Just about all of us have heard the sentence “They got a lemon” before. What that reference originates from is someone who purchased a used car and within days (or sometimes even hours) of driving it off of the auto dealer lot, they realized that they got a car that was not in the kind of condition that they initially thought that it was in.
If you’re someone who is currently in the market to get a used car, in order to make sure that you don’t have your own “sour experience”, we wanted to provide you with a list of five of the most common used car buying scams. Hopefully, but avoiding them, you can end up with the kind of used car that you’ve always dreamed of, rather than one that turned out to be a complete nightmare.
They say they have an on-site mechanic. When you’re purchasing a house, it’s a good idea to hire a house inspector or your own real estate agent look over the place with you. That way, you know that you have someone who has your best interest at heart. For the same reason, this is why it’s a good idea to bring a mechanic along to check out the car that you want to buy. Although the car dealer may tell you that they have an on-site mechanic, you don’t want to wait until you signed on the dotted line to realize that you need a new timing belt or transmission. Your own mechanic can help you to avoid that kind of drama.
The odometer has less miles than it should. Although we all look for cars that have as few miles as possible, if the car you’re considering is 10-15 years old, it should be averaging at least 15,000-20,000 miles per year. If the car that you are looking at has something like 8,000 miles on it, that could be an indication that the odometer has been rolled back and that there’s actually more wear and tear than you might think.
There are unexplainable fees. It’s always important to thoroughly read any contract before you sign it. A big part of the reason is because if you don’t, the car dealer may try to add on some extra fees. For instance, some car dealers will claim that they need a couple of hundred dollars to process your paperwork, when really all they’re doing is attempting to put more money into their pockets. So, if you see a charge that makes no sense to you, ask them to explain it until it does.
They attempt to offer extended warranties. Something that a company like The Car People Supermarket will probably try to forewarn you about are car dealers that attempt to offer you extended warranties for a certain price. They do this because they can earn more of a profit. However, if they tell you that you need to buy an extended warranty because the one from the actual manufacturer is scheduled to run out before you financing does, don’t believe them. You don’t need it.
The financing has increased. When people have poor credit, they will oftentimes look for financing to come directly through the manufacturer. Sometimes what the car dealer will do is tell the customer that they can take the car and they will handle the financing, only to call a few days later to say that it’s going to cost more money than they initially thought. This can best be avoided by having your financing approved before ever stepping foot on a car lot, so please make sure that you do so. The best of luck to you!