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How To Buy a Used Car – tips and advice from Top Gear’s Steve Berry

How To Buy a Used Car – tips and advice from Top Gear’s Steve Berry

Buying a used car is something that almost all
of us are going to do at some point and it can be scary it’s a big purchase so you’ve
got to kind of take the emotion out to the buying process and look at
the information that’s available to you There’s loads of information available from all sorts of places especially
online and you should look at that, but for
what it’s worth here’s what i look for when I’m buying a used car There are all sorts of things you can check without even getting inside and starting the engine
Does the mileage ring true with the exterior condition of the
car. Now if this car had been flogged up and down the motorway for tens of thousands of miles there’d be
telltale signs not least scratches and nix in the paint work
especially here on the leading edge of the bonnet also check the windscreen for little cracks
and scratches Now the conditions of the wheels and
the tyres is usually a dead giveaway this one has got a bit of a curving mark on it there but that’s not too serious don’t kick tyres kicking tyres tells you nothing, modern tyres the
constructions incredibly rigid but if you do go to buy a used car you will have to take with you a twenty
pence piece because if you put it in the tread then it’ll give you some indication of whether the tyres are legal, 3mm is the legal requirement, there should be
a bit more on a car of this age with the kind of mileage that this one is supposed to have. When I say supposed to have there is startling statistic – 1 in 3
used cars has been clocked – the mileage has been wound back to increase resale value so you need to
be careful Look at the wing mirrors – they are a dead
giveaway. What kind of condition are they in do they look like they’ve spent many many many thousands of miles on
a motorway? Are they covered in scratches are they faded>Have they been clattered? is the glass cracked? The mirror’s always a
good indication. Here’s another tip for you – most cars are
central locking these days so you can tell that if there are a lot of scratches around where the keyhole is that here is
a car that’s got problems perhaps with it’s electrics or it’s done many many more miles that
it’s supposed to have had and that’s why there’s been a key put into
that lock so many times. Check the fuel filler cap as well has it been forced has he been replaced
have the keys been lost at some point do the keys all tally together these are all sorts of things that you
can ask asks questions, ask the previous keeper why the mileage is so low or
why the mileage is so high and these are all things that you can
do before you even get into that car or think about starting the engine Right, we’ve got the keys let’s have a look in the boot. First thing, the parcel
shelf these things at the very easily detachable we all do it you put it aside
you drive off – expensive to replace Check the carpet is it dry? If it’s not the boot
seal. might’ve failed that could be an
expensive job Right, let’s check the spare tyre. There isn’t one. instead we’ve got one of those emergency get you home kits Check the jack make sure it works. Make sure
the wheel brace is actually the right wheel brace – the number of cars i’ve got
in where somebody’s just stuck a
wheel brace in the back of the car so make sure it fits.
If you’re lucky enough to have alloy wheels like these car does check that the lock (the key for the
lock on the alloy wheels) is there. If it isn’t with the car that can be hundreds of
pounds to replace Right, Let’s uh… see what’s going on under the bonnet For goodness sake when you put the bonnet
up like this don’t start randomly taking the tops off to check levels. If this car had just been running and you undid
this one you’d get a scolded hand. There’s a warning
helpfully on here but do dip the oil though because it tells you so many things about the car. let’s try this one –
there we are… so let’s stick it in there and see what it
tells me all’s good If it’s below the minimum mark then walk
away from the car – if the car has been run with your level below the minimum that’s
low oil pressure moving parts of the engine aren’t getting lubrication
that they need walk away from it. However if when you dip it and you look at
the indicator and it’s over the maximum mark that is a classic sign of a car that’s using oil – oil has been
rapidly topped up when they know that your coming round to
see it so ii it’s under the minimum walk away it is over the maximum ask why. Right what can we tell from sitting
here about this car? without starting the engine? Well we want
to know, don’t we, if the mileage that’s showing is the actual mileage this car has done.
There are some tell-tale giveaways about how much use a car has had – for instance when you get into the car you’re inevitably rub against the door
seal and the bolster of the seat that’s this bit so check, compare the two. Look at the
bolster on this side but look at the bolster on the
other side. If there’s dirt or wear or if the stitching’s coming undone the car’s probably had a lot of use
likewise a leather covered stearing wheel is a dead
giveaway as well wear on the wheel if the colour’s a little bit reduced where
you’d put your hands at the ten-to-two position likewise the gear stick. This one’s leather
covered – again if there’s signo of wear and the stitching’s
come undone it’s probably a high mileage car. I would’ve given you a tip about whether
the previous owner was a smoker car by looking at the ashtray but
like a lot of modern cars this one doesn’t come with ashtray. What
it does come with though is all of the documentation that you need – the warranty,
the maintanance shedule, the service record of the car so you can check when
and where this car been serviced. It doesn’t
matter too much these days if the handbook isn’t there because you can download them from the
internet. What you can download though are the codes for things like alarms and
for the radio so make sure that you’ve got that information because if you
haven’t if the battery’s disconnected you can’t reset the alarm, you can’t
reset the stereo and that could cost you a hundreds of pounds. So, if after those comprehensive checks you’re still interested you’ll be wanting to take the car for a test drive which is another story. But before the test drive you can be assured that as one of the UK’s leading
retailers of used cars The Co-operative Motor Group makes sure it does a hundred point check
on every used car it sells so that you can be assured that the car you’re interested in is exactly the cor that you think it is.

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99 thoughts on “How To Buy a Used Car – tips and advice from Top Gear’s Steve Berry

  1. lol dude captions is a computer trying to understand what hes saying. Theres no subtitles put on before the video

  2.  Did he check for any accident damage ? Any panel gaps, any paint over spray, the inner wings when he lifted the bonnet  etc ? I thought these were the first things to look for not some cosmetic scratch !!! A pretty poor guide to  buying a second hand car 

  3. LOL. If the oil level is low walk away, but don't worry about checking the consistency of the oil as long as it's high, and what about checking for consistent vin stickers on the door panels. That is a dead give away if the car has been in an accident. Bahahah what a joke.

  4. So what advice do you give someone who wants to buy a car online from beforward & trade car view (Japan)
    I would like to export used cars & sale them in my country but am not sure how i can confirm if the cars are really good…Is there anyone on this channel who has witnessed cars from those 2 websites? please reply, your  comments mean the world to me…

  5. What about rust checks, the rubber seals on the joints in the wheel arches, whether the brake discs are starting to go, oil leaks, mmisaligned body panels (accident) vin stickers, clutch check etc 

    This seems like a guide that may leave you buying a car after these checks have been made only to get home, and realizing you need to replace quite a few things, that indeed do cost hundreds of pounds.

    The boot seal isn't 100s of pounds nor is the alloy key

  6. idiot he did not even start the engine & pop the hood to check how the belts & gears are running smoothly or even check if all lights are working thats why the best thing to do if buying a used car if ur not a mechanic you should bring your friend mechanic with you

  7. So you basically have to be something of a detective, looking for clues to support what is said about the car and whether or not they match the evidence on the vehicle itself? Neat, can't wait to get investigating.

  8. check the tyre has tread by the wear tread indicator. small bump in the grove of the tyre. when level with that the tyre is at 1.6mm time to change tyre.


        ❤❤     ❤❤  

  10. what about the chassis tho? i tried to sell my toyota that has been crashed before. and the interested buyers seems to check them all the time, that has it been damaged before? hows the body condition? and so on…

  11. I live in the U.S. and I have to say that I really miss Renault. We haven't had their cars for 30 years and it's a crying shame.

    Anyway, great tips for shopping for a used auto. Thanks.

  12. it's a all a bit vague and subjective isn't it? Can't you just look up the MOT history on gov website and see the progression of the mileage?

  13. beware of crooked used car dealers who will give cars mot pass certificates that should not of been given an mot pass certificate. they can falsify paperwork

  14. By looking at the wear on the seats, and steering wheel, I can see if it's a high mileage car. Oh wait, I could look at the odometer??!!

  15. What a load of crap! Why waste all that time checking things outside when you can get in and fire it up to check that the engine is good? If the engine has a serious fault, the rest is irrelevant.

  16. We Buy Any Car Dot Rip Off. Utter Joke. Avoid. They offered me £200 for a Renault Laguna that I sold 1 week later for £1800.!

    They will rob you blind. How they are even legal is astounding. I suppose there are the idiots out there and the desperate and that's exactly who they prey on / depend on

  17. Found a guy on fiverr who is sourcing cars for people i used him myself and it was a great service: for anyone interested

  18. My advice – never buy a used car if you can help it, especially a used luxury car, especially especially a used German or British luxury car.

  19. if it's under min oil ..'walk away' is stupid advice…..the engine could easily be in excellent condition……only thing it suggests is long interval between oil service

  20. every second hand dealer ive been to has been a scum bag, one guy sold me a KA that needed 700 pounds worth of welding needing doing, another sold me a peugeot 207 with oil leaking from the head gasket and the next one sold me a Honda civic with a crack on the timing case cover and oil seeping through….go to a main dealer and just buy an approved car

  21. will cover your vehicle another 100,000 miles if it qualifies. Check it out! Love this place!

  22. Selly Automotive crm is probably the worst choice for a car dealer due to it's lack of Lead Automation capabilities. ADF/XML feed that this CRM is relying on requires a 3rd party integration. In this day and age when 90% of car dealers using Facebook advertising in their customer acquisition strategy, no way this CRM is useful, because every Lead has to be entered manually and processed by the sales team manually, without ANY automation whatsoever. Selly CRM is good for Sales Teams used to manual labour and lots of hard work, trying to locate when and where the lead has come from.Technical support is pretty much absent and non-responsive. Toll free number is not working.For the amount of money this CRM is asking to pay small car dealers, a lot more can be done to simplify Lead Generation process.

  23. Question when I picked my car up from the dealership I didnt bother to check it until 3 months later due to recent overheating issues on short trips and noticed the oil was about 1 US quart or a 1 liter to much I remember they said they serviced the car and filled it up before they gave it to me the day I bought it. So ultimately trusted them as they are a very reputable dealer my brother and father are mechanics and they said the car was sold before I bought it. It was a 2013 chevy spark LS and had about 38k miles on it and I got it for around 6000 before taxes which was 3k below market value once I had it serviced again and got new tires about 9 months into having it I had no problems and it was solid.
    Note: when I noticed the excess oil I quickly removed about 2 quarts aka liters and put some delco syintetic 5w20 in until I hit the recomend mark on the dip stick and it over heated once more but it was due to low coolant the car dash said so I added more even tho the reserve was over the recommended mark.
    Update: So all in all did I get scammed or a good deal? I love the car a lot and it has a few cosmetic blemishes but it gets me where I need to go it has some noticible noises in the cold mornings but later in they say its very smooth.

  24. I thought that with modern digital mile-ometers that it's much harder for anyone to roll back the milage?

  25. excellent video! … dealers sell the same vehicles the retail public overpays for by thousands at Dealer Only Auctions with the factory warranty and detailed condition reports, a clean title, inspected for frame damage… i buy luxury cars for my clients all the time … best way to save thousands on a luxury vehicle

  26. Ideally, your photo/s should be no larger than 250KB in file size each. The more photos you add, the longer it will take to upload your listing. Please be patient

  27. Yeah make sure the oil is not like mayo head gasket problems , also coolant levels at max with strong coloured coolant and not just clear water and check all the shut lines so the cars not been a write off.

  28. I'm not sure if smoking in a car really effects anything, if there is no damage, and it's cleaned and smells deodorised. I'm a smoker and here's how to tell usually, check just above the driver window…. there will be at least one time where you touched the fabric and left a little burn trying to flick out the window when driving along. Again though I don't know why this matters – nicotine on the window cleans off.

  29. I work with a company that tests lubricating oils, a small proportion of our customers being used car buyers. The low level is a not a good sign, as he says, the engines components are not getting properly lubricated. You can extract a sample from the engine sump, send it to the lab, and check for things like wear metals (iron copper aluminium so on) viscosity and other parameters. Really good method of determining engine condition for those who are unaware.

    I myself am looking to buy a used car but I have a provisional liscence and have not finished my lessons/test yet. Any advice for me??

  30. Buy from reputable garages and dealerships only, never buy in the car park of a pub or shop…do your research before looking at a car. How reliable is the brand etc. Look up owners reviews online…


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