Purchasing a new car is exciting; especially when it is your first vehicle. However, you may fall into the trap of your excitability hindering your judgement of the car, which is why it’s important to thoroughly inspect the vehicle before you purchase it.

It’ll come as no surprise that used cars are more likely to have minor scratches than brand new models. Although you should bear this in mind when looking for a used car, there are a handful of underlying areas that you should pay attention to in order to avoid making the wrong decision.

Here are four things you need to check before buying a used car to ensure that it is functioning properly, and the necessary equipment that should be included:

1. Spare tyre

Once you’ve confirmed that all four tyres on the vehicle are in a good condition, you should locate the spare tyre and check that is also in working order.

Not only does this eliminate the need to purchase additional equipment once you’ve bought the used car, but it provides you with security knowing that you always have a back-up if one of the tyres aren’t up to standard.

A high quality spare tyre that has a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the wheel should be found below the boot space of most cars. You should also check that it has the tools you’ll need when it comes to changing the tyre, such as wheel bolt screws and a jack.

2. Foot wells

Removing rust can be a costly repair for your car so if possible, check that your used car isn’t showing any signs of corrosion. The foot wells of your vehicle are the most reliable areas to check for rusting, and you can check this by removing the foot mats to view the flooring.

Although it may not be a deciding factor when it comes to purchasing the car, it’ll prevent unexpected costs that may incur due to rust-related issues.

3. Lighting

Another thing that you should check before buying a used car is the lighting. both inside and outside the vehicle. Inside lighting should turn on when the doors are opened, and all exterior lights such as indicators, brake lights and fog lights should be lit when the button is pressed.

You may not be able to check that the exterior lighting is working if you’re viewing the car on your own. This is why you should get somebody to go with you as they can confirm whether or not the lights are working when you choose the different settings whilst sat inside the vehicle.

4. Important documents

While you may be concerned that the used car is working perfectly, it’s essential to question the current keeper about the documents that come with the vehicle.

Owners should be able to provide you with the V5C registration certificate (also known as a logbook), as well as a matching VIN and valid MOT certificate. If this information isn’t available and the owner doesn’t give a valid excuse as to why, it could be a major red flag and cause your potential vehicle to have underlying issues such as theft.

As you can see, it’s important to consider a variety of factors when buying a used car. However, these four tips will able to give you a good view on how reliable the car will be and whether or not you should be expected to fork out for additional costs.