What should I look for in a used Vauxhall Vectra hatchback?
Vauxhall has a good track record of fixing gremlins under warranty, which is comforting if you're buying a Vectra within its three-year 60,000-mile claim period. If not, check if any warranty work has been done and never buy unless the car has a complete service record.
There has been a recall over the possibility that the rear axle stub may not be of the proper specification on some cars - always ensure that this, and any other, recall work has been carried out. Details are available from VOSA (Vehicle & Operator Services Agency) - see www.vosa.gov.uk.
The older 2.0 and 2.2 DTI engines can be heavy on oil. Check the dipstick level and listen for nasty sounds that indicate damage from letting the engine oil run too low.
You may hear the odd clonk from the suspension on your test drive - if you're looking at such a car, go elsewhere for one that doesn't. There's plenty of choice, after all.