Skip to comments.17 Tips that Help You Avoid a Bad Used Car Deal
Posted on 09/09/2009 9:00:03 PM PDT by wrrock
If youre shopping for a used car, there are a number of things you can do to prevent getting stuck with a problem car.
1) Look for a reliable model. Often you can avoid many factory problems associated with cars that perform poorly over the long run. Visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov to view an up to date list of safety defects.
2) Decide where you want to buy your car. Buying from a private party, a new car dealer or a used car dealer each has advantages and disadvantages. You may get a lower price buying from an individual, but you will not get a written warranty in most cases.
3) Watch out for curbstoners. Curbstoners are people who get cars from private parties, dealers or auctions, pose as the original owners, and sell to unsuspecting consumers. They sell cars in all sorts of places, such as grocery stores and on the side of busy roads.
4) Ask the seller about the cars condition and history. Was it in any accidents? If the seller isnt the original owner, from whom did he or she buy the car? Ask to see maintenance records.
5) Examine the car carefully. You can find helpful checklists in books or Web sites that deal with buying a used car. Look for signs of accident damage: body paint that doesnt match or is rippled; doors, a hood or a trunk that wont close tightly; or a frame thats out of alignment. Make sure all the lights work, as well as windows, seatbelts, and the heater and air conditioner.
Buying a brand new car is for suckers.
F U B O
You have bought into the lie that buying used is better than buying new.
That is not true.
IF you saved 35-40 percent, then you saved it off of MSRP.
And nobody pays that.
In the long run... buying new is the better way to go.
Sometimes new makes sense if you take care of your new car and keep it a long time.
In my family we used to do this when I was young. My dad gets a new car, his car goes to mom, mom’s go to older brother and I get his car. Mine is ready for the junkyard.
There's no way anybody is going to get 35% below MSRP on a brand new Camry. Plus interest. But a year old one with 20k miles, I was satisfied.
It's a Camry, not a Cobalt.
I bought my last car (actually two cars ago) for $1200. It was a 1984 Toyota Supra in nice condition with 140,000 miles. I drove that thing for 5 years and did only basic maintenance on it (except for the timing belt which I did myself). There is no way a new car could come close to that kind bang for buck.
If buying a used vehicle also check for factory recall notices. Some recalls have a time/milage requirement and if recall is a serious one you will want to know about it or find out if work has been done or can be done under recall.
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