Just bought 1st Alfa
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: United Kingdom
County: South Yorkshire
Get hold of the V5 document number or latest MOT certificate number and do an online check on the DVLA website. You can see the entire MOT history, mileage at each one, any advisories etc. Any genuine seller should be happy to give you the numbers you need.
Also, I often ask the seller in they're happy for me to get the RAC or AA out to do an inspection. Would never actually have the inspection done as most of the things they check I can check myself and the two things that will really cost money if the go wrong (cambelt and head gasket / big end) aren't checked. However, if the seller is a bit iffy about this request it kind of negates the need to go and see the car.
Then I check the VIN and any other security numbers match up on all windows, stamped plates etc.
Finally, seals off all the doors (and I mean off, they're easy enough to put back on) and check for dodgy welds and the rear carpet out and look for overspray round the spare tyre well.
Finally, on the test drive as suggested about; nice straight road, give it a bit of welly with hands lightly on the steering wheel (people get nervous if you take your hands off altogether). Does it go in a straight line, if yes with hands still lightly on the wheel brake reasonably hard (don't want to get sued for causing whiplash) and does it break in a straight line.
If yes to all and I like the car, feel comfortable with the seller etc then I hand over cash. If not walk away.