It’s no secret that purchasing a used vehicle can save you thousands of dollars. However, you need to choose wisely. Failing to do the necessary homework can lead to a great deal of stress. Here are a few critical mistakes made by used car buyers.
Choosing a Vehicle With Several Previous Owners
Before buying a used vehicle, it’s always a good idea to run a Carfax report. Not only will a vehicle history report reveal any past accidents, but it will also tell you the number of previous owners. Ideally, you should shy away from cars that have changed hands multiple times.
Mechanics recommend finding a vehicle that has no more than two previous owners. Remember, not everyone takes care of their ride. While one person may have serviced the vehicle regularly, the next may have neglected maintenance.
Buying a Vehicle Without Performing a Pre-Purchase Inspection
When buying a used car, what you don’t know can hurt you. Before you hand over any money, first hire certified mechanics to perform a pre-purchase inspection. After all of the necessary under-the-hood checks have been done, you’ll feel a lot more confident.
Although the vehicle may seem to perform well during your initial test drive, it still could have some hidden issues. For instance, mechanics may discover frame damage. Aside from putting you at risk of losing a lot of money, frame damage is a major hazard.
Buying a Modified Vehicle
If you’re in the market for a pre-owned car, think twice about buying one that has been heavily modified. Not only will some mechanics modifications put extra stress on the vehicle, but they can also jeopardize your safety.
Be cautious about buying a car that has a modified suspension. This is especially true if the work wasn’t performed by an experienced professional. A poor job can cause the tires and various suspension parts to wear down much sooner than expected. Meanwhile, engine modifications performed by a “shade tree” mechanic can ruin a car’s reliability. The best approach is to purchase a vehicle that’s as close to stock as possible.
Going for a Short Test Drive
On the day you plan to take a vehicle for a test drive, be sure you’re not in a rush. Simply driving the car around the block isn’t very beneficial. You need to spend at least 20 minutes actually on the road. This will allow you to better evaluate the vehicle.
Pay attention to how the vehicle performs in stop-and-go traffic and on the open highway. Don’t overlook other important factors when buying a daily-driver, including comfort and outward visibility. Spending just a little more time behind the wheel can prevent you from experiencing buyer’s remorse.
Forgetting to Check the Vehicle’s Total Cost of Ownership
Many used car buyers forget to research a vehicle’s total cost of ownership. Keep in mind that the cost of maintenance can vary greatly from one model to the next. This is yet another reason why you should consult a mechanic before signing on the dotted line. An experienced automotive technician knows which vehicles are expensive to maintain.
The cost of insurance can also vary. To be on the safe side, ask your insurance provider to provide a quote ahead of time. Fuel economy can also impact a vehicle’s total cost of ownership.
Buying a Car Online Without Seeing It In Person
Although buying a car online may seem convenient, it’s also a huge risk. Never buy anything sight unseen. This is especially true for a used vehicle. The importance of a test drive and professional mechanic inspection cannot be overstated.
There are countless horror stories about people who’ve purchased a vehicle online. From major oil leaks to rust, a long list of problems have been reported. While photos can give you insight about a car’s appearance, nothing beats being able to examine it in person.