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How to buy a used car - step by step.


As everybody knows, buying a used car is very risky and there can be a lot of traps. That is why we decided to present a short guide how to protect yourself from cheating and do not fall into the trap of a false seller.
There is a constant import of used cars from abroad to Poland. From the beginning of the year 2012, the number of this kind of vehicles has raised to 200 000. The quality of these cars is low and may be associated with unforeseen expenses.
So, firstly: buy a car legally!
If any vehicle document raises doubts, the driver should resign from buying the car immediately! Each document should be original, so it is important to pay attention to any deletion, overwrite, correction or unreadable sign. What is more, if there are two people in car registration papers, both of them must be present at the transaction and both must sign the contract. 
VIN number in car’s registration document (conventional international code used by the manufacturers) should agree with the number marked on the chassis of the car. This number can be also found in the frontal bulkhead, seat, front columns, the floor in the passenger compartment, the trunk or on the dashboard. Remember that such signs are easy to forge by thieves, so special attention should be paid to it.
On the website everyone can check the brand of vehicle, registration number, series and number of the identity, date of registration, information about owner and the compliance of the VIN number.
Secondly: do the technical control.
Checking technical condition: the best way is to take the vehicle to the special workshop or diagnostic centre. The geometry of the vehicle, engine condition and the correctness of the dimensions of the floor panel will be investigated there.

Speedometer: Internet databases, such as Cerfax or Autocheck, will show very quickly the data about vehicle during inspection, as well as information about participation in collisions. It must bore in mind  that shifting meters in Poland is free of punishment. Therefore, assessment by eye is a bad way to check the actual mileage. 

Signs of usage: well-worn rubber elements, destroyed seat upholstery, worn gear stick, sunken seats or jagged carpeting. All these elements can be evidences that car has driven more than several thousand kilometres. The special attention should be paid to the status of these elements. If they were in incomparably good condition to the car itself, it could be very suspicious. 

Hire an expert: You should boldly ask experts for help, such as the Appraisers Association of Automobile Technology and Traffic, the Polish Motor Union or Poleksmot. The cost of rental is in the range from 100 PLN to 300 PLN, plus complete control of the vehicle- between 800 PLN and 1000 PLN. 


Thirdly: remember about a good agreement.

The well-written contract can protect your interest, so you do not have to agree with signing the agreement under unfavourable conditions.

The agreement should contain: the date and place of signing names of seller and buyer. 

Description of vehicle: make, model, registration number, VIN number and the year of production. The additional notes: car mileage, meter reading, information about past car collisions, found damages, a list of received keys.

Remember! - The more detailed information in the agreement, the better.

A model of such agreement can be downloaded from the following website:


Fourth: beware of the opportunity, keep your eyes open!


If you find a car of very attractive price, it is usually because of  rapid sale of illegal car or vehicle after accident. In this case, you need to be careful, because the recovery of money due to buying a stolen car is a very long process. Therefore, it is safer to buy cars at consignment stores, because workers are required to check the car and inform the customer about any defects. You can always sue the commission for insufficient information about a car and for default of duties.

Remember that in order to buy a good used car, it is better to check everything several times. You do not want to be disappointed, deceived or, moreover, suing for years, do you? Unfortunately, in Poland, asserting our rights is very difficult.