Buying a Used Car? Look for These Red Flags!

Buying a Used Car? Look for These Red Flags!


 

Buying a used car is a great way to save money and take advantage of depreciation but there are inherently more risks involved when a car has belonged to multiple owners.

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


Incomplete Paperwork

Specific paperwork is required to make your vehicle transaction legal. It serves as an agreement between buyer and seller. The correct paperwork ensures that the vehicle you are purchasing is legally registered and in fair condition. This includes a comprehensive service and repair history report.

Whether purchasing from a Dealer or in the private market you should expect to inspect from the seller, the service books and history of the car. A logbook that contains a full-service history with accompanying records and shows the most recent services is like gold when seeking to purchase a car.

Vehicle registration papers identifying the current registered owner or previous owner if purchasing from a dealer to ensure there is the correct legal title.

Obtaining a PPSR Report will also identify if the car has been previously stolen, is an Economic Repairable Write-off or still has finance owing on it from the previous owners.

Missing paperwork indicates that there may be some issues with the vehicle’s function or road history, so if the paperwork is incomplete, reconsider the deal.

Excessive Rust

Almost anything on a car can be fixed or replaced. The question is, should it be? When it comes to excessive rust, the answer is often no. While rusted out body panels can be replaced, it’s expensive and time-consuming. Rust on the frame means that the frame—the very bedrock of the car—is rotting away. Replacing a car’s frame, even if you just replace part of it, is expensive and runs the risk of weakening the car overall. While some rust is to be expected on a used car, look out for excessive rust with bits of metal flaking off, and avoid cars with rust in key areas. Let’s put it this way: some rust on the floor pan is OK, but if Fred Flintstone could drive the car, you’re better off walking away.

Warning Lights

We’ve all driven around for a week or two with the check engine light on in our car. After all, if the car is running it’s easy to overlook a light on the dashboard. And, sometimes those lights do come on because of a bad sensor or because we didn’t tighten the gas cap enough.

Still, if you’re looking to buy a used car that has a dashboard that looks like a Christmas tree, that’s enough of a red flag that you should reconsider. Sure, the lights could be on for a minor reason (again, that tricky gas cap), but they also could be on because of a bigger problem. If you really love the car, a trusty inspection from a professional inspector like German Precision can tell you if those lights are something to be concerned about.

New or Mismatched Paint

A freshly-painted accent wall in your living room is a good idea. On a car, however, you want all the paint colours to match, and fresh paint isn’t always a selling point. Like new or mismatched carpet, new or mismatched paint is an indicator that repairs have been made, which could mean that the car was in an accident. While some accident damage can be repaired, other accident damage can make owning that car a headache and a seller that’s trying to camouflage accident damage is not someone who you want to deal with.

Take a close look at any used car with fresh paint or paint that isn’t quite the same on all the body panels of the car.

Unlicensed Dealer

If you choose to purchase your next vehicle through a dealer, research the company and ask for proof of licence. Licence credentials ensure that you are purchasing from a dealer that is legally approved to sell you a vehicle. If a dealer is unable to provide you with proof of their licence, do not purchase a vehicle from them.

An Anti-Inspection Seller

Getting a prospective new car checked out by an independent mechanic is just good sense. While you’ll spend money ($250 or so) on the inspection, avoiding a used car lemon is more than worth it. Any upstanding used car seller should consent to have the car inspected by someone you choose. If the seller refuses to let you have the car inspected or insists you use their mechanic find someone else to buy from. Having a car inspected is a routine part of buying a used car, so sellers who refuse it may not be on the level. That’s a deal you can feel good about walking away from.

Smelly Interior Masked by Car Perfume

If a car’s interior is overly perfumed, the seller may be trying to hide mould or mildew smells. The vehicle may not be watertight if there are mould smells inside the car.

There are three common places where mildew smell can originate from:
Dashboard — where water can build up as part of running your air-conditioning
Body Leaking — in cracks from weatherstrips around doors and windows
Leaking Drainage — such as those found in A/C and sunroofs

Alternatively, the previous owner may have been a smoker and caused odour damage to the interior upholstery.

Rectifying smells and damaged wet mouldy carpets and interiors is an expensive exercise.

In general, an excessive amount of air freshener in a used vehicle may be a reason to walk away from the deal.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: mynextcarbuyingadvocacy.com.au, autoversed.com

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