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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Ben

39 years of experience
1113 reviews
Ben
39 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Houston, Texas
Ben was professional and extremely thorough with the pre-purchase inspection. He was able to recognize and find issues that were not disclosed by the seller. His extremely thorough report allowed me to negotiate better after my findings and get a better deal. Ben was on time and friendly. He is very knowledgeable and was up front about everything. I would definitely recommend him if purchasing a new vehicle and will use him again if services are needed.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Spring, Texas
Ben was absolutely professional and right to the point. Ben pointed out discrepancies about my Lexus honestly... I definitely will call upon Ben if any work needs to be done to my Vehicles. An Awesome Mechanic..

Torrieanto

10 years of experience
473 reviews
Torrieanto
10 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Largo, Florida
Torrieanto did a fantastic job on a used car pre-purchase inspection. He was very thorough and took the time to explain the technical details and ramifications to me. He also gave me peace of mind with my purchase and a few negotiating points to further reduce the purchase price.
Lexus IS200t - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tampa, Florida
Went above and beyond. Really took his time and was very professional. Great customer service. Thank you!

Gus

15 years of experience
16 reviews
Gus
15 years of experience
Audi A6 Quattro - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Arlington Heights, Illinois
Gus was great! He talked with me before and after he did his inspection and was very informative. He walked me through what he checked and what he recommended to replace/service on the vehicle for optimal performance. I would definitely recommend him!
Chevrolet Camaro - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Elk Grove Village, Illinois
My experienced with Gus was great. He was very personable, friendly, knowledgeable, professional, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Jose

8 years of experience
2 reviews
Jose
8 years of experience
Hyundai Genesis Coupe - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Chicago, Illinois
Jose was right on time, listened to what I had to say about the car’s history. He did a thorough inspection on the car and pointed out the necessary adjustments for a healthier car. Would definitely need his services for the next project.

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