What Are the Most Commonly Overlooked Issues When Buying a Used Car?

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When buying a used car, having an in-depth inspection of the vehicle is the best way to approach this type of purchase. If a professional is not present, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint every single thing wrong with the vehicle you are trying to purchase.

Here are some common overlooked issues when buying a used car:

  1. Keys, locks, remote controls, and other accessories: Make sure the seller is providing you with all necessary keys, key fobs, and remotes that go with the vehicle. For instance, if the car has wheel locks, make sure the seller provides you with the proper wheel lock key or socket. Also make sure the car comes with the owner’s manual, any extended warranty documents and service records, as well as a spare tire, jack, and tools.

  2. Verify that the pink slip gives you clear title: Make sure that there are no liens against the car – in other words, that no bank or other party still holds an interest in the vehicle. On the pink slip, you will see the owner’s name and any lien holders listed. “Lien holders” should either be blank or any holders will have signed off as “lien-satisfied.” Simply make sure that all owners have signed off on the car before going through with a purchase.

  3. Understand a salvage title: A vehicle pink slip may list a vehicle as having a salvage title. What this means is that at one time in the car's life, an insurance company recorded the vehicle as totaled, indicating that the car has been in a major accident with repair costs higher than the vehicle’s value. Buyer beware: some of these salvage vehicles may have extensive problems, have voided warranties, and/or not be eligible for comprehensive auto insurance. If you need further information about the difference between clean and salvaged titles, consider exploring the What is the Difference Between a Clean Title and a Salvage Title article.

If you're considering buying a used car, it's a good idea to get it thoroughly inspected. Contact YourMechanic about our 150 point pre-purchase car inspection. One of our certified mobile mechanics will take a close look and give you a detailed report on its condition. It's a great way to feel assured and confident about your purchase.


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Jason

14 years of experience
116 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
I recommend Jason. I know little about cars and needed him to check out a car for me. Jason did a pre purchase car inspection for me. He explained what looked good and what looked to be of concern about the car. If it was a concern, he explained what needed to be done to get the car in good shape before the purchase. He had all the equipment to check out the car. I would book him again for any other services as he knows what he's doing and is friendly.
Kia Rio - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Brooklyn, New York
Jason did a thorough job inspecting a car I was considering buying and answered all my questions after the inspection

Willie

23 years of experience
38 reviews
Willie
23 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Cerritos, California
Williec was definitely professional.and I would use his services again.He is very honest and was very thorough with inspecting the vehicle I purchased.Thank you Willie.
Mitsubishi 3000GT - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Long Beach, California
Mechanic was professional and knowledgeable about cars. His recommendation was excellent and appreciated. I would definitely recommend this mechanic to others.

Attila

18 years of experience
566 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Volvo XC70 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Plainfield, New Jersey
Attila was very throughrout with the inspection of the car and confirmed my suspicions about the breaks
Volkswagen Jetta - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, New Jersey
Mr. Attila is very knowledgeable about cars and he gave me good advice for future reference. Very kind and nice!

MICHAEL

32 years of experience
164 reviews
MICHAEL
32 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
Michael was enjoyable to talk to. He gave me an honest, non-bias opinion of the vehicle I was considering buying. I was an out of state buyer, so having someone to rely on was important. I loved the pictures and the audio he included in his report, it was through. He pointed out a few things the dealer failed to bring up. Because of him I am deciding to move forward with the "deal"

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