If you’re looking to pick up a used car for a cut-down price, then you might investigate the thriving market for private sellers. There are certainly bargains to be found by those willing to look for them. With that said, it’s worth attaching a note of caution. What might appear to be a good deal may, in actuality, be a liability that’ll prove expensive in the long-term: expensive to maintain, and difficult to shift.
In many cases, it’s worth paying more up front to avoid the risk of being saddled with a wreck. Online lenders like Go Car Credit specialise in this sort of thing, and they may help to provide a cash boost at the time of purchase that’ll save you in the long-term if you decide to purchase a car from a dealership.
If you still like to proceed with from buying from a private seller, then it’s worth looking for a range of signs which might indicate a car that’s been involved in an accident. If you spot any of these, then walk away from the deal. At the same time, if the seller does not want to even show you the vehicle, don’t think twice about pulling out.
If the paint job is uneven, then the chances are that the car has had some body work done to repair a dent (or something even more severe). What might look seamless when viewed head-on might look inconsistent when viewed from the side, so don’t be afraid to take a closer look.
Replaced parts that look different
Cars which have been involved in collisions may need to be replaced using parts which do not match the rest of the vehicle. And even those that do match may be visibly newer looking than the surrounding car.
Some windscreen cracks are so tiny that they might not be noticed by the person doing the selling – but they’ll still evidence that a car has been involved in a collision. Where the damage is minor, it might be used as leverage to get a better deal.
When you’re going for your obligatory test-drive, you should be listening out for sounds that might be out of the ordinary. Squeaking, tapping, knocking, or grinding sounds might indicate a whole range of underlying problems, which will need to be fixed in the future.
If panels are misaligned, it’s a sure-fire indication that they’re taken a hit. The doors, boot and bonnet should all sit flush with one another. If they don’t, then beware.
Uneven tyre wear
No-one’s car tyres are worn perfectly even. But severe inconsistencies may be taken as a sign of an underlying problem. If every tire is worn excessively on one side, for example, it might indicate that the wheels are misaligned – and this in turn might have been caused by an accident.