When it comes to automobile purchases, buying used is often a prudent decision. It’s a reduced upfront cost when compared to buying a new car, for starters, but beyond that, you’ll often end up paying less over time thanks to that smaller loan.
There are some potential pitfalls you’ll need to watch out for, though, especially if you’re going to be buying online. To ensure you don’t fall prey to a less-than-ideal online car shopping experience, read up on these red flags and warning signs you should always watch out for when checking out cars online.
The Price Is Extremely Low
While it’s true that you’re looking to save some money by buying used, experts like Jeremy Rosenthal, a car accident lawyer in Aurora, CO, say that a ridiculously low price is often a sign of a poor quality vehicle.
A car in disrepair, obviously, would be a hazard for you to attempt to drive, and in the worst case scenario might spark a need for life insurance. Even if a vehicle isn’t an outright hazard, though, a very low price could still be indicative of the need of costly repairs, which would defeat the purpose of you trying to save money.
If the used vehicle you’re eyeing has manufacturer recalls that haven’t been taken care of, there’s a good chance it’s hiding a defect that might make it hazardous to drive. You should make sure you check any car you’re interested in for potential recall notices that the owner has neglected, and make it a point to find out why.
There’s No Paper Trail
A vehicle should have a proper, documented history, and the seller should be able to provide the vehicle’s title to prove they have the legal right to sell it. These might be lacking when you’re buying online, and if they are, it’s a definite red flag.
The Seller Is Being Obstinate
Most reputable used vehicle sellers will work with you on trying to make a deal and have the ability to compromise on various aspects of the car buying process. If you run into a control-freak seller, though, that’s a clear sign that something is amiss and you might want to take your business elsewhere.
Case in point would be if the seller is attempting to get out of letting you inspect the vehicle before you make a purchase. An inspection is supposed to be a routine part of any vehicle transaction, so if the seller won’t budge on this standard procedure that’s all the confirmation you need to bail on the deal.