Before you delve right into trying to find your perfect new vehicle, there are a few things you should decide on first. Doing a bit of prior planning will save you hours of time could easily be swallowed up in the vortex that is the used car market.

Narrowing Down Your Options

Most searches for a used car begin online. Without filtering by engine size, you’ll be shown a plethora of vehicles that may not even be right for you. As a general rule, small engine sizes, such as a 1-litre engine, will be economical for those using the car to drive around a town or city. Driving these cars at high speeds on long journeys, however, will burn fuel much more quickly.

Aside from engine size, used car websites will also allow you to narrow down your choice by car make, model, mileage and much more. You’re likely to want the newest car possible, but remember, that after just 12 months a car’s value can depreciate immensely, giving you a recent model, for much less money.

Viewing Your Car

Once you’ve seen a car you like, it’s time to make an appointment to view it. Now is the time to check that everything the advert stated about your car is correct. Viewing your new car gives you the option to check several things;

The tyres – they should have at least a 3mm tread
Electrics – Do all the windows and lights work as they should?
Bodywork – Is there any rust, dents or scratches?
Windows – Are there any cracks or chips present?
Panels – Are all the panels the same colour, and are there any large panel gaps? This could indicate poor repair work after a crash.
Fluid Checks – Does the car have enough power steering and brake fluid? Is there enough oil? Wear and Tear – Does the condition of the car seem right for its age and mileage? If the seats or steering wheel has a lot of wear but the miles are low, you may want to think twice about your purchase.


Even if you think you’ve found your perfect car on paper, checking its details with the DVLA is an important step.

If there are minor errors in the information, it could be a genuine mistake, but make sure you ask the seller to clarify. If there large differences in the mileage, or other numbers, this should ring alarm bells.

It’s best to purchase a vehicle that has recently undergone an MOT and full service. Most dealerships will carry out a service on their vehicle prior to selling them.

Griffin Autos

At Griffin Autos, we are Vauxhall specialists and offer a wide variety of services. Whether you want your car booked in for a full service or a re-spray to change its colour, we can help. Browse our website to find out more about our services or call today on 01525 402896 to book in your car.