Red Flags to Look Out for When You Buy a Used Car

2 Mins read

Buying a used car can be one of the best ways to get a decent car at a great price. But since you are not the original owner of the car, it’s important to shop carefully as despite being a good financial decision, used cars can sometimes be hiding problems that might not be immediately obvious until you take the car home. It’s always a good idea to take somebody who is knowledgeable about cars with you when you are buying a used car and lookout for some of these big red flags when viewing and test driving.

Mismatched or New Paint

Is one door a slightly different colour from the other? On a car, you want all of the paint colours to match, and if the paint looks brand new, that’s not always a good selling point either. New or mismatched paint on a new car is usually a sign that some big repairs have been made, which could mean that the car has been in an accident. This might be made clear in the advertising, but if there’s nothing in the ad or the car’s history to suggest that it’s a Category C, S, or N, then it’s worth steering clear of.

No Test Drive

One of the main things that you want to do when you are in the process of buying a used car is to take it for a test drive. Test driving gives you the chance to get a feel for the car when driving it and listen out for anything that might be concerning like strange noises or warning lights on the dashboard. While COVID-19 made it difficult for drivers to test-drive cars over the past couple of years, the dealership should at least give you the option to take the car home and return it for a refund if you don’t like the experience when driving it. If a garage or dealership won’t let you test drive, this is a huge red flag. Always go with a reputable dealership like

Very Low Price

It’s always great to get a bargain car – but if you have found a used car that’s listed for a price much lower than other similar cars, then you might have a problem. A really low price is more often than not a sign that the seller wants to get rid of it as quickly as possible and is hoping that the idea of saving so much money will deter you from the many issues that it has.

Warning Lights

While it can be easy to overlook a light on the dash for a few days if the car is running, or sometimes the lights don’t mean anything serious, they are something to look out for when buying a used car. Any warning lights on the dashboard that shouldn’t be there – i.e., the handbrake light is on even though you’ve taken the handbrake off, or the check engine light is on, are worth inspecting further by a trusted mechanic if you really like the car.

While buying a used car can be a great way to save money and get a better deal on your next car, keep your eye out for these red flags to avoid getting a bad deal.

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