When it comes to buying a left hand drive car the same rules apply to buying a car in the UK.
Total Auto prides itself on its ability to buy and supply quality used left hand drive cars and whether we stock it at our UK site or our Spanish site the cars go through the same levels of quality control not only once they have been bought into stock but also prior to buying them. We’ve seen some fairly horrendous cars over the years that range from cars that limp onto our premises and some that are clinging on to that last scrap of paint held together by a combination of creased panels and gaffer tape…. needless to say we walk away!
Now it’s not that used left hand drive cars are any worse or better than their UK counterparts but there are some considerations you need to make when buying an LHD car. Attitudes towards vehicle maintenance vary across Europe with some countries not necessarily on the whole taking the same fastidious attitude to regular maintenance that we use as a barometer here. Now this may be a sweeping generalisation but generally we have seen this pattern over the years and regular maintenance history shows a car has been looked after.
In some destinations certain cars like LHD 4×4‘s are popular choices for good reason. The Campo’s of Spain or the mountains of France and Portugal mean these cars sought after. That said it also means that those four wheel drives have been put through their paces and the older they are the more likely they potentially will have issues. 4×4’s reigning from other countries may never have been used on rough roads so haven’t felt the impact.
So here are key pieces of advice.
1.) Look for a reasonably comprehensive maintenance history.
2.) Opt for the newest/lowest mileage car within budget and even compromise on options if needs be if you could live without them.
3.) Check the oil cap for “salad cream” after having driven it. In case of expensive head gasket issues.
4.) Make sure you try all the gears on a test drive.
5.) Allow the car to run and listen for any funny noises.
6.) Check all your paperwork is in order and check what you need for your destination country.
These are just a few things you can do to protect yourself when buying used LHD cars. Obviously (and we would say it) buying from someone like Total Auto is always the best shout. Our cars are rigourously checked and prepped and whilst we aren’t psychic we do make sure we cover off issues an equally we are very proud of our warranty record which runs well below dealership attitude.