The Pitfalls of Buying a Used Car and How to Avoid Them


Buying a new vehicle can be a difficult experience. It’s costly, there are lots of forms to fill in and plenty of considerations that you probably haven’t even thought about. Unless you’ve done ample research on what it’s like to buy a car, you probably don’t have a clue what you’re doing. So to help you out, we’ve described some of the common pitfalls associated with buying a used car, and what you can do to avoid it.



Used or not, you still need to care about your financial situation


Used cars are not cheap—let’s make that clear first. Sure, they’re a lot cheaper than buying a new car from a manufacturer or new dealership, but it doesn’t mean you can just purchase a used vehicle without worrying about your budget. Used cars come with hidden expenses that you probably haven’t thought about. For example, a used car typically costs more to maintain because the parts are worn out and will slowly deteriorate overtime. This could lead to expensive repairs, and there’s a good chance that your insurance costs will also increase because the car is older and not as safe or reliable as newer models.


Market prices can fluctuate wildly, so start searching early


Search for the car you want early and start looking at prices. Track these prices because car dealerships will regularly cause the prices on a used car to fluctuate. This is usually due to supply and demand. A used car that isn’t very popular will lower in price, and cars that are being phased out due to a newer model can often retain their value quite well because they are still considered modern cars. Don’t get caught buying a used car when its price is at an all-time high. Do your research and make sure you get the best possible price on your new car.


Pick a reputable dealership to purchase a car from


Make sure you’re purchasing a used car from a reputable dealership and not buying it from someone who has only given you a phone number. Sure, there are some auction websites and classified advertisements that can get you a car for cheaper. However, you always want to do this the legitimate way to prevent any legal problems from popping up in the future and to also lower the chance of being scammed. Make sure the vehicle is legally allowed on the road and that it doesn’t have a questionable history.


Do your homework and learn about vehicles to prevent being scammed


If you don’t know anything about cars, then it’s going to show when you deal with sellers. They might confuse you with unnecessary technical jargon, they could try and exaggerate the specification of a vehicle, and they’ll generally just sell you lies about the vehicle you plan to purchase. The last thing you want to do is purchase a broken car that’s going to need a lot of repairs to stay roadworthy. You don’t want to be contacting a car accident attorney because your brakes stopped working a week into your purchase, causing you to swerve off the road and crash into another vehicle.


Or bring a friend that you can trust to the dealership


If you don’t know anything about cars and don’t have much time to learn, then bring a friend that does know what they are doing. This will save you a lot of hassle because they’ll translate all the technical jargon into easy-to-understand terms, they’ll help you pick the right vehicle to purchase and they’ll assist you in getting the best deal. Of course, this should only be done with a trusted friend that has the time to help you. Picking out a used car even as someone with knowledge about vehicles is time-consuming.


Do you have to upgrade the car sooner than later?


Used cars are generally cheaper because they’re older models. This means they’re going to need a lot of maintenance and some fixing-up before you can restore them to their former glory. Maybe you need to replace the engine or perhaps it could do with a new paint job. Either way, it’s important to try and inspect the vehicle as thoroughly as possible so you can get a good idea of what will need fixing in the future and what will eventually need replacing to keep the vehicle running. Remember that used vehicles have been on the road, and any moving parts are going to be susceptible to damage unless they are replaced and maintained on a regular basis.


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