Whether you plan to buy used cars from a local dealer or have found yourself searching online listings for affordable used cars, you likely know two thing about your shopping process: firstly, used cars are typically a much better deal than new vehicles. Secondly, there is a risk that you could walk away with the keys to a truly awful car if you don’t take the time to investigate your potential purchase. Unfortunately, not every person offering used cars for sale with have your best interests at heart, and some vehicles have simply sustained more damage than others. However, if you can find the best used cars in your area, the savings will likely be worth the search. To avoid bad purchases, keep an eye out for these signs that you should leave a car in the lot.
It Has Worn or Mismatched Tires
The conditions of a car’s tires say a lot about how it has been treated over the years. Avoid cars with worn out tires, but also be suspicious of those that have been recently replaced. Also, make sure you check the brands and sizes: mismatched tires are almost certainly a sign that the car has seen some recent damage.
Its Been Warmed Up Before Your Test Drive
Anyone who has lived in cold temperatures likely knows that starting a car in cold weather can reveal a lot of problems that might not be as noticeable when its warm. These include troubling sounds, difficulty starting, even issues with the fuel delivery. Sure, the seller might simply be trying to save you both some discomfort, but you should still take it as a sign that something might be amiss.
Bad Paint and Bodywork
Even the best used cars might have a little rust, discoloration, or even an accident listed in their vehicle history. However, if the repairs were carelessly or unskillfully done, it will not only harm your resale value down the line, but can also hint at a compromised structure. Great bodywork, however, can be a great sign.
Questionable Repairs and Modifications
See a new bolt in an otherwise old and dirty engine? Did your mechanic find oil in the radiator or coolant in the oil? Does the car simply not look right somehow? These can be signs of major problems or amateurish attempts to get the car up to selling standards. At the very least, you should ask about what you see and react accordingly if the seller becomes defensive or evasive. In other words, leave.
If you find used cars that have titles in questionable conditions, show that the car was only recently purchased, or are curiously missing, walk away. Recognized proof of ownership is one of the most important things when it comes to buying a car. And even if the seller really did just lose the title, do you really trust someone that careless to sell you a car?
To find the best used cars available, potential buyers have to exercise caution. For this reason, always have a trusted, independent mechanic check over a car, keep an eye out for odd signs, and trust your instincts if you don’t trust the seller. By following these good habits, you will be able to identify the best used cars for you and make a smart purchase. See this reference for more.