nodding sagely and saying ‘yeah, looks alright’.


When the seller states the price is €3,000 throw them off guard by offering them a BLT and all the change in your pocket. After some negotiating and tense back and forth, they should crumble under your iron resolve and agree to a deal you bought find agreeable; the BLT and €1500. NOTE: be careful not to carry €10,000 change in your pocket when leading with that opening offer, take our word for it that is can backfire.

Other notable behaviour

If the seller seems impatient, is panting and sweating and becomes panicked at the sound of approaching sirens, don’t be a difficult asshole. Just finish the sale, as he clearly has to be somewhere.