What to look out for when buying a used car…

You’ve been searching for months, and you’ve finally found it; your dream car! The price is right, the model is perfect and the mileage is spot on; but could all of this be just a little too good to be true?


Look out for body language which could hint that your seller is not being completely honest!

Buying a used car is a stressful business; there’s so much to think about and take in. The last thing you need is to be lied to by a private seller, but how can you determine whether the seller is telling tales? Lucky for you, we’ve got some top tips that will help you spot someone being dishonest and take some of the stress out of buying a used car.

Ever had the feeling that you’re being lied to? Chances are you have picked up on the subconscious signals that liars give off; and you’re probably right! When people lie, they can’t help but use body language that gives them away.

Ask yourself:

  • Are their hands clenched?
  • Are they fiddling with clothing or jewellery?
  • Do they have their arms crossed?
  • Are their hands in their pockets
  • Do they keep showing you their palms excessively?
  • Do they keep placing objects between you?
  • Are they constantly rubbing at their neck, touching their nose and covering their mouth?
  • Do they seem jumpy and fidgety?
  • Are they giving you mixed signals; like nodding in contrast to what is being said?
  • Are they not mirroring your body language?
  • Is their eye contact off; you can’t get them to look at you or they look directly at you for too long?

If any or all of these are taking place, the chances are you are being lied to; so hot foot it out of there at once!

Of course body language is not the only way to spot a liar; they have a whole host of tricks up their sleeves. Recent research suggests that one in five people admit to telling lies when trying to make a sale on their car. These include hiding existing faults, mechanical issues and poor service history. A few even admitted to lying about the cars mileage and worryingly, some even admitted to lying about previous accidents.

Don’t be diverted

Watch out for diversion tactics when inspecting a car. A seller might park in a way so as to hide scratches and bumps, they might try and distract you while you’re giving the car a once over, and use strong air fresheners to disguise dodgy smells – check out our feature on how to spot a flood-damaged motor, too. Keep your wits about you and make sure you pay close attention when looking over the car for any issues.

Trust your instincts.

If you think that something is not right and get that uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach then you are probably spot on. If it feels too good to be true, it almost always is. Don’t be afraid to walk; your gut feeling is nearly always correct!

Two pairs of eyes are better than one

If you can, take someone else along with you to check out the car. A second pair of eyes might be able to spot something that you wouldn’t if you were on your own. If you don’t know a whole lot about cars, try to take along someone with a bit of knowledge to help you out.

Save yourself stress and buy from a dealer!

Getting your used car from a reputable dealer such as Crawley Down Group can save you from the clutches of dodgy private sellers. With CDG you are guaranteed a top quality used car, great service and more importantly, not a lie in sight!

You will have extra peace of mind knowing you will drive away with at least 6 months warranty on your new vehicle! Visit to view our full range of used vehicles or pop in and see us today!

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