Choosing a Good Used Car

Used Car

There are many other reasons to reject a used vehicle, many of which relate to poor maintenance…

For most people, the vehicle they drive is one of the most expensive things they own when the cost of purchase, the cost of maintenance and repair, and depreciation are considered. Of course, depreciation and the initial price can be lowered by choosing to buy a used vehicle. The down side to this is not knowing exactly what you are getting. I have seen great used vehicles and I have seen others that should not even be driven, much less sold.

Within the past month, my service teams have inspected two cars that were not good vehicles to buy. One person already had bought an Audi TT without getting it checked, but another driver had us check out a Volkswagen before deciding whether to buy it. What made both of these vehicles "rejects" was their condition. The Audi had been in a major accident on the right side and was improperly repaired. My best guess is that it was done by an amateur in his home garage. The car had a slightly bent frame that was not repaired, a wrong axle put in it, damaged rims and other problems. The folks who bought it just thought it was a nice car and trusted the private party who sold it to them. The Volkswagen that another customer brought in for inspection also had been in an accident and not repaired correctly. An inner fender well was missing, some parts didn’t fit together correctly, and one rear rim was cracked on the inside.

There are many other reasons to reject a used vehicle, many of which relate to poor maintenance. And sometimes, a particular vehicle is just not the right choice for you. My recommendation is when considering a used car or truck, call your favorite repair shop or dealer (not the dealer trying to sell you the car) and schedule a used vehicle inspection. Keep in mind that sometimes, sellers won’t want you to do it – and the fact that they might be trying to conceal some defect(s) should make the inspection an even greater priority. The cost and time required to have an inspection done are miniscule compared to the headaches you’re destined to suffer if you buy a lemon.


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