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How Dealerships Investigate the Cars They Buy

The second-hand car market can be a dangerous and unpredictable place if you are not careful. You often hear stories of motorists falling victim to scams or buying a car only for it to fall apart a few weeks later, but fortunately, there are ways to navigate the used car market with confidence.


Used car dealerships have not had the greatest reputation in the past and have been known for their “wheeler-dealer” stereotype. People associated these dealerships as places that were simply looking to make money and will do anything to complete the sale. Whilst there may have been some truth to this previously, this is no longer the
case and now used car dealerships are great places to buy second-hand cars.

Consumer Protection

This is, largely, thanks to a change in laws back in 2015 where consumers were given a 30-day period from the day they bought the car where they could change their mind. This gave the consumer better protection whilst making dealerships be more rigorous with their checks to ensure that their stock is of the highest quality. This has helped to
change the reputation of these businesses and now they are the best place to buy second-hand cars as you get no consumer protection through a private seller.

So, how have these businesses altered their operation to ensure that they are finding the best cars possible? This is through a range of rigorous checks that every single car will undertake before being placed on sale. This transparency gives the customer peace of mind and means that there will be no nasty surprises down the line.

These checks will be carried out on every single automobile that the dealership considers purchasing, but they are particularly important for supercars. This is because these vehicles have much greater value and will be a bigger financial investment, so it is vital that the dealership has all of the information on that particular car.

Vehicle History Checks

Vehicle history checks are vital as they will uncover any hidden secrets about the automobile. These checks can reveal whether or not the car has previously been written off, whether it is recorded as stolen, the number of license plate changes and arrange of other checks. It is often recommended that the consumer gets these checks carried out, but it is normally done by the dealership now too.

Spec Check

Spec checks, available from companies like Cap HPI, use software to reveal 100% accurate information about the specific car’s specification (no two cars are the same). A spec check will not only help the seller to reduce risk, but also to set the right price for that car. A spec check will reveal important information such as fuel consumption, dimensions, fuel type, speed figures, road tax banding, boot size, insurance group and other information. This accurate information is helpful for both the business and potential customers and allows a fair price to be agreed on. Often, a spec check will also supply the dealership with vehicle reports and photographs which they can then use for their promotional materials.

A vehicle history check and a spec check will provide the company with all of the information that they need to decide whether or not to buy the car for their stock. It will also help them to set the right price. These rigorous checks help to protect customers, who now will head to dealerships for the consumer protection instead of buying from a private seller. This is particularly true if the motorist is looking into a supercar, as they will want to know that the car has no hidden past and know the exact spec before making the large purchase.

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