If you are looking for a new used car, you want to know what the car’s past is. Damage is especially important because it can have important consequences. How do you know if a car has been damaged?
You are looking for a used car and of course you want to buy a good used car. It can be difficult to tell if a car has been damaged. There is one status via the license plate that can indicate something of this. That is the so-called WOK status: Waiting for Inspection. This status can be issued by the Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer (RDW), a loss adjuster or the police. It means that the car is not allowed to drive on the road until a new inspection.
This status can be the result of a serious damage, but that is not necessarily the case. For example, it may also have been issued because a car has been imported and must be inspected for a registration number. And then there is no need for damage. In other cases it is certainly a ‘red flag’ when you look at an used car. You can with the AutoWeek License plate check for example, see whether a WOK status applies to the car you have in mind.
Check yourself whether a car has been damaged
In most cases you will therefore have to check the damage history of a car yourself. But how do you do that? A sharp eye helps.
What can you pay attention to when you view the exterior of your used car?
– (Slight) color differences between parts of the body. For example, a difference between the door and fenders can indicate that a body part has been painted.
-Irregular seams between body panels. Normally you can expect the seams to be even. If there are differences or if parts are skewed, you must be alert to damage in the past.
-Different sounds when closing doors. Does opening and closing the doors on the left and right sound and feel the same?
-Look in the trunk, usually under the spare wheel. Does it look ‘straight’? Do you see welds or color differences? They may indicate damage repair.
-Check the door sills and sides. Are they the same color and look the same as the rest of the body? Do you see any irregularities there? In the event of poor recovery, you often see that these are skipped or treated more quickly, resulting in a color difference.
Why should you pay attention to the damage history?
If a car has been damaged in the past, this can also have consequences for safety. A small parking damage is usually not such a problem in that respect, but you should be wary of damage that affects the structure of the car. Bearings, the safety cage, parts of the wheel suspension have a major influence on the safety and handling of the car. You can also notice the latter during a test drive in an extreme case. But if, for example, the roof supports of a car have already been straightened or even welded, this will always remain a weaker point in the construction. You do not want to discover that if you unexpectedly have an accident yourself in which that part is again taxed.
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