Most people think of buying used cars as a good thing. This is because you can save money by going with a used car and still get the vehicle that you want. But there are pitfalls when buying a used car. Many used cars have hidden dangers not seen by the potential buyer until it is too late.
Buying a used car can end up costing you more money than it should. A lot of used cars have been put through their paces, driven rough and not taken care of. Once the owner cleans the car well and does something superficial, like having it fully detailed and waxed, the care may look as good as new. You come along and see that it is in good shape and pay for it. A week later everything starts to go wrong in the car, but you have already paid for it and are stuck.
Experts recommend getting a title history report done on any used car before making a purchase. The problem is that many times the accidents that happen are not reported so there are no records. This can mean big trouble for you if the used car you purchase has been in a wreck, a flood, fire or other catastrophic event which caused major damage to it.
Maintenance history for used carsÂ is not always recorded so you won't really know how well the car you are looking at has been regularly maintained. The oil should be changed at least every 5000 miles, but if there are no receipts you won't know this for sure. You also can't tell if any parts have been replaced with new or rebuilt models.
Another reason buying a used car may be considered a great risk is odometer rollback. Some sellers know how to roll the odometer back, making the car out to have fewer miles on it than it actually does, sometimes by thousands of miles. This can be a huge difference in the maintenance on a car. For instance, if the odometer shows 40,000 miles you wouldn't worry about changing the water pump, belts and other important parts just yet. But if in reality that vehicle had 100,000 miles or more, you may be spending a lot of money on parts in the near future and not understand why.
Financing is a difficult issue for many people and financing for a used car at an acceptable rate can be hard to obtain. Financing a new car can be made through the dealership, with one of the many finance companies working with the dealership or through your bank. Many financial institutions are more hesitant to finance a used car and charge higher rates.
Used cars are obviously older than new cars, which means they do not have as many updated options as new cars. Technology and comfort options are constantly upgraded on each new model. A used car can easily fall behind in amenities compared to new cars.
Higher emissions and fewer miles per gallon for gas are more likely with used cars. Auto manufacturers are constantly striving to build cars with cleaner emissions and lower miles per gallon of gas. Even just a few years can make a difference in the miles per gallon and emissions output on a car.
Private sellers of used cars are not covered by any used car rules. They are only selling to get money. To some people this means lying about the car just to get it sold and get their cash. Sellers can put the words 'as is'? in the ad and be completely protected from anything going wrong with the car once you take delivery of it. Buying a new car from a dealer allows the car to be fully covered under the lemon law in that state, so you know you are covered if something is wrong. Most dealers allow you to test drive and inspect any car you want to purchase. Private sellers of used cars do not have to allow you to test drive the car or have it inspected. In fact, to have it inspected by a mechanic you must have the permission of the owner.