How To Avoid A Junker When Buying A Used Car
A junker, as the name suggests, is something that is only fit for junk! When buying a used car, therefore, you need to take steps to avoid a motor that, let’s be honest, should only be homed in a scrap yard, and not on your driveway. If you don’t, not only will you have a potential money pit on your hands, something that will cost you a fortune in repairs and breakdown fees, but you might also have something that could put your life in danger.
Here then are some tips that we hope you find useful. Our advice here should hopefully help you avoid a junker of a car the next time you’re looking for a new set of wheels.
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#1: Buy your car from a reputable dealer
When shopping for used cars, you might be spoiled for choice. From private sellers flogging their motors in the classifieds (online and off) to the many dealerships in your local area, you won’t be short of cars to consider for your next purchase. However, while many sellers will be honest and fair with you, there might be those who don’t have as many morals. Especially when it comes to private sellers who don’t have to offer you a warranty, you might end up with a car that isn’t worth the money it was advertised for. The same might apply to backstreet car dealerships that have no online reputation to speak of. Therefore, look for dealers that you should be able to trust. You can do this by asking for recommendations from family and friends, checking for testimonials and customer reviews on their website, and by doing a quick Google search to check for any good or bad news reports. When you think you have found a reputable dealer, you will have greater peace of mind when buying.
#2: Have the car inspected before purchase
If you don’t know the first thing about cars, then you really should pay a mechanic to inspect any car you are interested in before you part with your cash. If there are any hidden (or obvious) faults within the car, the mechanic will let you know, and you will then have the option of continuing your car search elsewhere. You could, of course, ask the seller to make the necessary repairs before you purchase the car, but to be honest, if they haven’t bothered to do so before putting it up for sale, then you might want to think twice before trusting them. Any reputable seller, private or otherwise, should always do the necessary work on the car before putting it up for sale; unless, of course, the following point applies.
#3: Be wary of cars advertised for sale ‘as is’
When you’re browsing the classifieds, you might come across cars for sale ‘as is.’ This means that any flaws or defects you notice before you buy will be your responsibility, as the car is only available for sale in its current condition, i.e. ‘as is.’ Because of this, it is unlikely that you will be offered a warranty, meaning that once you have parted with your cash, you have no legal rights to claim a refund or ask the seller to pay for any repairs if the car breaks down or you notice any problems after driving it away. Now, a car advertised ‘as is’ does not always signify you are buying a junker. If the defects are fairly insignificant, such as a scratch on the surface of the car, then you can always get that covered over later if you wish. If you’re buying the car for a dirt cheap price, you might also be happy to pay for any repairs that need doing. But as we suggested above, hire somebody to inspect the car before purchase, because you might also find yourself out of pocket should you later discover any serious and expensive issues after sale.
#4: Take the car for a decent test drive
A test drive is more than a quick circle around the parking lot. And it’s more than a twenty-minute jaunt around town. You need to give it a thorough test drive to make sure that everything is working as it should, so request a test drive for a couple of hours or more so you can fully get a handle on the vehicle you might be buying. There are some useful tips here on what you should look out for when you’re taking the car for a spin. Still, if you aren’t particularly car savvy, you might want to bring somebody along on the ride with you. This should be somebody with years of driving experience, so ask anybody you know (or the mechanic you hired for the inspection) to join you on the roads. They will then be able to advise you further on the viability of the car in question.
#5: Check the car’s history
Any reputable seller will have a vehicle history report ready for you to review before the sale. This will let you know how many owners the car has had, as well as details of any accidents and repair jobs, both large and small. If the car has had a lot of owners, you might want to ask why. There might be issues with the car that has resulted in it changing hands a lot of times, so you might want to think twice before buying. You might also want to think twice if the car has been in an accident, or if there is has been a lot of maintenance work done on the vehicle. And you should run in the other direction if the seller does not have the car’s vehicle history report, because he or she is probably trying to hide something. Still, even if the car seems to be good to go, and the seller does have a vehicle history report, you might also want to run a free vehicle check online before buying, as you may well uncover details that the seller has been trying to keep hidden from you.
Buying a used car can be problematic, but you can save yourself a lot of trouble and money if you follow the tips we have presented here. Hopefully, you will then buy a car built to last, and not something that is only fit for the junkyard or a demolition derby!
Thanks for reading!
Tia, and TipsfromTia.com is trying to keep you looking good and
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