WASHINGTON, DC -- Three out of four of us will let someone else take the financial hit when we buy a car. But, if you're not careful, buying used could mean buying someone else's problems.
Many of the complaints that come into our 2 Wants to Know Call For Action team are about that very issue. So here's a "heads up" about something that could save you money.
A Virginia used car lot sells a man a vehicle for $5000. By the time he fixed all that ailed it, he was out of $10,000. A Maryland woman buys a used car - and is told it would pass inspection. And, it might - if she spends thousands more to repair all the problems that surfaced once she drove it off the lot.
Auto Expert Jack Gillis says you CAN find a good set of wheels, BUT:
- You should avoid those "buy here, pay here" lots. Gillis says you should consider buying from a large, national chain. And, if you work out financing with your credit union or bank, Gillis says it will always be less expensive.
- Before you exchange any money, have an independent mechanic inspect the vehicle. Gillis says a legitimate shop will let you take that vehicle to an independent mechanic. And, if they won't allow that to happen, walk away.
- Watch out for flood impacted cars too. They can also end up on used car lots. Protect yourself by pulling up the padding in the trunk to look for moisture and look for discoloration on the door panels or inside the engine compartment.