Things to know when buying a pre-owned car

Here are some things to know when buying a preowned car from a private seller:


It is important to check the history of the car you are buying in case the seller is trying to hide something. Part of the car’s history is its mileage. It is a legal offence in Ireland to tamper with a car’s mileage, otherwise known as clocking, and happens more often than it should.

Car Finance Outstanding

If you buy a car that has a car finance or PCP plan outstanding, you have bought a car from someone who does not actually own the car. This can leave you open to the car company repossessing the car and short a lot of money. Do your research.


Find a mechanic to look over the car thoroughly before handing over any cash. If the seller refuses to allow this, find another seller!

Cars that look perfect on the outside are not necessarily so underneath. Don’t be fooled by charms and good looks!

Proof of Ownership

Make sure you are not buying a stolen car and that the seller has every legal right to sell it. Ask to see the logbook to prove the legitimacy of ownership. 


Does the car have a valid NCT
You cannot legally drive a car that does not have an NCT. Be wary of buying a car where the NCT is very close to expiring. It could be that the seller does not think it will pass which would indicate problems with the car.

These are only a couple of tips. 

For more information on buying a used car, check out Citizens Information and CCPC where you can also download and print a handy checklist for when you go car shopping.

Click here to find out more about applying for a car loan with First South Credit Union or check out our handy loan calculator here.

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