Are you in the market for a second-hand car? With over 1.8 million used cars sold in the UK in 2023[1], you’re not alone. Horror stories of buying a car that has a plethora of undisclosed issues, or has even been previously written off, makes the prospect of buying a used car a daunting task. Most of the time, all buyers have to go off is what they can see with their eyes, and what the car seller chooses to tell them. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The latest car diagnostic device, Carly, allows second-hand car buyers to see under the bonnet, without even lifting the lid. This nifty device packs powerful OBD scanning technology which can be used to alert buyers to any hidden issues that they can’t see with the naked eye, by scanning the car for fault codes. In simple terms, the device will tell you what’s wrong with a car, leading you to make a more informed decision.

Of course, it is also important to use your instinct (and your eyes) to help build a full picture of a car’s health before purchase. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to ensure a smooth and informed purchase. Plus, we’ll show you how you can use Carly’s cutting-edge OBD scanning technology o give you confidence in the vehicle you’re buying, so you can drive away with your dream car, hassle-free.

Research and Preparation

Before diving into the world of used cars, it’s essential to arm yourself with knowledge. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Know Your Budget: Determine how much you can afford, factoring in not only the purchase price but also ongoing expenses like insurance, maintenance, and fuel.
  • Identify Your Needs: Define your requirements, such as vehicle type, size, and features. Consider factors like daily commuting, family size, and lifestyle.
  • Research Models: Look for models that meet your needs and fall within your budget. Websites like AutoTrader can provide useful information.
  • Check the Market Value: Use online tools to assess the fair market value of the cars you’re interested in. This will help you negotiate effectively.

Inspecting the Car

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s time to inspect the vehicles in person.

  • Physical Inspection: Look for signs of wear and tear, rust, dents, and paint mismatch. Inspect the tyres, brakes, and suspension.
  • Test Drive: Take the car for a test drive. Pay attention to how it handles, any unusual noises, and how it feels on the road.
  • History: Obtain a vehicle history report to check for accidents and other issues.

Get Under the Bonnet with an OBD Scanner – Your Diagnostic Companion

Rely on cutting edge technology, like OBD scanner Carly, to analyse what you can’t see.

  • What is Carly?: Carly is an advanced OBD scanner and diagnostic tool that allows you to access your car’s onboard computer system.
  • How Carly Helps: Carly can provide you with valuable insights into the car’s health and history. It can read error codes, helping you identify potential problems before they become major issues, whilst checking for hidden issues, and even customise certain features.
  • Using Carly: Simply plug the Carly adapter into the car’s OBD port and connect it to your smartphone using the Carly app. You’ll have access to a wealth of information at your fingertips before purchasing a car.
  • How Carly Fits In: During your inspection, use Carly to gather data about the car’s performance, any hidden issues, and whether it has been well-maintained. This additional information can be crucial in making your decision.

Negotiating and Completing the Purchase

With your research and inspections complete, it’s time to negotiate and finalise the deal.

  • Effective Negotiation: Don’t be afraid to haggle over the price. The seller is expecting you to negotiate, so don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price.
  • Documentation: Ensure all necessary paperwork is in order.
  • Payment Method: Decide on the payment method, whether it’s cash, financing, or a combination.
  • Final Inspection: Before leaving with your new car, conduct a final inspection to confirm that it matches the description and agreed-upon condition.

Buying a second-hand car doesn’t have to be a gamble. By conducting thorough research, inspections, and leveraging tools like Carly, you can confidently navigate the used car market as you’ll have access to vital diagnostic information that can uncover hidden issues and ensure the car’s reliability.

Carly is available to buy for £74.80 at