I've been offered a car that's been sat around for a year. What should I check before I consider buying it?

I have been offered a car from my grandpa. It hasn't been driven for at least a year and has been sitting in a garage. It also doesn't have an up to date MOT. Do you have any advice on things to be wary of when considering whether or not to buy this car?

Asked on 15 April 2021 by Sophie Stone-Wigg

Answered by Andrew Brady
Parts may have seized up and rubber components may have perished. The first thing you need to do is open the bonnet and check all the fluid levels – things like the oil and coolant. Once you're satisfied that these are all OK, try starting it. You might find that it needs a jump start or a new battery. If it starts and runs OK, that's a good sign. Before driving it anywhere, check the tyres – are there any signs of perishing or flat spots? You might notice visible flattening of the tyre or, when driving, feel a vibration. We'd recommend booking it into a garage for a full service and MOT – this should help identify any issues. You might find it easier to buy a car that's not been left for a long period of time but, if the price is right, it could be a sound purchase.
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