According to the most recently available statistics from New York Daily News, nearly 16 million new and used cars are sold in the United States annually. For the most part, these vehicles are well worth Americans’ money. That said, too many Americans make the mistake of falling for extremely common scams at their new or second hand car dealers.
While the chances of your running into one of these less than honest new or used car dealers are extremely slim, you should know what to look for in order to protect your investment, your health, and the health of any people who will be riding in your car. Keep an eye out for these common warning signs of a clunker to do just that.
Warning Signs That You’re About to Invest in a Bad Car Sale
- The Vehicle Has a “Flood” or “Junk” Title
- The Car is Warm When You Go to Test Drive It
- It’s Cash or Nothing
As U.S. News and World Report details, one of the biggest mistakes shoppers make in car sales is forgetting to check out the title. The title history can reveal to you every little accident, every little repair, that the car has ever been through. Additionally, if the car has a flood or junk title, you know that you should not buy it, regardless of how well it seems to run on the lot. A flood or junk title is a guarantee that your investment isn’t going to go very far.
Everybody knows that taking a car for a test drive is a must before buying it. What not many people know is that if a dealer warms the car up before you drive it, they might not be doing it just to be nice. As the car enthusiast website Jalopnik details, unscrupulous dealers will often start the car and warm it up before you take your drive in order to hide mechanical defects. For example, you can’t exactly notice an issue with the starter if you’re not the one to start the vehicle, can you?
In private sales, cash is often the language of business; if you’re working with a professional car salesman, however, an insistence on cash payments might be a red flag. The reason is simple enough: cash can’t be traced, so if you hand over your money and your car dies, you’re going to have a really hard time trying to get your money back if it becomes a matter for the courts to decide.
Do you have a lot of experience buying new or pre owned cars? What are some of the scams you’ve fallen for? Share your unfortunate stories with us in the comments below. Find more.