Buying pre owned cars is something of a coming of age tradition for many young drivers. Not only is it an excellent way for parents to provide their children with a measure of freedom, it’s a way for them to save money as well. And it’s quite common! In fact, according to an IHS Automotive study, the average car in the U.S. is approximately 11.4 years old.
That being said, not every pre owned vehicle is going to be a winner. And unfortunately, it can be tough to tell the good pre owned cars from the junk used trucks that might be posted for sale online. So if you want to make sure you buy a used car that’s going to last, here are some red flags you need to look out for.
As you may already know, rust weakens metal. While most rust spots on older vehicles are purely cosmetic, any type of rust on the frame or near the engine is a bad sign. Rust near the frame means that the bone structure of the entire vehicle is in jeopardy. If the rust manages to eat through the metal frame — which it will in due time — your entire vehicle is going to fall apart. And if you’re at a used car dealership where the cars are sporting some excessive rust, you need to re-evaluate your situation.
It’s not uncommon for people with pre owned trucks and cars to drive around for a week with the check engine light on. But it absolutely shouldn’t be on during your test drive. And neither should any of the other warning lights, to be frank. Even though a used car might come with a few issues, there’s no reason for the dashboard to look like a laser light show. That alone should alert you to some serious issues.
Extremely Low Prices
At first glance, an extremely low price might seem like the steal of the century. Unfortunately, it could mean any number of things, including that the car was actually stolen and put up for sale. But beyond that, it could be a sign that there are some pretty outstanding issues with the vehicle. Any reputable dealership will sell quality used cars at quality prices.
When you’re looking at pre owned cars, it’s important that you inspect the possibility of negative qualities just as vigorously as you look for the good ones. Don’t let a low price tag fool you into making a mistake you may regret later.