Buying advice

Are you buying a used Car?

Due to the amount of questionable vehicles currently in circulation on the Irish market, and the number of ‘cowboy’ car dealers around – as an SIMI approved dealer, we here at JH AUTOS recommend you carry out the following checks before buying a second hand vehicle, to ensure you are getting a good straight deal.

Step 1
Entering the registration number into a car history check website is good place to start – this will give you a report showing any registered problems that the car has had.

Step 2
When viewing a vehicle, you should be sure the person selling the car is the owner of the vehicle and that the viewing takes place at their home or property (you can check this against the name and address on the logbook). Ensure that you have their full name and phone number. A lot of dodgy car deals are carried out in parking lots, or at other people’s houses so that the seller cannot be traced if there are problems afterwards.

Step 3
Always check the paperwork for the vehicle matches the car that you are buying. Registration and chassis numbers should correspond to the vehicle. While this is a less common issue, it is still a problem, as stolen cars can be cloned to match Irish vehicles by changing the registration and chassis plates. A careful check by a trained mechanic will spot this.

Step 4
Always have the vehicle checked over by a trained mechanic for any issues before you buy. The inspection should include mechanical, electronic, paintwork and bodywork checks as well as diagnostics & mileage verification.
This is important for many reasons:
a. A mechanical check will show up any problems with the cars running. Don’t always think because a car has an NCT that it’s fine, a lot of the time it won’t be and always check that the NCT cert is not a fake.
b. A paintwork and crash check will show up if your car has been in a crash or repaired at any stage. Advice as to the extent of the damage will be given on inspection and can range from evidence of a minor accident to a heavily damaged or even written off car, and how well (or not) it has been repaired.
c. Electronics on the car can only be checked with the correct diagnostic computers. These will show up any current (and past) problems that you won’t know anything about until lights start flashing on the dash. A trained user reading diagnostic data correctly can even predict problems likely to occur in the near future. Electronic problems can be the most costly to fix so be sure to have them checked.
d. Mileage checks are extremely important so you that you don’t get landed with a car that has clocked up 200,000 km yet is only showing 60,000 on the clock. This is a more difficult check to carry out but there are ways to verify it. The majority of cars cannot be completely clocked as mileage is stored in keys, ECUs, ABS units and other components of the car aside from the actual clocks. Tampering with mileage is illegal and unfortunately common in Ireland but is also very easy to spot when you know what to look for. It is estimated that around ten per cent of all used cars in Ireland have been ‘clocked’. Generally a high end diagnostic computer will show the original mileage or flag any discrepancies, and a good visual inspection can also reveal if and how the car has been tampered with.

And remember:
Any dealer or person selling a car who is reluctant to let you have that car inspected is more than likely hiding something. If they don’t like being questioned or try bring you to a garage they recommend, the same may apply, so always be cautious. For further information on purchasing a used vehicle and information on other issues regarding the automotive industry in Ireland, the following links are useful:

We also provide an inspection service:

Inspection 1 – Mechanical , Crash work , Piantwork only €30

Inspection 2 – Mechanical , Crash work , Paintwork , Diagnostics , Mileage check only €60

These inspections are free to our currant service customers. Inspections take no longer than 1 hour and must be booked in.

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

Find Us

Find our location

Click to view map

Co. Dublin
K34 F668
01 843 8225
Sat nav coords:
N: 53° 33.168' W: 6° 9.316'