Buying a used car is great when on a budget but it’s far too common for scammers to try and sell a used car for cheap. It’s painful for you to discover that you wasted money on a lemon or that a previous accident makes the car worth a lot less than advertised.
So here are some quick tips on how to tell if a car has been in a crash before.
First, you’re going to want to check the paint job on the vehicle. Park the car in a brightly lit area and try and find any unevenness in the paint. Get down so that you’re eye level with the body of the car. If the paint doesn’t look smooth the car probably had some cheap and quick repair work done.
You’re also going to want to see if the colour on all the panels perfectly match. Otherwise it’s clear that something was replaced at some point in the car’s life.
Continuing with the car panels, it’s possible that a repair shop could have had a colour match. But it’s much more difficult to get the panels to align perfectly. Just like with inspecting the paint, make sure you’re eye level when checking panel alignment. Get up close and double check to ensure that everything from the doors to the bonnet are flush with each other. if the gaps between panels don’t appear even and straight that’s another sign of repair work.
If you’re buying an older used car it would make sense that the headlights are older too. As headlights age they turn yellow and hazy so if the used car you’re looking at has headlights of differing tints at least one of them has been replaced.
Don’t forget to check the alignment of the headlights too. I also recommend popping the bonnet open to check the headlights from behind for any hints of damage.
Remember that if anything about a used car you’re about to purchase seems suspicious, don’t buy it. No matter how good the deal may seem says Melbourne’s David Deicke.