How Can I Tell if My Car Has Been in an Accident in the Past?

No one wants to end up with more baggage than they bargained for. Unfortunately, this can be an easy trap to fall into when purchasing a second-hand vehicle – which is where today’s key points could help inform your decision.

Whether you’re buying a used vehicle or if you’ve previously purchased second-hand and have concerns, these pointers may help.

How to See If a Car Has Been Involved In an Accident

Buying a damaged vehicle can have countless consequences. Thus, once you have checked the vehicle’s accident history with the seller, be sure to authenticate this by considering the following steps.

#1 Run a Car History Check

If you need confidence in your purchase, be sure to run a hpi check free equivalent. These allow you to ensure that a vehicle has not had any major issues in its past MOT history; this can also allow you to check if the car has been written off at any point recently.

#2 Check if the Sale is Too Good to be True

It’s not impossible to find a great bargain. However, they could well be too good to be true. As a result, if you think that a car seems too cheap for its condition, age, and mileage, be sure to consider whether there could be any hidden history that’s less honest than it seems.

#3 Signs of Damage

Vehicles can be repaired to an incredibly high standard following an accident. This is especially true if the damage was only minor. Nevertheless, there may still be some very minor signs, such as slight differences in the paintwork or subtle dents. Keep an eye out for any such inconsistencies that might be indicative of a previous repair job. Try to watch for bubbling as well, as this can be a common sign of rust below the paint.

#4 Make Sure the Bodywork is Flush

When buying a car, always make sure that the body panels and doors are flush with one another. Indeed, following an accident, one of the most common issues will be misaligned panels, and this can often be costly to repair to a high standard. As such, if you notice that the doors and panelling don’t quite match up, make sure to look for any other signs of damage to the car.

#5 Unexpected Parts

If a vehicle has been damaged, repair jobs may not always use the original parts, such as door hinges, bolts, and the like. If these seem to differ slightly from what you may have expected, be sure to consider whether the car could have been damaged.

#6 Check the Airbag

Your car’s airbag shouldn’t go off unless there’s an issue. As such, if the vehicle genuinely hasn’t been in a collision or accident, there usually shouldn’t be a reason for the airbag to go off. Thus, if this is used in a vehicle you’re looking at, there may have been some sort of accident (or defect with the air bag itself) in the past.

Final Thoughts

If you have purchased a second-hand car, or are currently looking at one, checking that everything is working as expected is integral. Hopefully, the seller will be honest about this; however, if you are unsure, running a car history check allows you to verify whether the car has been written off or had serious MOT failings in the past.

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