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Buying Used Cars

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From a financial standpoint buying used cars can be a far better purchase than new cars. A used car has already absorbed the instant value loss after being driven from the lot, even if it was only driven for a few months. You won’t suffer an immediate value loss buying used cars.

Additionally, used cars are one of the few respective areas where cars can appreciate. It is not unusual, but there is a caveat: these cars are usually classics, or cars with a very limited production run which creates future classic cars. “Classic” Cars from the 1930 to 1980 era often appreciate in value if well maintained and mechanically up kept. The older these vehicles get; the more value they acquire. It’s not uncommon for owners of classic well-kept collections to have never lost money on a sale.

Concerns: Warranty

Used cars are a solution that can come with problems. Purchasing a used car may result in winding up without a warranty, breeding concerns. This is one aspect where new cars are preferred despite their immediate off the lot value loss. A highly reliable new car with a long term warranty saves buyers substantial amounts of long-term money. A new car with a warranty will bypass the costs on repairs you could eventually suffer with a used car. If you can get a used car, and extend or renew the warranty, you can achieve a fairly close result. Unfortunately, the car will have to still be under original warranty at time of purchase, unmodified, and in good shape.

Finding used cars in good shape is often seen as a hassle for automotive shoppers. There are fairly easy guidelines for dealing with this problem. The first tip is to find a car still under the original manufacturer’s warranty. Since they were purchased and driven recently, they often have little to no mileage and haven’t suffered serious mechanical flaws. Ask for information about the warranty’s original provider. Contact the service and ask if the original warranty provider can extend the warranty and under what conditions extension can occur before buying the car.

If the warranty is provided by a provider other than the manufacturer, pass on the car. It is always better to have the original provider service the car. You should never purchase the warranty from the dealer. They typically can only guarantee repairs at their dealership. What happens if you’re out of range of their repair shops, or if the dealership shuts down?

Concerns: History

Every car has an obvious and a hidden history. Begin by acquiring the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and a reviewing the Title history. If you see flood, salvage, wrecked, or rebuilt title, forget it. Walk away no matter what explanation you’re given. These titles mean the car incurred substantial damage from a flood or wreck and was rebuilt. You have no idea about the quality of the rebuilding job and are essentially paying tens of thousands for a chance at having a good car.

Purchase history records from an online or offline source using the VIN. This generally costs anywhere from $20 to $100, depending on the detail level provided in the report. Beware that this approach is not foolproof. Titles have often been changed in order to avoid rapid massive depreciation. Some titles were never updated since damage to the vehicle was not reported. Many cars have had clean records until they were inspected by a mechanic. A clean title does not mean a car has avoided a wreck, flood, or electrical fire. Occasionally, a VIN number can even prevent you from the worst possible scenario: buying a stolen vehicle. A certified used vehicle sold by a dealership will usually not have these problems.


All vehicles should be inspected regardless of their source. Your inspection should be at an independent mechanic of your choosing. Never use a dealership or mechanic selected by the seller, even if they say it’ll be free. They may have financial motivation to herd you into purchasing the vehicle.

Spending a couple hundred units of currency to have the vehicle inspected by someone you can trust is far better than getting a damaged car after spending thousands. If the seller is objecting to independent inspection, get suspicious. There are many automotive inspection mechanics and companies that are happy to assist you with the process. Ensure they inspect every inch of the car: drivetrain, trunk, tanks, fluid reserves, electrical system, even the metal panels underneath the interior carpet. It’s essential to inspect as many points as possible.

Ensuring Disclosure

Anyone who sells you a car should be forced to sign a full disclosure agreement ensuring they told you absolutely everything. Your disclosure should have no conditions. They have told you absolutely everything about the history of the car.

If you discover something that they have hidden or did not know, they are at fault for the failure to inform you. Don’t sign any legal document that attempts to limit your ability to sue or acquire compensation from them for failure to disclose all information. There’s no need for mercy, if they’ve done their job correctly they won’t need it.

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