6 Most Common Motorcycle Problems and What to Do About Them

There are more than a million motorcycles registered in the UK alone and they are certainly a popular way of getting around. Many people ride classic or older motorbikes and take loving care of them.

If you’re a new bike owner, here we look at some of the most common problems you are likely to find with older bikes.

1. Fuel Tank Rust

Rust as a general issue is common in older bikes and can occur practically anywhere. If you leave your bike for a long period with a half-full tank it can lead to problems over time. It’s more likely to happen if you are parked in an area where there is relatively high humidity.

It’s important to check your tank at regular intervals and, if there is a rust problem, get it sorted straight away. The best way to stop it from developing at all is to ensure that your tank is filled with gas most of the time, especially if you are leaving your bike parked up for a while.

2. Vacuum Leaks

Your carburettors produce an air/fuel mix for optimum running. A vacuum leak happens when extra air gets in, most often around the carburettor holder.

This has a rubber seal that can dry out and degrade over time so it’s important to check every so often. Leaks can often be misdiagnosed but if you have a problem with erratic idling or loss of power it’s worth checking out if this is the problem. It’s a good idea to take your bike to your local friendly mechanic to get a proper diagnosis and repair if you are not sure.

3. The Carburettor

These are complex bits of the engine and most older bikes suffer from problems at some point. The carburettor mixes the petrol and air to ensure the smooth running of the engine.

Like most mechanical parts they wear down over the years and that can lead to the carburettor having too much air to too much oil. If the parts are worn down or there’s something like a seal that needs replacing, it’s important to get this carried out by a garage that knows what it’s doing.

4. Fork Oil Leaks

The forks on your older bike are also quite complicated parts. They are filled with a viscous oil that helps handle the weight of the front end. The wrong oil or a leak can cause friction and damage your bike. You’ll know there is something wrong if you start feeling every bump in the road.

The forks are probably the most ignored part of the bike when it comes to riders and problems can often develop because of it. It’s important to have these checked out whenever you have a service. If you do start to feel every contour on the road and your ride becomes uncomfortable, you should check the oil levels or whether there is a leak. On some bikes, the fork assembly can be complicated so if you are not mechanically minded it’s important to consult an expert mechanic.

5. Old Tyres

Perhaps more than with cars, worn tyres are a pretty big danger when it comes to two-wheeled motorbikes. New tyres are a lot tougher than they used to be but it’s still important to check the tread regularly and replace wheels that look worn or have some damage on them.

6. Engine Oil Leaks

Another common problem you might encounter is an oil leak from the engine. This can be down to a faulty gasket on the crankcase, oil pan or cylinder head, for example. It’s critical to get this diagnosed properly, however, if you are unsure where the issue is located. An oil drain plug can be replaced in about 15 minutes but the cylinder head gasket can be more problematic because you have to take the engine apart.

If you want to maintain your motorcycle or have issues that you are unsure of, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced garage. At White’s Bodyworks, we have a fully equipped garage and can ensure we get your motorbike back in tip-top condition in next to no time. Contact us to find out more.

Common Car Repair Scams and How to Avoid Them

If there’s one thing guaranteed to make our blood boil at White’s Bodyworks, it’s garages and mechanics that take advantage of their customers.

There are a few different scams that are regularly employed by less scrupulous businesses and it’s worth being aware of them.

MOT and Servicing Scams

It’s important to work with a garage that you trust and can depend on. When you take your car for an MOT and too many faults or unusual problems are coming up, then you might want to get a second opinion pretty quickly.

MOT time is a good opportunity for scammers. You want to get your certificate renewed and your car back on the road so you’re probably less likely to ask questions and simply pay to get a ‘problem’ fixed.

Choice of garage or mechanic is the key here – try to get a recommendation from someone you
trust or check garages for their reviews.

Mark-Up on Parts

Another thing that unscrupulous garages can do is put a big markup on parts. The reason why this is such a successful scam is that many of us simply fail to check prices at all – something that can easily be done online.

Many garages buy parts wholesale and they’re within their rights to have some markup. If you’re paying way over the odds, however, it’s time to complain.

Imaginary Parts

This is one that really does get our collective goat. Sometimes bad mechanics will say that you need a replacement part urgently, you pay for it and get the car back and all seems well.

Unfortunately, they haven’t replaced anything and have simply charged you for imaginary work. Most people don’t know a lot about the workings of a car and many parts are hidden from view – how would you know if they have been replaced or not?

If a part is to be replaced, ask the garage to give you the broken component so that you can take a closer look. If they refuse, you can probably guess what’s going on.

The Amazing Quote

Getting a low quote for work to be done can be a relief if you’re on a tight budget. However, when the bill arrives this often turns out to be much higher. The mechanic will give all sorts of reasons for the extra work or effort they had to put in. Most good mechanics will contact you if there is an issue that might raise the cost from the original quote and ask permission to carry on.

There’s another sign of scamming that we dislike at White’s Bodyworks and that’s trying to blind customers with science. Modern cars are a lot more complicated nowadays and it’s easy to spin a yarn about why certain work needs to be carried out.

The best way to avoid scams such as these is to choose your garage carefully and build a relationship with them that you can trust. The reason White’s Bodyworks has so many customers coming back to us, again and again, is our commitment to an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. We explain issues in plain language and always keep customers well-informed at all times.

If you need a garage you can trust, contact the team at White’s Bodyworks on 01273 933633.

Common Car Problems That Happen in the Summer

Everything from flash storms to high heat levels and long drives can have an impact on your car over the summer. We often think that winter is the worst time for everything on four wheels but that’s not always the case.

At White’s Bodyworks, we regularly see common car issues that are linked to the warmer weather.

It’s not just down to the heat of the sun, however. For instance, we’re more likely to have longer drives, heading out to holidays, than during the winter. Motorists often forget the basics such as checking tyres and oil and making sure that all-important air conditioning is working before they start a long journey.

Here we look at the most common car problems that tend to happen more in summer.

1. Overheating Engines

It’s quite easy for engines to overheat even in a country like the UK. If you’re stuck in a tailback over the bank holiday weekend, this can be even more likely. The days are getting hotter because of climate change and the risk of prolonged sunny periods is growing. While this is great for those going on holiday, there is a downside when it comes to your car, especially for older vehicles.

Make sure that your cooling fan is working properly and that the coolant is topped up properly. If you’re going on a long journey, it’s worth having your car checked out by a qualified mechanic to make sure there are no problems.

2. Wear and Tear

We often get out and about more during the hotter summer months and that can cause greater wear and tear on engine parts. The biggest strain gets put on areas like the clutch which can be affected by sitting in slow-moving traffic or towing an extra weight like a caravan. Driving on unfamiliar roads also means that we are likely to use the clutch more.

If you find that the pedal is feeling heaving or you can sense a higher clutch bite, it’s worth having things checked out especially if you’re planning a long journey.

3. Punctures

Tyres can be affected by high road temperatures. If there’s a minor fault such as cracking in the tread this can get worse during the hotter weather. One of the big problems for motorists is tyre pressure. We tend not to check it regularly enough and that can mean we’re driving along on underinflated tyres. Extra weight in the car when we’re off on our holidays can also make a difference.

It’s a good idea to check your tyre pressure at least every couple of weeks and ensure that your wheels stay in tip-top condition. Tyre tread can also be an issue, especially if there are flash floods or storms over the summer.

4. Flat Batteries

Winter does put stress on car batteries, especially for older vehicles, but so does the summer. This can be a problem if you have an older battery because extreme temperature changes can make a difference. It’s not unusual for motorists to wake up ready for their vacation to find that the battery is dead and they’re going nowhere.

5. Air Conditioning Problems

Certainly, older cars can suffer from air conditioning leaks that make driving in hot weather very uncomfortable. On newer models, air conditioning systems are often complex and they can break down over the summer more often than during the winter. The easiest way to prevent issues such as leaks is to have your air-con serviced regularly.

6. Bodywork Damage

Roadworks tend to be more prevalent during the summer and that can mean all sorts of debris on the road. It’s easy for loose stones to hit the bodywork and cause damage to your car so it’s important to be extra aware and stick to the speed limit when you’re going through roadworks.

If you have any problem with your car over the summer, it’s important to find a garage that can put it right quickly. At White’s Bodyworks, our professional team and fully equipped garage will ensure we get you car back on the road as quickly as possible. Contact us on 01273 933633.

A Quick Guide to Shot Blasting

At our garage in West Sussex, White’s Bodyworks offer a range of different services from the full restoration of classic cars and accident repairs to fixing dents, dings and full body resprays.

New and old cars will get covered in dirt and dust, be susceptible to scratches and dents and suffer from problems such as rust. One way to solve this problem and lengthen the lifespan of your vehicle is to have the bodywork shot blasted and then resprayed.

While it is invasive, shot blasting is a key part of many classic car restorations. If you want to change the colour of your car, you also need to remove the original paintwork. Shot blasting has a wide range of applications and finding an expert service is critical.

What is Shot Blasting?

If there is damage to the surface of a car or an area like the engine, shot blasting is probably the most economical and quickest way to get rid of it. We often use this method when a car comes into us for a respray and we need to completely remove the old paintwork.

Shot blasting uses a high speed mechanical or centrifugal force to propel a material against the surface being treated. As you might expect this is a highly technical undertaking and requires not only the right equipment but plenty of training and expertise. The good news is it’s something our team at White’s Bodyworks have plenty of.

  • Shot blasting can be used:
  • To smooth over damaged or uneven areas of your car.
  • Prepare a car for a repaint and get rid of rust.
  • Cleaning surfaces that have contaminants or where there is ageing and erosion.

While it sounds aggressive, shot blasting is a safe way to prepare surfaces and remove longstanding dirt and other contaminants. It’s often a process that is used in the restoration of classic cars and the skill of the person carrying it out is in the amount of pressure used, the materials selecting for blasting and the care that is taken to clean a surface but also protect the underlying bodywork.

Shot blasting is used in preference to sandblasting when deeper penetration is required and the surface is fairly sturdy – often to remove things like baked-on pollution and caked rust.

Sandblasting is generally used for more delicate surfaces where a smoother finish is required.
Another process that we use at White’s is called bead blasting which uses find glass beads fired at high speed. This removes tarnished areas and is mostly used when the finish needs to be uniform. We can also perform soda blasting which uses liquid rather than a solid material and is widely used in classic car restorations.

Why Choose White’s Bodyworks?

It’s important when you are choosing a garage to make sure that it has the right equipment in place, particularly if you are looking at restoration, as well as the best expertise. Most garages don’t have the appropriate shot blasting equipment on-site and will have to send away cars and motorbikes at an extra cost to the customer.

Over the last 27 years, we’ve invested a lot in getting state of the art equipment for our garage in West Sussex. That’s one reason why we’re often the first port of call for classic car owners who are looking for a team to help them with a restoration.

Our team are fully trained and skilled in the use of the latest shot blasting techniques so you can be sure that your vehicle is in good hands. With the equipment we need here at our garage, we can use this to reduce the cost of work for our customers.

If you are intending to get your vehicle resprayed, for example, we can handle the whole process from start to finish without sending it to third parties. Not only do with have the best shot blasting facilities on-site but our respray areas are fully kitted out too.

If you are searching for a local garage in West Sussex that can handle all your needs, contact the expert team at White’s Bodyworks today on 01273 933633.

5 Things a Classic Car Team Offers That Ordinary Garages Don’t

There are thousands of classic car enthusiasts around the UK. Here in West Sussex, we’ve got more than our fair share of them. Over the years we’ve had everything from an MK2 Lotus Cortina to a fabulous Rolls Royce Silver Cloud come across our forecourt.

Just like the owners themselves, our passion when it comes to classics is unfettered.

There’s nothing that gets our enthusiasm going other than a vintage vehicle that requires some tender loving care. Some owners want us to restore or rebuild, others may want repairs or a new paint job. Some simply come to us for a quick service or MOT.

As classic car experts, we’ve got the skill, knowledge and equipment to do a great job, whatever you need. It’s one of the reasons why customers tend to come back to us again and again.

1. Knowledge and Expertise

The first big difference between a business such as White’s Bodyworks and other garages is the range of expertise specifically related to the world of classic cars. You might think that one car is much like another but that’s not strictly true. When it comes to things like bodywork repairs or fixing an engine, specialist knowledge and skills account for a lot.

Check out the work we did recently on this Austin Healey.

For nearly 30 years, classic car owners from far and wide have trusted us because we know what we’re talking about and have all the right equipment in place.

2. Access to Parts

One of the challenges for classic car restorations and repairs is finding the right replacement parts. Over the years, we’ve built amazing networks and resourced rare parts for a variety of different customers and different makes of car.

Most general garages don’t know where to start and often settle for solutions that aren’t appropriate for the age or model of car or motorbike.

3. The Right Equipment

To carry out successful restorations and repairs on classic cars you need a whole range of kit. From our dedicated respray booths to the heavy-duty equipment on-site, we tick all the right boxes when it comes to everything from bodywork to engine removal and reconstruction.

We’ve invested in the garage because we know that our classic car customers expect the best and we’re determined to deliver it.

4. Full Range of Services

Because we have most of the equipment on-site, we can offer classic car owners the full range of services you might expect. Maybe you just want your MOT and service handling. Or perhaps you’ve invested in a car and now want to carry out the restoration work. Whether the job’s big or small, we’re here to support you.

All our team are fully trained and come with their individual areas of expertise which means there’s always a great solution to be found.

5. Flexible Approach

There’s no doubt that many classic car owners want to get involved themselves with a restoration. This can certainly be a passion that extends beyond simply driving the vehicle around.

The team at White’s Bodyworks always try to be as flexible as possible – we’re here to support and do those jobs you aren’t equipped to get done or don’t know where to start. We keep our customers fully informed all the time and ensure they are involved in the entire decision-making process.

It’s important to have a garage that you can trust for any vehicle. For classic car owners, that trust is even more important. Over the years, we’ve seen hundreds of classic cars, helping to repair, restore, repaint and service them.

If you’d like to see the kinds of cars we’ve repaired over the years, check out our portfolio here.

White’s Bodyworks are one of the leading classic car garages in the Home Counties and we take great pride in our work and the service that we offer to owners. If you want to find out what our team can do, give us a call on 01273 933633.

How to Protect the Underside of Your Car

Many people spend a lot of time washing and polishing the top of their car but few consider what happens underneath it. If you bear in mind that this part of your vehicle is closest to the road and the most likely to get damaged fro grit and other material, taking a bit more care with what happens here makes a lot of sense.

This area of your car is certainly at greater risk during wintertime as the weather conditions are a lot more inclement and the roads get gritted regularly. If you also live close to the coast, the salty air can also cause greater problems, getting into the bodywork and causing corrosion quicker than if you were driving about further inland.

Rust and Your Car

The truth is that most rust problems don’t start with the side panels, roof or bonnet of your car. It usually begins underneath, where few of us bother to take a look.

This area is normally protected by hard plastic panels that stop the worst of the damage that UK roads can offer. While these protect areas like the exhaust, for example, that doesn’t mean damp, dirt and other elements can’t get in.

Giving your car a regular wash underneath as well as on top is one way to ensure you don’t get a build-up of contaminants. It’s also important to check for rust and to repair this as soon as it gets noticed.

Causing Damage to the Underside of Your Car

Poor driving habits like going over speed bumps too fast can also cause damage to the underneath of your car. For example, hitting a bump will potentially cause cracking of the protective cover so that the engine and fuel tank are more open to the elements. You may find the same issue if you drive on roads with potholes.

In short, it’s always important to check things out if you hear a noise that sounds out of the ordinary as you may have incurred some damage.

Suspension Problems

Also underneath your car are important components like the wheels and suspension. Again, hitting potholes can cause damage to these areas, making your car more dangerous to drive.

If you notice any squeaking or rattling that sounds out of place, it’s essential to pay a visit to your local garage and have it assessed. Leaving this kind of damage not only potentially makes the handling of your car harder, but it can also prolong emergency stopping speed and put others at risk.

Fluid Leaks

Another thing to check for is evidence of leaks or spills from your car. If you notice a stain after you’ve been parked, this could be an oil leak or something like brake fluid both of which are likely to have a big impact on the safety and the performance of your car. Even small leaks need to be repaired as quickly as possible to help prevent further damage.

Especially if you own an older car, pay more attention to the underside of your vehicle and, if you notice something wrong, get it repaired as soon as possible.

At White’s Bodyworks, we handle all kinds of repairs for cars of any type. Based in West Sussex, our team of expert mechanics can have your car undercarriage ship shape and ready for action in next to no time.

Contact White’s Bodyworks today to book an appointment.

Has Your Car got a Water Ingress Issue?

Cars are designed to be watertight which is why you have tight seals in places like the doors, windows and various parts of the engine. Maintaining these seals is important for vehicles of all types and failure to do so can lead to damp patches inside the cabin as well as rust developing.

Older cars and those that are poorly maintained often suffer from a problem of water ingress.

When it’s an area like the window, this is easy to notice – during wet weather, you may notice patches of damp or see visible dripping, for example, from the driver’s window. But many times, problems with water ingress remain hidden and nothing is noticed until there are problems with the car’s infrastructure.

What is Water Ingress?

Essentially, this is where water gets into any part of your car where it shouldn’t. The most common of is water dripping through because of broken and brittle seams or gaskets in the roof, windscreen and windows. Areas like blocked AC drains and heater core links can also be issues, especially for older cars.

For example, your roof is usually attached with a rubber gasket and this can be the victim of wear and tear over the years. Water may seep in through a small break and start causing rust of the surrounding metal. Water can also get trapped and expand when it freezes in winter causing more damage.

Some vehicles such as VWs and Audis are more prone to water ingress than others as they age but any car, van or motorbike can have this kind of problem. Obviously, it’s more likely to happen with older and classic cars where there has been significant wear and tear and vigilance in checking for leaks is important here.

How to Fix Water Ingress

In most cases, water ingress is down to damaged seals and gaskets and the main solution is to replace these as quickly as possible. If there are no visible signs, it can be difficult to find out if there is a problem with water ingress which is why you may need the help of a professional mechanic. In general, it’s a good idea to give your vehicle regular checks, especially if it’s an older model.

If the inside of your car smells a little sweet, it could be a leak from the coolant, for example. The heater core is like a mini radiator and located on the driver’s side and if this corrodes it can leak into the cabin. This is more difficult than a door seal which is relatively easy to replace. The heater core can be hard to access and may need a qualified mechanic to locate, remove and replace it.

At White’s Bodyworks we know everything there is about car seals and the potential damage that water ingress can cause. This is especially important if you have a classic car and want to protect its value. Replacing seals and gaskets not only maintains the integrity of your vehicle but ensures you don’t have much to worry about this problem in the future.

If you are concerned that your car may be affected by water ingress, our specialist team of mechanics will be able to check everything out for you and initiate repairs. Contact the team at White’s Bodyworks today.

How to Save Fuel When Out on the Road

Can you make the most of your fuel and get more miles to the gallon, even if you have a petrol-guzzling classic car? The team at White’s Bodyworks in West Sussex have been taking a closer look at a few simple tips that can make a big difference to your pocket and the fuel you use.

The simple answer is that most drivers burn through more fuel than they should and changing a few habits can make a difference. If you own a modern car with fuel-saving measures included, all well and good. But many people have older cars that aren’t so primed for fuel-efficiency.

There are three main areas where you’ll start using less fuel: Maintaining your vehicle properly, watching your driving habits, and making sure your car isn’t overloaded.

Maintaining Your Vehicle

The first step to help you be economical in your road habits is to make sure that your car is maintained properly. This means having regular services and doing your own spot checks.

Quick maintenance should include making sure your tyres of inflated properly. Why? It makes a small significant difference to your fuel consumption. Simply put, underinflated tyres put a drag on your car’s efficiency as the engine has to work harder to get you from A to B.

Other things that can affect fuel efficiency are wheel alignment, the type of oil you use, how well your brakes work and the efficiency of the engine.

Gentle Acceleration

How we drive can also make a difference when it comes to fuel economy. Accelerating gradually from stops rather than surging forward can certainly save you a few pennies. You should also be driving in the highest possible gear for the speed that you are going. Think about driving as smoothly as possible rather than making sudden manoeuvres.

Move at the Right Speed

Speed is another way to keep your fuel use under control. Most cars have an optimum speed where they are using the least amount of petrol and it’s a good idea to research this for your vehicle. Most older cars are more fuel-efficient at between 40 and 50 miles an hour.

Try to avoid lots of changes of speed and keep things as constant as possible, especially when on fast roads like expressways and motorways. Anticipating the road ahead of you and making manoeuvres before they become critical can help you do this.

Cruise Control

We often get asked if cruise control is good for fuel economy. The answer might surprise you as most people think that it does have an effect. It’s only partly true. If you are on a flat road and moving at a relatively high speed, for example on a motorway, cruise control can indeed boost fuel economy.

If there are gradient changes, such as a hill, however, cruise control is slow to react and can actually make you burn more fuel.

Wind Resistance and Weight

The weight of your vehicle makes a difference to fuel efficiency as does anything like a roof rack that increases wind resistance. It means that your car has to work a lot harder and for that, it needs more fuel. Avoid carrying a heavy load for longer than necessary and take your roof rack off when it’s not in use.

A Quick Guide to Hypermiling

Many people have been getting into hypermiling as a way of saving on their fuel costs. This has been around for a good few years but it does have some useful principles.

These include not using your car for short, unnecessary journeys and walking or cycling instead. When you drive somewhere, plan the shortest route and choose a time when traffic is likely to be lighter which means you get to your destination quicker and use less fuel.

Rather than doing several small journeys, you might also consider combining them into one drive – when your car starts from cold, it has to burn more fuel. If the engine is warm, however, you don’t use so much gas.

If you are based in West Sussex and are looking for a garage to handle regular servicing of your car, the team at White’s Bodyworks has all the equipment and expertise you need, all delivered at an affordable price.

Start making your car fuel-efficient. Contact White’s Bodyworks today.

What to Look for When Choosing a Garage

Both builders and garages often suffer from bad press and people can have a poor opinion even before a repair is carried out.

Finding a local garage that you can trust can be challenging, but the truth is the vast majority are small to medium size businesses and the owners are looking to do the best for their customers.

At White’s Bodyworks, we’ve put a lot of work into building relationships with our customers over the years and always endeavour to deliver quality work at a competitive price. That’s probably why customers come back to us again and again.

If you’re looking for a garage, whether it’s for repairs or to handle your MOT and service, here are our top tips on what to look out for:

Look for Experience

While this isn’t always a good indicator of high levels of service, if a garage has been in business for twenty years on more then it must be doing something right.

That doesn’t mean someone who has just started their business isn’t going to provide you with the level of care you are looking for, of course. But for a place to start, we suggest looking for established businesses in your local area.

Get a Recommendation

A lot of our customers come to us via recommendations. Someone has used us for a one-off job or uses us regularly for servicing and MOT and they recommend us to their friends and family.

In general, people only recommend when they’ve had good service so it’s an excellent option to ask around anyone you know who drives a car which garage they use.

Check Online Reviews

Most reputable garages will have some form of online presence or a Google My Business page and you should be able to find reviews. If a garage doesn’t have a website, it probably has a Facebook page where customers can leave comments and you can learn about their business and what people think.

Take a Look at the Garage

This tells you a lot about the garage that you’re dealing with.

For example, is the work area clean and well organised? Does the garage have the right equipment?
Garages don’t have to be large. At White’s, we’re blessed in having plenty of space which means we can handle several cars at once. A garage does, however, need to have the right tools and infrastructure in place to do a good job.

Is it a Fair Price?

Finally, there’s the cost. If you don’t know what certain jobs cost, it can be difficult to figure out whether you’re getting a fair price or not. The good news is that you can often get ballpark figures online. It’s important to get more than one quote from different garages, however, if you need something big undertaking as this can save you a good deal of money.

Contact White’s Bodyworks

We’re a family-run business with more than 20 years delivering high-quality repairs, renovations and restorations for both classic car owners and modern vehicles.

Our team is very skilled and we have all the equipment on site that you would expect for a garage of our size. Whether you just need a service and MOT, dents removing from your bodywork or a respray, we’re here to provide a speedy, professional response at a competitive price.

Contact White’s Bodyworks in West Sussex today to book your car in.

Tips for Buying a Used Car

If you can’t afford a brand new vehicle fresh off the assembly line, a used car is the next best option. On average between a million and a half and two million used cars change hands in the UK every quarter.

At the beginning of this year, the average price of a used car was around £13,000 which still represents a sizeable investment. Even if you are looking at models around the £2-5,000 mark, you want to make sure that you are getting a car that is safe to drive on the roads and which doesn’t have too many problems that could cost you later on.

We’ve asked our team at White’s Bodyworks in West Sussex for their tips on buying a used car. Here’s what they think:

1. Sort Out Your Budget

The first thing to get in order is your finances. Particularly if you are purchasing from a private seller, you’ll want the money ready to go into their account as soon as possible unless you want to avoid being pipped at the post by another buyer.

If you are buying from a dealership and using financing, work out what you can borrow and how much you can realistically pay over a set period.

2. Do Your Research

The used car market can be a little challenging to understand and doing your research is essential. You may have a particular model in mind so have a look at what used ones are selling for. Also, check out what common problems cars in this line tend to have so you can look out for potential issues when you go to view the vehicle.

The good news is that there are plenty of resources online that you can use. A bit of extra work here can also give you the chance to haggle and bring the price of your car down. It means you develop a certain amount of expertise that can certainly prevent the wool being pulled over your eyes.

3. Viewing the Car

You should never buy a car unseen. If you are confident, the first step is to go out and physically check the vehicle over. You may not be an expert but there are several things even a novice can learn to spot.

Things to look for are rust or damage to the bodywork, the tread on the tyres, whether the oil is at the right level, the lights are working and whether the mileage looks consistent for a vehicle of this age and model. A poorly maintained vehicle may mean that there could be underlying issues that will cost you later.

When you take it for a test drive, check that all the lights, brakes (including the handbrake), handling and steering, even the windscreen wipers work effectively.

The AA has a comprehensive checklist for buying a used car which is very useful.

Our big tip here is not to be in a rush to buy. Give yourself some breathing space after viewing the vehicle and try to make your decision based on the facts and not your feelings.

4. Checking the Paperwork

There’s a paper trail with most vehicles and this should be available for you to see. The most important one is the V5C registration document which shows who the current legal owner is. You should also check that the Vehicle Identification Number matches the car. You’ll also want to look at paperwork relating to the last MOT and information about any previous accidents. This should give you an idea of any recurring problems with the car.

5. Getting an Expert Opinion

Finally, buying a used car can be a hazardous process and you want to get it right. If you think you’ve found a vehicle that you want to purchase, it’s a good idea to get a professional mechanic to give it a thorough look over. Most of us can spot superficial faults but a garage can go a lot deeper and check the car from top to bottom.

Yes, this is an additional cost but it could well save you a lot of money and worry later once you buy the vehicle and get it home.


01273 933633 / repairs@whitesbodyworks.co.uk
Unit 23, Firsland Park Estate, Henfield Road, Albourne, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 9JJ