This guide is not intended to be a full and complete guide for all models but rather a starting point covering major faults and things to look for when buying a used Clio.
Rust, as ever, should be checked especially around the wheel arches. Check the underside of the chassis around the subframe for rot and all the sills. The exhausts are prone to rusting after a few years so check this while you’re underneath.
Look for accident damage, around the front bumper and any paintwork that looks flat or like orange peel, both signs of having been in a shunt and not repaired up to scratch.
Tyres should be checked for depth across the whole of the tyre and watch for wear on the edges of the tyres as these cars often get driven hard.
Check all fluids: oil is on the correct level, coolant has antifreeze, brake fluid has no leaks.
Check brake pads have some meat left on them and that the discs don’t have to bigger lip on the outside edge. If they’re worn use it to haggle off the price.
Make sure on Clio Trophy models you check the Sachs Dampers for leaks and knocking as they have remote reservoirs and are expensive to replace or rebuild.
When taking for a test drive, check the car brakes straight and true, and doesn’t wander around the road. The steering should feel positive and have lots of feel. If it feels vague it could be a sign of worn wishbone bushes.