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Calling the Seller

The all-important first phone call to a seller can reveal lots about the car for sale, but only if you ask the right questions. Don’t be afraid of asking plenty of questions – a few minutes on the phone is better than a morning viewing a car that’s not right for you.

If you’re buying from a private seller, a helpful trick is to ask the seller if “the car is for sale”. If they ask which car you’re referring too, the chances are you’re dealing with a trader in disguise – they could be trying to off-load a car without taking the responsibilities required of them by law. Always try and get the seller’s land line number and their address if you’re going to view the car – it’s helpful to know who you’re dealing with if anything is amiss with the car or the deal.

Important Questions to ask

  • How many owners has the Figaro had and how long have they owned it?
  • How many miles has it covered?
  • How would they describe the condition, and ask them to describe any damage or mechanical problems?
  • How long does the MOT and road tax have to run
  • Does it have its V5C registration document (logbook), service history, old MOT certificates and any bills or receipts?
  • Has it been involved in any accidents or stolen?
  • Does it have any outstanding finance?
  • Has any maintenance recently been carried out on the car?
  • Does it need any maintenance in the near future? For example, are the tyres almost worn out, or is the engine’s Cam belt due to be replaced?

Always view a car at the seller’s address – a trader’s place of business, or a private seller’s home – and check private sellers’ addresses correspond with the details on the logbook.

Important Issues when viewing
We recommend you purchase The Figaro Buyers Guide when viewing and test driving the car.

  • Always view the car in daylight and when it’s dry – darkness and raindrops can hide damage
  • Tell the seller if you want to arrange a professional inspection after seeing the car yourself.
  • Don’t be pressured into paying a deposit before seeing the car
  • Tell the seller you want to take a test drive, and make sure you arrange suitable insurance cover

For more information see our Buyers Guide Buy Now


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