Whether you are an established alfisti or are considering buying your first Alfa, there is something truly magical about each and every Alfa Romeo ever produced, and that even includes the much derided Arna of the 1980s, in our opinion. They are designed and built with sporting heritage, passion and the driver's enjoyment in mind.

Many Alfas, along with other Italian car models, have been aflicted with often undeserved poor reliability or corrosion reputations over the years. In many cases they have been no worse, and often better than many more mainstream contemporaries.

In recent years, Alfa Romeo have enjoyed high rankings in customer satisfaction surveys such as J.D. Power.

Most 'Alfa people' are passionate about their cars and are proud of them. This tends to make them diligent owners that will make sure their pride and joy is meticulously maintained by the 'right' people, and with the 'right' parts and fluids.

However, any car can miss services, be involved in accidents, find a careless unloving owner, or one that hasn't paid or settled a finance agreement. It is therefore important for any buyer to satisfy themselves that a car is 'honest' or 'straight' before proceeding.

There are commercial inspection services if you are not mechanically minded, and also cheap online services for checking things such as outstanding finance or accident damage/ write offs.

The government's online MOT checking service( at gov.uk) is invaluable to the car buyer, and it's free!

It's quite simple to build up a mental image or feeling about a car based on its MOT history. You can see major faults that may have been repaired, and smaller 'advisory' faults that have been left unfixed for years by uncaring owners. Faults such as blown bulbs and worn tyres are easy and relatively cheap to fix, in most cases, but can give an indication about who has owned the car, particularly if repeated.

When viewing and testing a car, check everything works. You don't have to be at all car savvy to do this, and something as easy to test as the heating fan or air conditioning, could cost a small fortune to put right later...


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