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Check it all out.

When buying a used car from a dealer, in a private sale or at auction, it is general practice to always check the car's log book or registration documents to validate both the ownership, age and mileage.

However, remember that it is not just a car's MOT that can provide evidence of a its condition and it is essential to look further to find out the full history before buying.

John says: "First check the bodywork, make sure the car appears genuine and no faults are visible. You should also ensure that the colour and texture of the paintwork is even and not hiding evidence of touch up jobs."

A useful tip when checking for dents is to use a magnet. This will show up any dents touched up with body filler.

"Wrap the magnet in some material so it doesn't damage the vehicle, and move it over the car.

"Another tip is to check the electrics to ensure they are in full working order such as the headlights and dashboard warning lights. "Electric windows and central locking repairs can be expensive. Remember to check the more obvious items too, such as the hazard lights, windscreen wipers and the horn."

It is essential to look at the engine. Check under the bonnet for oil leaks, defective or damaged hoses and drive belts.

"The general condition of the engine can reveal the degree of care and attention the car has received.

"Also check the tyres for tread depth and damage and look for any bulges or cuts in the tyre walls."
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2007
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