The car buying process is exciting, but it’s important not to get carried away and purchase the very first one you see. A car isn’t something you should buy on the whim, and could result in trouble later on if you haven’t done your research.
To get the most value out of your ride, there are some things you should be aware of before you visit a used car dealership near you. Keeping these seven warning signs at the top of your mind will ensure you find a used car that’s not only safe and affordable, but is made to last.
#1 – An Disreputable Dealership
When buying a used vehicle, you should consider the car dealership itself. You’ll want to look into their reputation, and steer clear if anything seems shady. Make sure the dealership offers a sizable inventory of high-quality cars that have been properly taken care of. You should also avoid dealerships that have a staff of overly-eager salesmen who just want your money, and don’t truly have your best interest in mind. Don’t be a victim of upselling.
#2 – The Price Is Too Good to be True
No driver wants to spend a lot of money on a used car, but you should be cautious of price tags that seem too good to be true. More often than not, they are. Used cars are in high demand, and scammers will try to trick you with what appears to be a great deal.
When you visit a buy here pay here used car dealership, you’ll have access to a variety of used cars for sale for an incredible price – even if you have no or low credit!
#3 – A Bumpy Test Drive
Before you officially call that used car your own, you should always take it for a test drive. This allows you to feel how it drives, and get a sense of what everyday driving would be like. If you notice a rough, bumpy ride, opt for another vehicle instead. This could indicate that the vehicle is towards the end of its life, or may need costly repairs in the future.
#4 – No Ownership Records
Records are a great way to learn about the history of a used vehicle, and can prove it was properly cared for. If the dealership or seller isn’t able to provide maintenance and repair history, you may want to move on to another car. Without these documents, you’ll have no way of knowing when it was last serviced, which could result in an accident or out-of-pocket expenses later on.
#5 – Dissimilar Body Panels
Mismatched paint or unaligned body panels indicate that the car has most likely been through an accident in the past. Although the vehicle may seem like it’s been repaired and is ready for the road, this isn’t always the case. Used cars that have been part of a collision can pose a huge risk.
These vehicles may have underlying problems with their mechanical system that don’t surface until months – or maybe even years – later. Plus, they can be unsafe to drive. If the frame has already taken a hit, it may not be able to support another one, which could result in serious injuries if an accident occurs.
#6 – Smoking
If the car’s past owner was a smoker, the smell is likely here to stay. It can make its way into the vehicle’s upholstery, which is extremely difficult to get rid of. There might also be discolored fabric or buildup around the glass.
If you’re a smoker yourself, you might be able to score a great deal on this car. But if not, it’s best to leave it behind.
#7 – Structural Rust
A little rust on a car’s body is totally fixable – if you don’t mind paying to repair it. However, you shouldn’t purchase a used car that has rust on its frame. Not only is it unsightly, but it’s a huge safety concern. Rust can weaken the car’s structure, which can put you in even more danger should you get into an accident.
Find Your New Ride At a Used Car Dealership Near You!
Unfortunately, used car dealerships don’t always have your best interest in mind, and some could just be looking to make a profit. However, now that you’re aware of these warning signs, you’ll know exactly what to look out for to find a safe, affordable, and valuable ride.
To get started, just search “used cars for sale near me” to be provided with a list of dealerships within your direct vicinity. When you visit their lots, you’ll be able to find a used car that you won’t regret.