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18 July 2022, 02:35

Buying a used car sight unseen: is it a good idea?

Buying a car without seeing it first is more common than it used to be. Whilst it’s always advised to view and test drive a car in person - depending on your circumstances, this may not always be possible. So we’ve put together some tips for buying a used car sight unseen from a private seller - to help you avoid any disasters!

Examine the advert carefully

There’s one key rule when it comes to buying a used car sight unseen – if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! Make sure the seller has provided all the necessary information such as the age of the car, number of owners, mileage and when the next MOT is due. Check to see if the car has any faults listed – honest sellers will be upfront about this. Also, be sure to spend time googling the model of the car for some background information, and check that it has all the specifications you require.

Speak to the seller on the phone

If you’re planning on purchasing a car without viewing it first, it’s important to speak to the seller on the phone, to ensure they aren’t a fraudster. Make sure you have a list of questions you wish to ask them and that they are confident with their answers and sound genuine. Also, ensure you ask the seller why they are selling the car and if it has been reliable. 

Ask for more photos

It’s important you examine all the photos in the advert thoroughly and if there aren’t many, or there is a part of the car you wish to see that isn’t featured, ask the seller for some more photos. When looking at the photos, make sure they match the description – for example, that the car looks its age. 

Check the car’s history

If you’re planning on purchasing a car without seeing it then it’s probably worth paying for a vehicle history check. You can buy a full vehicle history check on multiple websites, including the RAC for around £15. This will provide you with key information, including if the car has any outstanding fines, previous insurance claims, the correct mileage and whether the car has ever been reported as stolen. 

Check the seller’s reviews

It’s worth checking to see if the seller has any previous reviews. If you can’t see any, then try googling their details to see if you can find any information. 

Consider a deposit

Rather than paying for the car in full, it may be worth asking the seller if you can pay a deposit or reservation fee when buying a car sight unseen, before you collect it in person.

Organise an inspection

If you want to err on the side of caution, it may be worth organising a pre-purchase used car inspection, which can be done through multiple companies. This means that an expert will inspect the vehicle to ensure it matches its description in the advert. Many of these also include a test drive. The AA offers this service from £142.

We work with countless dealers across the UK to offer our users fantastic deals on used cars. Find your next car today.

About Revolutionizing Vehicle Advertising in the Digital Age

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, the quest for the perfect vehicle - be it a car, van, or motorbike - has been transformed by the emergence of Launched in 2021, this digital advertising website has rapidly become the go-to platform for motorists seeking new or pre-owned vehicles. Embodying the ethos As easy as CVB, the platform simplifies the search process, making it more accessible and user-friendly.

What sets apart in the crowded online marketplace is its commitment to unbiased advertising. In a marked departure from industry norms, CVB eschews advertising or sponsored listings. This principled stance ensures that all vehicles are presented on without any undue influence or bias, offering a refreshingly transparent experience for users. This approach starkly contrasts with other platforms where sponsored listings can often skew visibility and influence consumer choice.

The fair and transparent cataloging of advertising stock on is another cornerstone of its service. By providing comprehensive details of each vehicle, beyond just listing prices, the platform empowers motorists to make well-informed decisions. This depth of information is crucial in an industry where the nuances of each vehicle can significantly impact buyer satisfaction.

A standout feature of is its pricing model. When it first graced the online automotive advertising scene, CVB distinguished itself by not charging extra fees. In a bold move for 2024, the platform has further elevated its commitment to affordability. Now, neither motor dealers nor private motorists are required to pay to advertise their vehicles on the site. This initiative is a significant stride in democratizing vehicle advertising, allowing sellers of all scales to reach potential customers without financial barriers.

The platform's ethos of connecting sellers directly with potential buyers is a testament to its user-centric design. goes beyond mere transactional interactions, fostering a community where detailed vehicle information is readily available. This approach not only aids in the selling process but also ensures that buyers are better equipped to make choices that align with their needs and expectations.

Operating under the trade name, CarsVansandBikes Limited has positioned itself as a trailblazer in the automotive advertising industry. By offering its services completely free of charge, the platform breaks down traditional barriers, making vehicle advertising more accessible and equitable. 

As continues to grow and evolve, its impact on the automotive market is undeniable. With its user-friendly interface, commitment to unbiased advertising, and innovative approach to cost, CVB is not just a platform; it's a paradigm shift in how we find and advertise vehicles in the digital age.