Wednesday 6th November 2013
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Trading Standards and Citizens Advice Bureau are encouraging motorists to be diligent when buying a second hand car. Checking the validity of MoTs is paramount and is not as difficult as people believe. Regardless, any second hand car should be thoroughly assessed for safety and legality. The Trading Standards Institute offers advice for motorists who are looking to buy used cars.

Validity of MoTs and more

To check the validity of MoTs visit GOV.UK - check MoT status here. It is easy to enter your car's details to find out what you need to know. Authenticating MoT's is important, they confirm dates, advisories and the car's safety standards at the time of inspection.

All MoT records are held on a central database, which connect to all MoT service stations. To check any vehicle you need to be the owner, registered keeper or a potential buyer. You will need the car's registration number and the most recent MoT test number or the V5C reference number to check the an MoT's legitimacy. The validity of MoTs can be checked as far back as 2005.

Having an authentic MoT does not guarantee a perfect car. Prior to buying any car it is wise to have any used car fully inspected. Additionally, the car should have a full service history.

Manufacture recalls can be checked via the VOSA website. Additionally, an HPI check is always advisable which you could find quite simply by searching online for various providers. HPI checks will ensure you that the car has no outstanding finance, or has been written off, or stolen.

When buying a second hand car privately you have fewer rights than buying from a dealership. There will always be wear and tear on a car that has clocked over 100,000 miles. However, at the point of buying a car there should be no faults.

Where possible try buying a car that comes with a warranty.