What to take when viewing a car

So you’ve found a car advert you like the sound of and now it’s time to call to arrange a viewing. But what should you know and take with you before you go?

Well before even viewing the car, it’s worth arming yourself with knowledge of common faults with the model.


Some review sites can give a guide but one of the easiest things you can do is just a simple google search, for example:- “Nissan Qashqai” issue OR fault OR problem. The most common results highlight the things you need to be aware of.


When calling to arrange viewing the car, ask the seller if it’s possible for the car to be cold when you arrive. Some issues will only arise on a car when cold starting. Of course the opposite can be true, however a car should come up to temperature on a test drive but it will take substantially longer to cool down.


If the car is advertised for sale privately, when calling just ask about “the car”.If the seller has to confirm which one, they may be a trader.


It’s also worth confirming the details in the advert briefly before arranging a viewing, especially if the car is some distance away. Check if they’re a smoker or dog owner, especially if you won’t consider a car with an unpleasant odour.


What to take with you;

Take a friend or relative: If they know about cars it’s a bonus but even if they don’t they can spot things you might miss and help ask the right questions. You can confer with them on price and they can also stop a pushy seller forcing a purchase on you.


Take some tissues or rags: You should you get your hands a little dirty during the inspection. Wet wipes are handy to remove any oil or brake dust.


Take a torch: For a visual inspection underneath, around the wheel arches and brakes.


Take the classified ad: It’s good to have on your phone as a reference in case there are any discrepancies in the description.


Take a note of the price of tyres for the car: If the tyre tread depths are low you can use this to negotiate the price down.


Don’t take bundles of cash: While you may decide you want to drive away today, it’s much safer especially when buying privately to arrange a bank transfer.


In my next article I discuss what to look for when viewing the car.