How Much to Trust a Used Car

PaintedBlue's picture
Date Joined: Jul 21, 2008
Posts: 72
Points: 70

Just how much should a used car have been inspected, and how much can you rely upon a used car to be as good as the dealership says it is? Is it better to go through a dealer-does that increase the chances of getting a good Ford?

George13's picture
Date Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 51
Points: 49

Whenever I am looking at a used car be it from a stranger or dealer I ALWAYS take it to a mechanic that I can trust and have them go over it with a fine-toothed comb. I also try to get a dealer to give me a bit more warranty on the car then they may normally offer. Of course I've only had one do this before. I would suggest that you do your homework before you purchase any used car.

PaintedBlue's picture
Date Joined: Jul 21, 2008
Posts: 72
Points: 70

What about the places that offer a history of the vehicle-I see them advertised on TV. Are they only through certain dealers, and how well can you trust them to be independent?

MrPibb's picture
Date Joined: Jul 21, 2008
Posts: 53
Points: 51

Carfax is completely independent. many dealers will give you a copy (we've gotten one on every used car we've bought) and some insurance companies will get you a copy as well. They don't include everything though, mostly just large stuff. Taking it to a mechanic and having them check for any known issues (a quick google for something like “1994 escape issue” should do the trick) is always a good choice. And always trust your gut. If the guy makes you want to puke, find another salesperson who doesn't, ask for a manager or find a different dealership.

ironsilk's picture
Date Joined: Jul 21, 2008
Posts: 52
Points: 50

Does “about as far as you could throw them” count? I never believe anything they tell me until its in writing or I've verified it myself independently. Their job is to sell cars, not be your friend or help you out, no matter what they say.

PaintedBlue's picture
Date Joined: Jul 21, 2008
Posts: 72
Points: 70

Would you imagine that a mechanic would pick up on the majority of problems-both major and minor? It wouldn't seem worth paying for the check up unless you could be sure.

stangchic's picture
Date Joined: Jul 01, 2008
Posts: 52
Points: 50

To me this is one of those things you really have to be careful with. While I have bought used cars basically all my life, I have had both good and bad experiences with it. Once I bought a cheap little Chevy Citation and it ran fine on the test drive, but on the ride home we had trouble before we even got there. So, considering how tight money is for alot of us these days I think it would be very smart to check the car out thoroughly before buying it. Check it out through Carfax and have a mechanic take a look at it just to be on the safe side. That little Citation seemed like a real deal at only $1200, but the headaches we had with it almost the entire time we owned it cost way more than it was worth.

~stangchic~

~stangchic~

thalia's picture
Date Joined: Jul 24, 2008
Posts: 32
Points: 30

I was always taught to go for the used cars, but to be aware that you are buying other peoples problems. You kind of have to judge if the problem is something that you can fix and that it doesn't eat at your budget.

For me, the only time that I will be able to afford a brand new car is when the cows come home. Anyone seen any cows lately?…lol

thalia

carly's picture
Date Joined: Jul 14, 2008
Posts: 55
Points: 51

I would get the car inspected first as many people tend to just “take the owners advice” on things, then you see those same people on TV court saying they got a lemon. Always better to inspect than just assume.

mike's picture
Date Joined: Jun 25, 2008
Posts: 58
Points: 56

I dont think I would trust a used car without an inspection. Even more so when its older than five years. Can you take it to a mechanic or are you just checking before hand?