Monday, 25 March 2013


Caveat emptor - buyer beware!  Before you part with your hard-earned cash here's is a quick rundown of what to look for when buying a car.

Car Paintwork repairs: look at the overall paintwork, the texture should match all over, all the sides of the car etc should look the same in lustre, the colour should be the same all over too. Look at each panel in turn, check every feature line to see if the body lines have been roll masked off. Open all the doors, bonnet, tailgate and check the edges between the outer and inner panels, have they been rolled masked off? Look to see if any bolts on the car have been touched in. When a car has had accident repairs the panels will be re aligned so the paint on the bolts will be disturbed and then touched back in. If all looks good on the edges, look over the body for hazy patches, these patches are often ‘blow ins’ or ‘fade outs’, they are signs of minor accident repairs.

Body panel alignment: walk around the car and just eye up all the gaps, all the door gaps, bonnet & boot gaps should be equal and centralized. A good car body repair centre should have attention to detail and gaps are a classic tell tale sign of work being done. Lift the bonnet and check the engine bay, look at the flinches and chassis legs, all should look untouched. Look for marks where bolts have been undone and panels re-aligned, I call these ‘witness marks’ as they show something has been moved. Lastly, look at the cars sill. The lip part of the sill where the sill joins the floor pan should be covered in stone chip protector and painted. If there are pitted marks about twelve inches long and two patches on either side. These are ‘clamp marks’ and it shows that the car has been on a pulling machine to be re-aligned and accident repairs have been. 

There are many other ways to assess if a car has had accident repairs, these are my ‘must do checks’ list. Finally, there is nothing wrong with an accident repaired car as long as it has been repaired right. If you do notice a few little things on paintwork etc or you just want the car regardless, use what you have seen to bargain the price down.

I hope this article has given you a few things to think about.

If you need free advice or a quotation, call Joe 07802 348096 or 0151 4932600 or call in at 60-61 Love Lane, Liverpool, L3 7DD



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