The average age of vehicles owned by most people in the United States hits 11-12 years. This means that you must be especially vigilant while browsing pre-owned cars! While reliable local car showrooms are bound to screen the cars they sell, many unreliable ones may sell you old, second-hand cars that might put your life in danger.
When buying any car (new or pre-owned), you must ensure that it functions well. Sometimes, you can gauge the car’s age by sight. However, this trick does not always work. This is because mechanics and garage owners can spruce up vehicles and take a few years off them. The only way you can be sure about the car you are buying is to be sure that the local car showrooms you visit are trustworthy.
Watch out for these red flags while visiting the nearest car lot!
1. Beat up inventory
If most of the cars you spot at your nearest car lot look beat-up or old, you can be sure that the rest aren’t that great either. Have someone you trust to take a look at the car you are considering to ensure you aren’t buying a car that looks older than it is.
2. Third-party warranty
Having a warranty is essential when buying a pre-owned vehicle. Trustworthy car dealerships offer their own warranties. Of course, pre-owned cars do not come with high warranty periods like new cars do. But the longer the warranty offered, the better for you. If the car dealership offers a third-party warranty, it’s a red flag you cannot ignore. Walk away from the deal before you end up getting stuck with a vehicle that will let you down!
3. Absent Titles
When you’re gearing up to buy yourself a car, you may get carried away by the excitement of the purchase and forget to check the title. This can cause huge problems for you. If the dealership does not have the title to the car, there are chances of outstanding loans for the same. Do not simply take the dealer on his word – ask to see the title before signing the dotted line!
4. Arbitration Clauses
An arbitration clause in a contract essentially means that if you face a problem or dispute, a third-party must resolve it. Dealers that make their customers sign arbitration clauses do not have a long-term customer relationship (or the customer’s best interests) at heart. Watch out for this red flag!
When visiting the nearest car lot, ask someone you trust to accompany you. This can help you make better decisions while buying any pre-owned cars.