successful vehicle purchase
Buying And Selling

Used car: our advice for a successful vehicle purchase


The vast majority of French people buy their second-hand car. With sometimes big disappointments on arrival.

At a professional, for guarantees

Certainly, it is not with professionals that you will make the best deals, since mechanics, dealers and second-hand specialists sell their vehicles 10 to 25% more expensive than private individuals. But by buying a used vehicle from a pro, you are covered for six months by the legal guarantee of conformity. During this period, any malfunction is presumed to have existed at the time of the transaction, and must therefore be repaired by the seller. Failing this, you can request the cancellation of the purchase and be reimbursed. In addition, all manufacturers highlight quality labels, such as Renault Garantie Or or Prix Fûté, Peugeot Occasions du Lion, Volkswagen Das WeltAuto, Mercedes-Benz Certified, Toyota Occasions Plus… All these mentions imply a complete revision of the car,

Namely . Some brands also offer a “satisfied or refunded and/or replaced” option, which allows you to change your mind after a few days or a few hundred kilometres.

Between individuals, find the right price

There are almost as many second-hand ratings as magazines or specialized websites. And the differences are sometimes impressive. publishes a rating that refers to professionals who buy or take over vehicles from individuals. The prices displayed are therefore rather low. Conversely, calculates a more generous rating for private sellers. The true market price is therefore most often between these two estimates.

To know. A search for “whole of France” on will ultimately help you to validate the fair price of the coveted car according to your parameters.

Check vehicle history

No question of buying a car from an individual without having essential information. These are recorded on Histovec , the free public service which collects technical data for each vehicle (model, engine, etc.), the date of first entry into service, the number of successive owners, and above all any accidents that have caused the subject of repairs subject to an appraisal before being put back into circulation. There is also information concerning the administrative situation of the vehicle – pledge or not, opposition, theft, etc. However, only the owner of the vehicle can access this information. Ask him to transfer them to you. If he refuses, move on. The Histovec platformdoes not indicate the mileage covered by the car. Yet essential data, source of many scams. To find out, ask the owner for a copy of the car registration document , and go to a brand dealer, who can access this information. This does not constitute an absolute guarantee against a tampered meter, but will allow you to identify any inconsistencies (only 1000km traveled in two years, for example).

To know. For vehicles over four years old, do not forget to ask the seller for a copy of the last technical inspection (less than six months old), as well as the report of any counter-visit if repairs were necessary.

Have the car examined by a professional

To benefit from the look of a professional on the vehicle you are considering buying, you can call on a state-approved expert. The members of the union of independent experts ( ) invoice their intervention from 150 to 350€, depending on the level of investigation requested. The latter goes to the seller, screens the car, conducts the test drive and compiles a photo file. A service that is paid for via a commission of 5 to 6% of the price of the car.

To know. In many cases you will recover your costs, because the expertise by a professional most often allows you to negotiate 10 to 15% discount on the selling price of the vehicle.


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