Red Flags for Used Car Shopping

Watch out for these warning signs when shopping for a used car.

If you are on a budget, then buying a used car is a great way to save some money.  However, buying a used car is riskier than buying a brand-new vehicle right from a dealer.  To ensure that you don’t end up with a dud, watch out for these warning signs when shopping for a used car.

  • Troubling History

If you find a used car that you’re interested in, then run its VIN (vehicle identification number) to get the car’s history report.  This report will show if the car has been involved in any accidents, has had damage, or been involved with any title issues.  If the report shows these issues, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the car is a dud.  However, you should proceed with caution.

  • Salvage Title

If a car has a salvage title, this usually means the car was stolen and recovered, damaged in an accident or flood, or written off by an insurer.  If you are interested in a car with a salvage title, make sure you do a lot of research into the vehicle’s history and have it inspected for safety.  You should also look into how much it will cost to retitle and insure the car in your state before making your final decision.

  • Outstanding Auto Recalls

You should also run the car’s VIN through the National Highway Safety Administration database to see if it has outstanding vehicle recalls.  When a car is under recall, this means that there is a safety issue with the car that requires immediate repair.  If a car is under recall and has not been repaired, then it may be dangerous to drive.

  • Missing Maintenance or Service Records

Car owners usually save records that show that they have properly maintained their car.  These records normally include routine service tasks like oil changes and mileage service.  If a seller cannot provide these records, then there’s a good chance that the car has been neglected.  Be cautious because you could be purchasing a time bomb.

Watch out for these warning signs when shopping for a used car.  Once you find your perfect used vehicle, you need to protect it with the right auto insurance.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at Mike Leonard Insurance Agency.  Our dedicated team is eager to find you the right coverage from one of our many carriers, including: Kemper, MetLife, Nationwide, Travelers, Safeco Insurance, Progressive, and American Strategic Insurance.