Important considerations when purchasing a used Car

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What should you consider when buying a used Car?

RSA Warning

The RSA (Road Safety Authority) has warned buyers of used vehicles to be ultra vigilant when buying a used vehicle from an unscrupulous and untrustworthy dealer. These greedy individuals will go to any lengths to make a sale and they do not care if the car has been clocked or even worse unsafe.

Some  things to be aware of:

  • You may be offered a dangerous and defective stolen or written-off car
  • Check that the car’s mileage has not been reduced, more commonly known as clocking
  • Original parts may have been replaced with sub-quality parts after passing the NCT
  • Usage of sealants and other masking agents may hide corrosion or rust holes
  • Display of fake NCT certificates and disks, Registration Certs or Motor Tax Discs Advice

Never, ever buy a used vehicle unless first getting it inspected by a qualified mechanic or motor engineer. Here at, we can provide you with a highly qualified Automotive Engineer Assessor to go to a location of your choice and carry out a detailed pre-purchase vehicle inspection. The engineer can tell you what the dealer may be trying to hide.

Always and every time carry out a comprehensive Vehicle History Check through This can show if a vehicle has been written off, clocked or if it has outstanding finance.

Dodgy Dealer

Ask to see the NCT Certificate and Check the Disk as this will display the current odometer or mileage reading. If the prior odometer reading is more than the current one it could indicate that the car was clocked.

All cars more than 4 years old are required by law to have a NCT certificate. Remember that it is possible to fake NCT’s so to check that it is not, you can visit and enter the registration number there. It will show you the expiry date of the last NCT. For commercial vehicles go to:

If you are buying a used car from a garage, ask for a warranty. If the dealer quibbles, you may consider walking away from the sale.

Why have an On-site Vehicle Inspection?

On-Site Vehicle Inspection

  • Can potentially save lives by identifying major repair defects
  • Can save money by highlighting any necessary work required
  • Will clarify if the vehicle is safe and roadworthy

What is covered by an On-Site Vehicle Inspection?

Report includes:

  • Full Check Report
  • 101 multi-point check by Qualified Engineer
  • Interior Vehicle Inspection
  • Seat Belts and SRS Inspection
  • Bodywork Exterior Inspection
  • Rear Luggage Compartment Inspection
  • Under-Bonnet Vehicle Inspection
  • Wheels and Tyres Inspection
  • Vehicle Brakes Inspection
  • Steering and Suspension Inspection
  • Vehicle Lighting and Electrics Inspection
  • Under-body Vehicle Inspection
  • Road Test
  • Gives confidence that you’re making a good choice

The Law

What should you consider when buying a used Car?

  • If you are stopped by An Garda Síochána while driving a defective vehicle, you will be liable for prosecution, so it’s important to make sure you are fully aware of the true condition of the vehicle before taking it out on the road. Road Traffic Regs.1963
  • Remember also, it is illegal to interfere with the clock, or even to engage another person to tamper with the odometer. Road Traffic Act, 2014

Dodgy Car Dealer

It is an offence for a dealer  to mislead you by providing false information in relation to a “products usage or prior history” The Consumer Protection Act 2007 


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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