Make sure you arrange to view the car during the day when you can see the car to its full potential.
Try not to go to view a car on your own, but if you have to then make sure a friend or relative knows where you are going.
When you view the car make sure the paintwork is ok.
Check for leaks and battery connectors for rust.
Check the oil with the dipstick and make sure the oil warning light goes out as soon as the engine starts.
Check the tyres for wear. The legal depth is 1.6mm across the width of the tyre. Make sure there is no black or blue smoke coming from the exhaust.
Make sure the doors and boot opens and closes smoothly.
Check the mileage, bear in mind the age of the car to make sure it is consistent. The average car drives 10,000 miles a year.
When test driving the car, check for the brakes, steering and gears.
Check over the documents; log book and MOT certificates and V5C registration documents.
Only accept original paperwork – no copies! Haggle the price – the seller is expecting this and will be willing to lower the price accordingly.