We’ve all seen Smart Cars nipping around city streets – especially if you’ve ever visited continental Europe. They make great urban vehicles, as they’re as long as standard cars are wide. Therefore, they can park nose-first in parking spaces.

They’re nippy and – despite their size – do actually offer fairly decent boot space. In addition, they’re comfortable, with enough legroom for the average passenger. Plus, because they’re a German brand – Smart Cars are actually a division of Mercedes Benz – they’re made with care and quality.

Fans of Smart Cars are real advocates, listing the vehicle’s park-ability, nippiness, comfort, and compact size as amongst its benefits. However, as with any used or nearly-new vehicle, there are certain things to look out for when buying a Smart Car.

Buying a Smart Car: what to look for



The brakes of a Smart Car are expensive. So, when you’re test driving or inspecting a model, be sure to check on the front springs, as these can break. Furthermore, ensure that you can’t hear any rattling when you go over speed bumps which might indicate wear.


Only two companies in the world make tyres suitable for Smart Cars – and they’re not cheap. Typically, the Smart Car has rear wheel drive. The tyre on the rear passenger side will tend to wear the quickest as that’s the driving wheel. Smart Cars are one wheel drive, so check its treads when inspecting the model.


Find the exhaust of the model you’re looking at and gently press on it. It should feel solid, and shouldn’t rattle. In addition, when you’re driving, it shouldn’t be noisy. Replacing the exhaust flexi pipe requires taking apart a significant amount of the car’s main body, which can be an expensive and time-consuming task. As such, ensuring the exhaust is robust and working properly from the off will avoid this faff.


The electrical components of a Smart Car are under the passenger foot bed. This means that if the passenger gets in the car with wet boots, some water can trickle down into the ECU, which will damage the car. If you find damp around that area, you can use this as a leverage to negotiate for a better price.


The older intercoolers of this car do tend to leak. Therefore, look out for newer ones, as this means the previous owner has been diligent with upkeep.

You also want to ensure that the car has previously had regular oil and filter changes. Of course, it’s also worth checking standard fare. For example, ensure the horn works, the gearbox is responsive, the engine is robust, and body parts are as they should be.

Buying a Smart Car with finance

The final thing to look for when buying a Smart Car is a finance deal that’s fair and affordable. This means you can spread the cost of your new ride. When you get a car finance quote from My Car Credit, we compare deals from a vast panel of lenders so you don’t need to shop around to get a great price.

Rates from 9.9% APR. Representative APR 12.4%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

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Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 12.4%, annual interest rate (fixed) 12.36%, 47 monthly payments of £196.44 followed by 1 payment of £206.44 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,939.12, total amount payable is £9,439.12.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Please ensure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan before entering into a credit agreement.

*Initial application is a soft search. Should you progress, some lenders may perform a hard search on your credit file.

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