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Don't Make These Mistakes Shopping for Second-hand Cars in Alabama

Don't Make These Mistakes Shopping for Second-hand Cars in Alabama

Mistakes Shopping for Second-hand Cars in Alabama

Are you in the market for a used car but are fearful you could get taken advantage of? Here are the mistakes to avoid when shopping for second-hand cars.

 

 

Buying a car is a huge milestone in anyone's life.

While purchasing a brand-new car is fairly straightforward, buying second-hand can be complicated.

Second-hand car buyers need to be wary. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) reports roughly 90,000 complaints each year regarding second-hand car transactions. So, it should go without saying you should know what to look for when buying a second-hand car.

Between "lemons" and salvage titled vehicles, there’s a lot of jargon that comes with the second-hand car territory. And it’s in your best interest to know exactly what you’re driving off the lot.

Want to know what to look out for when buying second-hand cars? Keep on reading to find out.

Maintenance History Is A Must

The last thing you want is to buy a new car that doesn’t run when you get it home.

Most second-hand cars have a long history of professionally done services. With each service, from regular maintenance to major repairs, these should all be recorded and available for you to see.

If the second-hand car you’re looking at has no recorded service history, that’s a red flag.

Services like CarFax can help you acquire those service records if the dealership can't.

Steer Clear Of “Lemons” And Salvage Title Second-hand Cars

Buying a lemon or salvage title second-hand car is like rolling a pair of dice:

You might get a great car that runs for years. Or you may get a car that runs for months.

Lemon cars (“Lemons”) are deemed to have a sizable defect, but one that's still covered by an existing warranty. Or the car remains unprepared after multiple attempts to address any mechanical, safety, and electrical issues.

Luckily, lemon cars are legally obliged to be labeled with that information.

Salvage title cars are vehicles that were previously totaled by insurance companies and then were fixed to “safe” conditions by a repair shop.

Many salvaged second-hand cars have flood and water damage. While they may look OK on the outside, there may be rust elsewhere. Also, water damage can wreak havoc on the electrics, too.

Either way you look at it, purchasing one of these cars is a huge gamble. And you may be stuck paying thousands of dollars in repairs somewhere down the line.

For the sake of your bank account, steer clear of “lemons” and salvage title vehicles.

Be Aware Of The Car’s Market Value

When you’re going to look at a second-hand car prospect, know that car’s market value.

Services like KBB (Kelly Blue Book) will let you know how much the car you’re looking at is worth. Simply plug-in mileage, year, make and model, and options, in the site's database. Shortly after doing that, you can compare that price to the one presented to you.

This will not only give you negotiating material, but also market knowledge on your car.

If the second-hand car you’re looking at is overpriced, you can negotiate its price down. However, if it's below market value, it may be worth buying as-is.

Have any more questions for us on second-hand cars? Feel free to get in contact with us!