Documentation for the car you are considering buying is essential as well as a knowledge of the history and ownership of the car, so you should check it all carefully.
Check that the paper work actually looks and feels real – nowadays photocopies and prints are so easy to look authentic.
If the seller has only had the car a short while, ask them why they are selling so soon.
Check the vehicle identification number (VIN) in the log against the VIN on the car. Ensure it matches. Don’t just check the VIN plate but look at the actual VIN stamped into the vehicle. Confirm the log book matches the name of the seller, their address and other registration information is complete and correct.
Examine the service history to guarantee the mileage recorded is correct for the car, and that regular maintenance has been carried out. Again, there are forgeries of service history so ensure that the service history is correct and authentic.
Does the mileage recorded on the service records, MOT certificates and other documents increase consistently year by year? Is it consistent with the current mileage? If you are unsure, contact the company who carried out the last servicing for confirmation.
Cars over three years of age must be issued with a valid MOT – Go through the old MOT certificates to check the mileage of the car.
If you buy the car, make sure that the buyer issues a receipt to you.
Fill in the new owner details on the v5C (logbook) and make sure it is sent to the DVLA or the relative registration authority.