Used cars, with the proper care, can reliably last you years with few hiccups. Buying one is an excellent way to afford a vehicle if your current one stops working, but you need to know the signs that you shouldn’t purchase a used car. It may be far more expensive than it looks, with the expense coming from frequent maintenance down the line. Know what to look for and what to ask the dealer before you commit to any purchase.
Every car goes through some kind of repair during its lifetime, and there need to be records of what service the mechanic performed. These records allow you to know previous problems and any ongoing issues you may need to deal with once you purchase the vehicle. It gives you a complete breakdown of what you need to know and what to expect moving forward.
Don’t Accept Without History
If the dealer cannot provide you with the complete repair history of the vehicle, just walk away. Without those documents, you cannot know what problems you’re inheriting. A lack of records can also mean the dealer doesn’t know where they got the car from, or they’re intentionally hiding it to upsell you.
Test Drive the Vehicle
Always get a feel for how the car drives before making a decision. While the repair history is vital, it can’t tell you how comfortable the ride is. Take the car through its paces and get to know how the car handles, taking note of any strange noises or oddities with its handling. Pay attention to whether the tires squeal while making turns and know what that can mean for the car.
If They Don’t Allow Test Driving
When you ask to test drive a car, and they say they can’t allow you to do so, that is an immediate dealbreaker. Similar to lacking repair history, the dealer may be trying to hide any mechanical shortcomings, getting you to buy a faulty machine for more than what it’s worth.
Look Into the Dealership
A dealer’s job is to sell you a car, which makes them a biased party when asking about the condition and specifications of a vehicle. Not every used car lot you find will employ unscrupulous individuals, but you need to be aware of what you’re walking into. Check the online reviews of a company; while they can’t tell you everything, there can be valuable pieces of information in what people have to say.
Find a Place You’re Comfortable With
Explore your options and visit reputable, accountable used car dealerships. One of the most common signs that you shouldn’t buy a used car is that the establishment doesn’t sit right with you. Follow your gut when you feel uneasy about the dealers, and don’t settle for something because they’re saying you might miss out on a deal.