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6 Red Flags You Must Avoid Before Buying A Used Car

Buying a used vehicle is a very smart financial decision because you will get a car for a lesser amount of money than if you were to purchase a brand new one. However, there are key differences between the old and the new A brand new automobile is almost always a highly reliable machine,  which means that you are also paying for the kind of protection that only comes with a new car. . No one has meddled with it, it does not have worn out tires, and it has not been handed over to shoddy mechanics. In short, a new vehicle straight from the showroom will not have gone through the wear and tear that you can expect from a used car.

Now used cars, on the other hand, tend to have their own personal histories. And while many used cars work fine, that certainly does not mean that all of them are flawless machines that don’t require any kind of work at all. In fact, there are a number of issues that used cars might potentially bring with them that will turn them into money pits. A roughly used car can mean endless trips to the mechanic. For instance, if you buy a used Ford, you should prepare yourself for frequent visits to a ford auto repair workshop. At times, the cost of the repairs might exceed the cost of the vehicle itself!

However, there are some pretty clear cut red flags that will show you when you should just simply walk away from a used car. Let us take a look at a few of them.

1.      If Something Seems Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is!

Just about everyone wants to score a really great deal and used car buyers are no exception. However, if you know the average price of used cars for sale in Sarasota and someone offers you a certain make and model that is half the price of the market; well, let’s just say you should be skeptical. Sometimes, the car is not even in the country and has to be imported at a certain fee and once the fee has been paid, the seller vanishes. Apart from that, there is also the fact that the car may have severe issues inside the engine or the gearbox or anything else that will not be visible during an initial inspection. In this case, the dealer simply wants to get rid of the car before it falls apart completely.

2.      Negative Reviews

Before handing out cash on the barrel, you should conduct a cursory online review of the dealership. If there are multiple dissatisfied customers for a dealership of used cars for sale in Sarasota, this is a clear red flag and you should walk away regardless of how sweet the deal looks to you. You should also focus on the nature of the reviews and see the precise issues that people are complaining about. This will give you a very good idea about the key reasons due to which you should avoid this place. You can also talk to your friends and acquaintances about a certain dealership and see what they say. If their opinions match the online reviews, it is time to find another dealership.

3.      Really Worn out Interior

Many used car salespersons try and focus on the exterior looks of the vehicle more than anything else. However, polish and some paint touch-ups can never take the place of a real issue such as a worn-out interior. This is a dead giveaway that the car has been used a lot and it is also a red flag about the stuff that you can’t see such as the electronics, the clutch, and pressure plates and other mechanical features.  After all, you really don’t want your new purchase sitting at the Ford auto repair shop all the time.

4.      A Musty Smell in the Trunk

Of course, buying a really stinky and moldy car is a bad idea from the olfactory perspective, but it is a red flag for many other issues as well. If the car smells musty, it is possible that it has actually suffered from flood damage. This is a very big issue and many insurance service providers simply write off all such vehicles. The water can easily damage almost every system in the vehicle, ranging from electrical to mechanical, Buy here pay here app all the way to the carpet and other upholstery. Ensuring that such a car is repair, breakdown, and smell free might cost more than what you paid for it in the first place.

5.      Mismatched Paint Spots

Having different accent walls in the bedroom is an aesthetically appealing idea. On a car, it will look very bad and it is also a red flag that the vehicle has been involved in multiple accidents and the dealership has tried to touch up the damage with fresh paint. It is possible to repair some types of accident damage but if the internals have been affected, the car will become a headache. Moreover, any seller that is trying to camouflage the damage instead of being open about it should be avoided at all costs, unless you want the car to wind up at the Ford auto repair center.

6.      Rust Issues

Yes, rusty fenders can be fixed as can almost anything else but here the question that you have to ask is whether it even makes sense  to fix excessive rust. The body panels can be replaced or repaired but it is a messy and expensive procedure. On the other hand, any rust on the frame of the vehicle means that the very foundations are rotting away. Imagine an engine block sitting on a rust-eaten foundation. It can easily become dislodged and the repairs will be very costly and time-consuming. Yes, small rusty patches are commonly found in used cars, but if it’s spread all over the car, just walk away.

There are several reasons for this such as the fact that rust has a nasty habit of returning even after it has been treated multiple times. Merely sanding it and dabbing on a fresh coat of paint is not enough. Look for bloated paint sports since they are a red flag that the dealer is trying to hide something.


In light of the above, we can safely state that buying a used car is not very difficult provided you know and understand all the red flags.

Author Bio:

Don has a decade in automotive service and customization in his CV, being a Ford Certified Technician. He enjoys spending time with his 3 kids, and working on his customized new Ford Explorer.