Buying a used car is a great way to save some money, especially when you are a new driver, but if you want to keep yourself, and other road users, safe, you need to make sure that the vehicle you are buying is fit for purpose.
Here are a few used car warning signs to look out for, which could indicate that the car you are looking at is unsafe or otherwise not worth your time and money:
Gaps between the panels
One of the biggest indicators that a used car may be in a state of disrepair or even dangerous is noticeable gaps between the panels. These days, cars are precision built by robots who do a very good job of tightly fitting the parts together. A gap can indicate that a car has been in a previous accident, and as such, it may not be as structurally sound as it once was.
There is no V5C
Reputable used car dealers like edmunds will always ensure that their vehicles have a V5C document at the point of sale. If you are offered a used car, but the vehicle registration document is missing, you should absolutely not buy the car because, although it is easy enough to lose a V5C, it is also easy enough to order a replacement document. Therefore, if the document is not presented to you, there’s a good chance that’s because the seller is looking to hide something from you.
When a vehicle is repaired following a shunt accident, it is often the case that only the sections that bore the brunt are sprayed. If you look closely enough, you will be able to see that the paint job is thicker in these areas or that the colors don’t completely match, and this is a serious warning sign that the car is probably not as safe as it could be.
A test drive is refused
Reputable sellers will always let you take their used cars for a test drive. If a seller is cagey about taking you out in the car, or especially if they refuse point blank, you really have to ask yourself why and big alarm bells should be ringing loudly in your ears. Cars can look perfectly safe, but when you turn the engine on and get behind the wheel you can discover that the brakes are shoddy, there’s not much tread left on the tires, and well you get the idea; always take a car for a test drive before you buy.
A lack of service history
No service history is a huge red flag that the car may not have been taken care of, involved in a serious incident, or even stolen, So, don’t even think about buying it.
By looking out for these warning signs, you can avoid buying an unsafe used car and protect your bank balance at the same time, while ensuring that the vehicle you so choose is a sound investment for you, your family, and everyone else on the road too.