Buying a used car is a great way to save money, but it can also be a bit of minefield. There are plenty of things that can go wrong, even if you think you’ve done your research and found the perfect vehicle. It’s always helpful to go into buying a used car with as much knowledge as possible.
Here are tips to help you spot a lemon – a car that will cost you a lot of money to fix, or that has hidden damage you may not notice at the time of purchase.
Look at the service history of a used car
If you see that a vehicle has had little or no servicing, this could indicate an issue. Most modern cars will only need routine maintenance and service every 12 months or 10,000km. If the vehicle you want to buy hasn’t had regular service and accident-free repairs, this should set off some alarm bells.
The best thing to do before you go out to buy used cars in sacramento is to talk to someone about the dealer or private seller’s history. You can ask about service records, how many previous owners the car has had, and whether the vehicle has been involved in any major accidents.
Check the paint job
A used car with an odd number of panels is a red flag. If you see panel gaps that are uneven, this suggests poor maintenance and repairs. There should be equal panel gaps on both sides of a vehicle, as well as around the doors and bumpers.
If you see a used car that has had body repairs, these should be professionally repaired. Repairing bent panels should use the original factory parts, and seams should be straight and even.
Check the seats
A used car could indicate an accident if there is damage to the interior. You can always ask questions during a test drive, but always have a good look at vehicle seats before you buy it. It is usually a good idea to check the seat covers and make sure that they don’t have any tears or holes. If you do see any damage, don’t buy the vehicle.
Look for corrosion
If you see signs of corrosion on used cars, this could indicate an accident or age-related problems. If you think that there might be rust around the car’s wheel arches, always get a test drive before buying it to make sure that these are not hidden problems that could explode at any moment.