Did you know that 1 in 4 used cars on the road today have altered odometers? 1 in 15 used cars have been rebuilt from salvage? And 90% of used vehicles have maintenance items not performed. To reduce the risk of buying a used vehicle with existing problems and previous accident damages, you should follow the 3 simple steps listed below.
But first, some general information:
No matter where you buy a used car, either from a dealer or individual, and no matter what kind of used car you buy, young, old, or a certified pre-owned, the buyer must determine the TRUE condition before purchase. A good looking used car can cost you thousands in repairs and be structurally unsound.
Regardless of what the seller or salesperson tells you about the vehicle, it is your responsibility to determine the true condition before purchase. Any oral statements made by the salesperson or seller, about the condition of the vehicle, are not enforceable in a court of law. And remember, there is no Used Car Lemon Law in Texas.
A Carfax report is NOT a pre-purchase inspection. No history report can tell you the current condition on ANY component or system, and most accidents will not show up on a Carfax report.
Step 1) Take it for a test drive.
After you have found a vehicle, take it for a test drive for at least 10 minutes and determine you like the vehicle cosmetically. This is your opportunity detect any obvious problems that would eliminate it from consideration.
BE AWARE! Many salespeople and sellers may pressure you to buy the car after the test drive. Just because a car runs well during a test drive DOES NOT mean it doesn't have existing, hidden or potential problems or accident damage.
Step 2) Negotiate your best deal.
Ask your loan officer, or go online for pricing information about the vehicle. The prices listed in these "Buying Guides" are for vehicles in good condition with no repairs needed and have never been in an accident. Your initial negotiated price assumes that the vehicle is in good mechanical condition and never been wrecked. Make your negotiated price contingent upon a pre-purchase inspection.
BE AWARE! Many salespeople and sellers may pressure you to buy the car after you negotiate a price. However, you can't negotiate your best deal unless you know the TRUE condition of the vehicle.
Step 3) Get a Professional Unbiased Pre-Purchase Inspection.
There are no qualification standards for Technicians that perform pre-purchase inspections. Only an inspection from an ASE Certified Master Technician and Frame Specialist is able to give you a complete inspection. Auto P. I. performs a 600-Point mechanical, electrical, frame inspection, and Texas title search. Auto P. I. will document any needed repairs, problems, or accident damage discovered by the inspection.
After the inspection, your first negotiated price can now be re-negotiated for problems discovered by the inspection based. The dollar amount to fix these problems, should be either deducted from the original negotiated price or fixed by the seller before purchase.
**CAUTION** Getting your vehicle repaired. Repair facilities make more money when they suggest and make repairs. If you take your vehicle to a repair facility, and they want to fix or replace items NOT on our report, STOP. Call us first before authorizing any additional repairs. If questionable, we will re-look at any item(s) to determine actual condition.