Top 9 Tools for Buying and Selling a Car

Top 9 Tools for Buying and Selling a Car

Top 9 Tools for Buying and Selling a Car

Buying and selling cars is a process which has taken us time to refine and perfect, we have personally used these tools when both buying and selling cars and is our honest reflection in terms of product recommendation, use this post to fast-track the learning process and simply know what you need to know!

Below is a list of the top 9 things you need:

Let’s get to it.

1. Examination Board

mechanic board

It’s imperative to examine a vehicle properly before you pull the trigger and decide to purchase it. One of the phases of the examination of the car should involve you looking underneath the vehicle for any obvious warning signs. The most obvious of these is leaking fluid be it oil or coolant along with signs of corrosion to exhaust and brake lines etc. All of which can require significant amounts of money to put right. This simple tool is a mobile mechanics floor mat, we always take ours out with us when we go to examine a vehicle, simply place it on the floor and it allows you to comfortably lie under the car and take a good look around. There have been times where we have found the car to be parked in dirt or it may be rainy outside and you simply don’t feel like getting on the floor, however this is exactly why you could end up losing thousands of pounds buying a bad car, if you had spent just spent a few moments to get under the car and notice the severe oil leak!

The one we use is called the Sealey VS8571 which you can pick up from Amazon, the great thing about this one is that it comes as set with a smaller mat which is perfect to use when kneeling down examining the lower portions of a car.

2. Paint Meter

paint meter

We almost always use this, especially on any car which is valued slightly higher. The beauty of this is that it uses magnetic induction to verify the thickness of paint on a car. The reason you need this tool is to establish if the paint all around the car is of even thickness. If you find a panel on the car which is way off in paint thickness from the other parts of the car then this could signify accident damage. We use the Sealy TA091 which is really small and compact and has provides pretty accurate readings. We test all the major panels of the car as part of our through car inspection process. You can also read our guide on how to tell if a car has been in an accident.

Pick up the Sealy TA091 here

3. Diagnostic Tool

diagnostic tool

We never ever go out to see a vehicle without our diagnostic tool. This is one of the first things we connect to the diagnostic port of a car and pull readings from the cars onboard computer. If the car has any stored fault codes they will show up here giving you an indication of some hidden problems that the car may have. Bear in mind that sellers can ‘turn off’ certain dashboard warning lights depending on what car it is, however the fault code itself is usually stored inside the cars computer. From here if we establish any codes we run a quick google search to see what the fault codes relate to. This is a chance to determine how serious a fault lies within and is still is an opportunity to back out the deal if it seems it’s going to be an expensive repair. Usually, we use any minor codes we come across as a bargaining tool to get a price reduction. You can find out more about engine fault codes by reading our in-depth article.

You can check out our favourite diagnostic tools right here.

4. Examination Light

Flash light

Another vital tool we use when checking over cars pre-purchase. We carry a small compact yet powerful torch to shine around the engine bay to examine for any visible signs of oil leaks, coolant and power steering fluid leaks. We also use this torch to view the condition of the serpentine belt which covers the alternator and water pump to check for any visible signs of it being perished such as cracks and tears. Another way we use this is in conjunction with our examination board. We simply get under the vehicle and use the powerful light to check for any fluid leaks or stains under the car and check for any signs of corrosion or damage underneath the car.

You can check our recommended one by clicking Here

5. Tyre Tread Depth Gauge

tyre tread depth

A simple relatively cheap tool you should bring to every inspection. Why guess how many millimetres of tread a tyre has when you can get an accurate answer in a few seconds? Tyre quality should be inspected when looking at every vehicle and is a great bargaining tool to get a reduction in price, check out our article on 13 negotiation tips when buying a used car.

You can check out our recommended tread depth gauge Here

6. Pressure Washer

Karcher Pressure Washer

Used for thoroughly cleaning the exterior of the car pre-sale. It’s super important to present your car in the correct way in order for it to achieve a quick sale for the maximum amount of money possible. We suggest cleaning your car prior to snapping you’re for sale pictures and also giving it a quick wash before a viewing with a seller.

There is a tonne of cars on the market and most sellers will not go the extra mile presenting a clean car which gives the impression of it being well maintained, make sure you are the one who does!

We suggest the Karcher pressure washer which is a perfect balance of size, power and value for money, you can check it out Here.

7. Steam Cleaner

karcher steam claner

Another great tool we use as part of our pre-sale cleaning ritual is the Karcher Steam Cleaner. This is perfect for cleaning messy and sticky interior trim, car seats and carpet washing. Another great use of the steam cleaner is to clean out your engine bay and make it look truly stunning. Similar to what we have stated above, it’s critical you present a clean and well maintained looking car, this limits the opportunities for a buyer to ask for a price reduction.

Our recommended one is the Karcher Steam cleaner which we personally use for our cars, again it’s the perfect blend of value for money and is a quality product which will last a while.

You can check out our recommended steam cleaner Here

8. Hpi Check

Not so much a physical product but a digital one. We cannot stress how important this check is to conduct before you purchase any vehicle. You can end up saving your selves thousands of pounds by not ending up buying the wrong car. We have covered this topic in great detail in a post you can read here. We always recommend getting a ‘Gold’ check done or buying a few checks in bulk. The reason we recommend the ‘Gold’ check is that it also provides you vital information to show if the car has any outstanding finance on the car, it could well be the best under £10 investment you can make when buying a car!.

We always use for all our checks as we find them to be the best priced and super easy to use, however, there are a few companies out there who offer this service so feel free to take your pick.

We recommend you use

9. Document Bundle

There can be a lot to remember when buying and selling a car, for this reason, we have created an awesome document bundle which will help you along the way.

The car buying document bundle will provide you with the following:

  • Questions to ask a seller before you go out to view a car (the top questions you need to ask before you go to see a potential car to purchase)
  • Car inspection Checklist (over 40 crucial points you MUST inspect on a vehicle before purchase)
  • Receipt of Sale (One of the most important tools to protect you after the sale. This legal document explains the terms of your sal).

The car selling document bundle will provide you with the following:

  • Sale advert we use to sell our cars (This ad has helped us sell thousands of pounds worth of cars, now you can use it to sell yours! All you have to do is follow the directions! )
  • Pre Sale car inspection checklist (over 40 crucial points you MUST do on a vehicle before sale)
  • Receipt of Sale (One of the most important tools to protect you after the sale. This legal document explains the terms of your sal).

You can check them out here


The purpose of this article is to make the process of both buying and selling easy and enjoyable, however, you must remember that it is a process and you must follow it! If you decide to skip over a lot of it and half arse a lot of it then your only increasing your chances of picking up either a poor purchase or not being able to get rid of a car for the amount of money you need to

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