Check your dealer belongs to the Retail Motor Industry Federation. This will ensure that the dealer is operating at nationally recognised high standards
Check your car has a V5C registration document and that the VIN number on the V5C matches the one printed on the vehicle (usually found on a metal plate in the engine compartment)
Spread the cost - most dealers offer good value finance and service packages to help ease that initial outlay. For private sellers be wary of carrying large amounts of cash, don’t accept money transfer services and always meet in a public place - ideally at the address listed on the car’s V5C document
Know your budget in advance and stick to it. Research the value of your current car and the car you’re looking for in advance. Vantage has a free value checking tool on the website
Check for a valid MOT certificate – all reputable dealers will be able to produce this along with service history
Take the car for a test drive – buying a car is a significant purchase and the only way to really know whether the car is for you is to get behind the wheel
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions – better to be safe than sorry and a good seller should be able to answer all your questions
Don’t rush in – do your research and ask friends and family for recommendations.