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Contacting 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 landline 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 Cambelt 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 which is published by the Figaro Owners Club and has over 55 important tips 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.