5 Red Flags to Look Out for When Buying a Used Car

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Buying a used car: it’s a great way to save money. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty risky.

With new cars losing 20-30% of their value within the first year, buying a used car can seem like a pretty attractive option. However, it can easily go wrong if you don’t do your due diligence and watch out for red flags.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you spot them. Here’s what to look for when buying a used car.

  1. Hidden Fees

When buying a used car from a dealer, you should be sure to keep your eyes out for hidden fees and unnecessary costs.

Some examples of this may include an adjusted dealer markup fee (ADM) or a market value adjustment (MVA) fee. These fees are often just a way for the dealer to get a bit of extra cash and don’t actually add anything of value.

You’ll also want to avoid getting add-on services and products that you don’t need or that you don’t fully understand.

  1. Title Problems

Title issues are also essential to look out for when you buy a used car.

You should be sure that any vehicle you buy has a clean title, so be sure to check a car history report to find out more about the vehicle’s title. A car with a salvage title, for example, will usually have suffered major damage in the past and should be avoided.

  1. Accidents and Damage

When considering a car purchase, you should check its history report to see if there have been any accidents or if the vehicle has been damaged at any point in time.

If the car has experienced frame damage or has other significant issues, then you may want to reconsider your purchase.

  1. Mechanical Issues

When buying a used vehicle, you’ll also want to make sure that it works correctly.

Make sure that you have a mechanic friend come with you or hire someone to inspect any vehicle you’re thinking about buying. Whether you’re buying from a dealer or an individual, never trust that the car works exactly as claimed. Always verify for yourself whether there are any issues or not.

If this will be your first vehicle, you’ll especially want to be sure that there aren’t any issues. Driving could be more difficult if your car isn’t working properly. Also, be sure to check out this drivers test resource if you need help passing your learner’s test.

  1. No Service Records

If there are no service records available for the vehicle you’re thinking about buying, it’s also a big red flag.

When buying a vehicle, you should be sure that it has been well-maintained over the years. Many sellers will keep service records and will show them to a buyer to verify that the car has been maintained and taken in for service regularly.

Be sure to ask about these records. If there aren’t any available or if the records show that the vehicle wasn’t maintained often, you may want to rethink your purchase. 

Avoiding These Red Flags When Buying a Used Car

Be sure that you follow the tips for buying a used car listed above if you want to be happy with your choice. Remember that you should always check the vehicle’s history report and have the vehicle inspected before making a purchase.

Need more car buying tips? Read through our blog now to find more helpful guides.

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