Do your research when buying a used car, says IAM

27th July 2012

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has offered up some sage advice for anyone looking to buy a used car this summer.

In much the same way that any driver would be told to review their tyres for problems, a similar level of examination is required when buying a car, according to advice from the group.

Among the key pieces of advice provided by the road safety group was to research any purchase on vehicle database sites such as the RAC and, which also offer guidance on what to look for when inspecting a car.

They also recommended mileage, service records and MOT check history at

The IAM  told would-be buyers to watch out for blown turbo chargers, smoking engines or snapped timing chains which can indicate a delay to oil changes or the use of the wrong oil.

They also endorsed undertaking checks on dashboard lights which indicate whether systems like ABS and stability control are in working order. Other tips include starting the engine to look and listen for any rattles or smoke that may indicate a problem.

Tim Shallcross said: "Do your preparation before you go so you know what you're looking for. If you're not confident, take a friend, get it checked at a garage, or ultimately walk away."

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Posted by Danielle Barge