What kind of documents are needed for buying a used car?

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Before you buy a used car it is vital that you get the correct documents. It is important that you check the details of the car’s documentation accurately and that they match with the car.

The seller of the vehicle should be able to provide you with the legitimate documentation for the car.

When buying from a private seller

When buying from a private seller, the first document you should receive is the vehicle registration certificate (logbook) for the car.

This document will provide proof of ownership for the vehicle and would be the most important document that provides information about the car.

It shows the registered owner of the vehicle that you’re looking at. You will receive a Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC) if the vehicle is Irish or a V5C if the vehicle is an import from the UK on UK plates.

When buying from a used car dealer

When buying a used car from a dealer or any seller for that matter, one of the most important things you will need to see, besides the VRC is the service history of the vehicle.

The service history of a vehicle is an extremely valuable piece of information when trading in your car and also from a dealer’s point of view when it comes to selling the car onto a buyer.

A service history shows that the car has been taken care of by their previous owner, therefore making it easier to resell in the future.

A service booklet should contain all relevant information about its services to the car. This includes dates, correct mileage intervals, a description of the work that was carried out and official stamp and signature from a dealer, plus receipts to accompany the jobs.

A service history booklet is important for assessing the value of a vehicle. It can add value on to the car depending on the extent of the service history and reconditioning of these cars should come at a much lower cost.

When the car comes with a service booklet fully completed, the next owner will be likely to keep up the services in the future.

Alway get a Vehicle History Report

You should always get a vehicle history report from a trusted source before you buy a used car. Vehicle History Check provides the public with the most crucial and relevant information on used cars.

We can provide you with a fair and true valuation as well as a history check on any Irish or UK registered vehicle, which will ensure that the vehicle was never stolen, imported, clocked, written off, cloned.

We provide crucial information that will mutually benefit Buyers and Sellers in the used car market.

A written warranty should also come with the vehicle when purchased from a main or independent dealer. The warranty should state what it covers and its duration.

All warranties are different, so always clarify what is and isn’t covered in the terms and conditions of your policy.

Get a sales receipt from the dealer or when purchasing from an individual at the time the vehicle is sold.

The buyer and seller should sign the receipt which has their full details and identification on it. You should take a picture of both sides of the form plus a picture of the sellers ID as proof of purchase.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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