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Checking the car
Even the non-technically minded can test the overall condition of the mechanical parts of the car. Don't be embarrassed to poke around.
There's a lot to remember - so why not take a checklist with you? If any of the above are not in order then you have grounds to query the car, consider other options or negotiate for a discount to put things right. These are all bargaining points that could save you money.
Finally, and totally unscientifically, remember the "Dog and its Owner" rule. Just as bad dogs and bad owners tend to go together, so do bad sellers and bad cars. If you don't trust the seller, don't buy the car.
Do consider having the vehicle professionally examined before you buy, either through a motoring association, private company or garage. They will examine the vehicle and be able to give you more safety with your transaction.