Negotiation Academy

Buy Better. Save More

Inspect like the Experts

Boost your negotiation power, by looking out for anything beyond the norm.

Keep your distance

Stand back from the car (approx. 2 metres) and ask yourself: do the colours match on every panel? If not, it could be an indication that the car has recently had major work carried out.

Up close & personal

If you’ve got your suspicions, take a closer look. Many vehicles have bolts holding the panels in place. If the panels have been changed the paint around the bolts will be chipped due to a spanner or socket wrench.

History

Double-check the car’s service history. Call the garage that carried out the most recent service to make sure everything is as it appears. Also, to check that the car is displaying its true mileage, enter the registration number (found on the V5 Registration Document) at gov.uk/check-mot-history-vehicle

Modifications

Previous owners may have changed the car, altering it in some way from the original, standard manufacturer’s fit. Look out for alloy wheels, exhausts, suspension, air filters. Think what kind of owner may have made these changes and how they might have driven the car as a result, as it could knock value off the car and make it more expensive to insure in the long term.

Tyres

Take a good look at the tread. Anything less than a depth of 3mm and you’ll have to change them within a few months. Take the price of new tyres into consideration when forming your offer.

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