Things To Avoid When Buying a Used Car
Cars are perhaps one of the biggest investments that the majority of individuals make in their lifetime. Although it is often a smarter decision to purchase newer vehicles for reasons including reliability, freedom of choice, enhanced features, better gas mileage and more financing incentives, sometimes that option is not available for various reasons. Some individuals prefer to purchase used or pre-owned vehicles for the significantly less cost of the initial purchase, while others aren’t too concerned with what they drive. Additionally, if an individual plan’s to only keep a vehicle for a few years before selling it, it may make more sense to purchase used vehicles since the maintenance will not be a major concern as a result of a limited duration of ownership. However, just because a vehicle’s list price attracts your attention, it does not always indicate that you are getting the best deal. A car’s listed price is only a part of the equation when considering the vehicle’s total cost. For an example, if you come across a vehicle listing for a used Chrysler 300 for sale, you should consider more than just the price. That vehicle may have been involved in an accident or not cared for properly.
Maintenance, Insurance and reliability should also be a factor when purchasing a vehicle, whether it is a new or used car. The majority of individuals who purchase used vehicles generally do so because of their financial situation. However, the last thing a used car buyer wants to experience is any additional and unexpected costs during ownership. Below are some things to avoid when purchasing a used vehicle.
Not checking the vehicle’s title:
Scrutinizing the title of a vehicle is perhaps one of the most important things to consider when purchasing a used car. You should ensure that the seller possesses the car’s original title for numerous reasons. The vehicle’s title will be able to tell you if the vehicle has been involved in a wreck, suffered flood damage, repurchased under a state lemon-law program or had any other previous issues. This will be indicated on the title under the “vehicle status” section, where it will have an alphabetical letter that provides the vehicle’s status. For an example, an “S” under a vehicle’s status indicated that the vehicle was once “salvaged” or wrecked. This not only significantly lowers the value of the car, but it will also make it much more difficult to resell.
Skipping the test-drive:
After checking the vehicle’s title status, you should also perform an extensive test-drive of the car. This will give you an assurance of whether the potential vehicle is worth your consideration. A proper test drive consists of a hard-acceleration, hard-braking and abrupt steering. Not only will this ensure the vehicle is capable of handling extreme driving habits, but it will also point-out any potential issues. During the test-drive you Should note any unusual squeaks or rattles, which generally indicates that a component will need to be replaced soon. Furthermore, if a vehicle emits a strange smell such as coolant or mildew, it is perhaps a good idea to stay away from that car.
Not getting the vehicle inspected by a mechanic:
Although the seller may promise that the vehicle was driven with care or even if the vehicle looks very clean, you should still have the vehicle professionally inspected by a mechanic to determine the vehicle’s roadworthiness. Generally, if the seller will not allow you as the buyer to take the car to obtain an inspection, it is a good idea to walk away. This inspection will determine whether the vehicle will need a specific component replaced, or whether it was involved in an accident. An inclined mechanic will be able to provide these vital details through a thorough inspection, of both the body and mechanical components of the car.
Not getting a vehicle history report:
A trustworthy seller will provide a car history report in order to make their car stand out and potentially sell quicker. Although this report is not free, any individual, whether a buyer or a seller, can obtain this report with a few clicks for under $40. Not only will this vehicle history report point out the vehicle’s complete maintenance and repair records, it will also verify whether the vehicle was in a total-loss crash or was a victim of theft. Additionally, these reports can provide warnings regarding odometer tampering or any outstanding recalls.
Although you may think that purchasing used vehicles is a great way to conserve or save money, it may end up costing you as the buyer a significant amount of money in the long run. A vehicle purchase should not be based solely on the price or looks. Savvy buyers dig deeper when making one of the biggest investments in their lifetime.