Used Land Rover Discovery: Pre-purchase checklist

Where Can I Find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.

The VIN can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label (1), on the compliance plate in the engine bay (2) or on the passenger side windshield (3), or on one of the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed) (4). See the image below:

Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card/Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration certificate


The British brand Land Rover is known for its 4x4s and luxury SUVs. In Australia, the Discovery was named Carsales 2017 Car of the Year.Why is the Land Rover an Aussie favourite, and what do you need to check before you buy one?

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What are the benefits of buying a used Land Rover?

Save money: Land Rovers aren't cheap, and buying used is a great way to avoid the significant depreciation that comes with buying new. Maintenance and repair parts for the Discovery are less expensive than other 4WD vehicles on the market,2 while diesel engines provide greater fuel efficiency, which can also result in significant savings.

Style and comfort: The Land Rover Discovery is undeniably stylish, with iconic British design and a sleek yet athletic exterior. Luxurious interiors can feature leather, handcrafted wood veneers, brushed aluminium finishers and crafted stitching.1

Extra space: The Discovery features seven full-sized seats, five of which can be folded down to increase the vehicle's space and storage capacity.

Suited to all conditions: The Land Rover Discovery drives impeccably off-road. Its brake force distribution, optimised geometry, self-levelling suspension and hill descent control ensure it delivers a robust, all-terrain driving experience.1

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What should I look for when buying a Land Rover?

A CarHistory report will give you a rundown of the reported history of the Land Rover you're interested in.

In general, you should look for a used vehicle that is around one to four years old, has a good ANCAP safety rating and is fuel efficient. When it comes to purchasing a Land Rover Discovery, you should pay close attention to a few areas in particular:

Interior trim: Make sure to inspect the interior trim, including the roof lining around the rear skylights as it has been known to warp under the heat of the sun.2

Seat frames: Early Discoveries had some issues with cracking seat frames.2

Gearbox: Some early models had gearbox problems, which can be expensive to repair, so beware of vehicles with dodgy shift actions or noise.2

Shock absorbers: Some used Discoveries may have worn shock absorbers. Check for wheel bounce and vibration at speed, or excessive steering wheel kick.2

Check with the seller to see when the Land Rover was last serviced and make sure you also inspect the following:

  • Transmission
  • Engine
  • Mileage
  • Tyres
  • Brakes and gears
  • Front and rear lights

Land Rover recalls in Australia:

Unfortunately, there have been a number of Land Rover recalls throughout the years. In Australia, the most recent was issued on 25 March 2018 on the MY2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport, Discovery, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Evoque and Velar models. The recall was due to some engine mounted fuel rails installed on Ingenium I4 2.0L petrol engines, which were not manufactured correctly. The defective fuel rails could leak, increasing the risk of fire.3

How can I check the history of a used Land Rover Discovery?

Research shows that one in four used vehicles in Australia come with a hidden issue.4 A physical inspection will alert you to any mechanical problems, but only a thorough overview of the vehicle's history can indicate whether the odometer has been wound back, or if the car's been reported as written off or stolen in the past. This is why a CarHistory report is essential.

A CarHistory report will give you a comprehensive rundown of the reported history of the Land Rover you're interested in so you can purchase with peace of mind. Get your report today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice.

1. Carsales. Car of the year 2017. Accessed June 2018

2. Motoring. Buying used: Land Rover Discovery. Accessed June 2018

3. ProductsafetyAustralia. Land Rover recalls. Accessed June 2018

4. CarHistory. CarHistory Data 2016. Accessed June 2018

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