Andy Cuningham's Landywiki provides a wealth of information including a buying guide which was spot on - I came across:

Car checking:

Use the following link to research your car. The MOT history one is good, ask the seller for the MOT Test Number.
Year and emissions and is the tax disk due
Find out if your car is insured Askmid
Find out the MOT history of a car
Full HPI Check

Eliots P38 visual Checklist

Ideally when you arrive, the car is cold and hasn't been warmed up before you arrive - be suspicious if it is. Ask for BOTH keys and make sure they BOTH work.

Pop the bonnet and have a look round for leaks and make sure the engine feels cold.

Start it up - look at the dashboard for messages - the only one that stays on is the ABS light- which will go out only when you pull away.

Next close the drivers door and press the up button on the suspension so it goes to maximum height - it may take a while if it was down on the bumpstops. (The Suspension wont operate with the any  door open or your foot on the brake) - leave it on "high" so you can inspect the air springs in a moment.

Heating Ventilation and Air conditioning (HeVAC)

First look on the LCD panel and check that the “book” symbol isn’t visible. If its on already then there is a hard fault such as air con, blend motors or blower motors.

Set temp level to “Low” and press re circulate and blower to maximum. In the engine bay, find the compressor and make sure the clutch is engaged. Put your hand on the two pipes, one should be hot and one should be cold. And of course cold air coming out the vents.

Next press each of the ventilation buttons from left to right, check that air blows from the top and then the bottom. Look on the LCD panel and make sure the “book” symbol doesn’t appear. If

Check all the windows open and close, along with the sunroof.

Walk round to each door, open it up inspect seats and carpets etc. Note how worn the handbrake gator is.

Check that all the electric seats work

Now pop the bonnet and have a look round. Rocker covers can leak oil,Pull the oil filler cap and look inside, how gunged up is it?,Pull the trans dipstick - should be red and not smell burnt

Listen out for the EAS compressor constantly running or coming on and off and constant adjustments which would indicate leaky pipework or air springs (Black box with EAS left hand side of engine bay)

Air Suspension

Assuming you remembered to set the air suspension to “high” when you first arrived..

Look underneath at the air springs - These rear ones are OK, the front ones are tired by still OK. I saw a few that were clearly knackered

Look at the chassis for damage from off-roading

Range Rover P38 4.6 buyers guide

For a long time I've wanted a Range Rover to smoke about in. I came close about 3 years ago when I considered one for the wife, so we took a 2000/X 4.0 (£10K at the time) for a test-drive - very nice car, but it felt very slow and wallowy - so as a daily driver for the missus it was binned and we bought a 325 instead.

Then this year when getting my Dakar MOT'd - I noticed the garage owners 1995 P38 4.6 HSE sat in the corner, it was available for £2000 - suddenly my interest was sparked again but not as a daily driver this time.

I checked out the insurance situation - £280 for a 1998 seemed acceptable. So I started looking on Autotrader for 4.6HSE's - there's lots of choice and plenty of tired dogs, so don't rush into buying the first one.

Heater Matrix O-Rings

Now the biggie which sees to be very common. Open the door and feel the carpet against the transmission tunnel - is it wet and does it taste sweet? - If so, the heater matrix seals are shot. Discount accordingly.

Tailgate flap

Next open the boot and drop the tailgate, Lift the black plastic flap and inspect the lower lip of the tailgate for rust or corrosion.

Whilst you are there, lift the spare wheel cover - the well can fill with water due to faulty boot seals (my one had nearly a foot of water in it)

So should you buy a P38 with faults ?

If you are prepared to fix faults yourself using the information on the internet you can reduce the cost of ownership, but if you are going to pay someone else then I hope you have deep pockets.

In other words at this age and price level you either need to be rich or an enthusiast. (I'm not rich, so I guess that makes me an enthusiast then).

They all have faults - so you need to decide whether you are getting a good one or a unloved dog. Personally I wasn't interested in blown engines, as to repair it properly you either need top hat liners or a CosCast block which is £1500.

Should you buy my P38 with NO faults? - YES

Follow the story with my first P38 here