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Lindapaeleman

If there is any way to buy a used car without fear?

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Yup, just take a couple of precautions:

  • Take it to a trusted repair shop to check the wear and tear of your car. Not only you will know the repair state of the car, but you will also find some red flags on it. Sometimes the mechanic will find a part that was replaced way before I should have been, which is a common sign that you had an odometer replaced or the car had been in an accident. A useful resource here: https://www.automoblog.net/2021/03/19/odometer-rollback-fraud/
  •  If you are buying an electric or hybrid car, pay close attention to battery age and health. Changing the batteries can cost you a lot of money. Useful answers here https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-reliable-way-to-check-the-health-capacity-of-a-used-EV-battery
  • Ask the seller to show you the original car title. Sometimes the car will have incomplete documents and you will end up in a bureaucratic hell with the government because of it.
  • Get the Vehicle History Report of your car online and see if it has been in any accidents before: easy to do as well https://www.autodetective.com/

Good luck and don't be scared, millions of people buy used cars and are happy with them for many years.

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On 2/26/2021 at 3:11 AM, Lindapaeleman said:

Let me know

Okay, let's take a closer look at this.  Why is there fear in the first place?  It's because you're placing yourself into a position where you might not just lose your money, but also someone else's money that you're obligated to pay back.  And - if it does happen, you're going to suffer a loss that might well be devastating.  Yes, who wouldn't be scared?  Maybe if your name is Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg it wouldn't be scary at all but for most average-income people, buying a car is a major investment.

I've heard it said that for the average person, food is the only thing in the budget that costs more than the car - even more than the house because it must be continually replaced.  If the car breaks or is destroyed before it can be paid for, then there's a loss that is devastating and it will likely take years of hard work and many rubles to recover.  If you have to buy a car, you're forced into taking a chance that you really don't enjoy taking.  You know you're going to lose.  You just don't know how much or how badly it's going to hurt until after you've committed.  That's why anyone with basic common sense has fear of signing the papers.  The seller has no mercy.  The lender has no mercy and the government regulators have no mercy.  There's nobody looking out for your tailfeathers - but you - and you'd better not foul this up!   Yes, that even scares ME and I ain't afraid of NUTHIN!

So the bottom line is the same as it is with any gambling venture...  don't risk more than you can afford to LOSE! 

I'll share a real-life story here.  (Consider:  "Finding out how that buck lost his antler can keep you from losing yours!") My friend, Gene, saw a car that he wanted very badly even though he wasn't in a position to make such an extravagant purchase.  He went to Household Finance and borrowed money to place a down payment - and then he signed the papers to buy the car on credit. 

Gene couldn't afford the insurance but the lender required a full-coverage policy to protect their company's interests.  So he bought a policy that could be paid on a monthly basis - at a much higher price.  His budget was stretched to the point that he could barely afford to fill the tank with petrol.  And then the worst thing happened.  He missed an insurance payment and then the car was wrecked beyond repair.  Insurance wouldn't pay off so Gene needed to buy another car.

He sought money from his family to help him buy a 'beater' and he discovered that his insurance rates had gone up considerably so he only bought liability and property damage insurance - on credit - and all the while he was making payments on the wrecked hulk of the luxury car that lay in the weeds of the back garden. 

You probably know several people just like Gene in your own experiences.  It's not an uncommon story.  You routinely read about people  who fake a car theft or they'll deliberately wreck the car for insurance in a desperate attempt to get out of the predicament that they've placed themselves into.  And THAT is why it is fearful to buy a car - unless your name is Gates or Zuckerberg.  The answer is - "Don't risk more money than you can afford to lose."

Xecho

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The fear that you are feeling is your common sense trying to protect you from a potential predator that can have dire consequences if you fail to heed. There’s a reason that car dealers share a reputation with scrupulous politicians, lawyers and outright shysters. They’re typically going to take you for a ride.

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Take for example the KIA that I bought just a couple of years ago from the local Kia dealership. It supposedly had considerable time left on the factory warranty but about a week after my purchase, I discovered that the dealer had removed the warranty book from the glove box.

As you should already know, the factory warranty is contingent upon performing the required periodic maintenance as mandated in the warranty book and failure to comply with those maintenance intervals will void the warranty. Since I could produce no record of any maintenance prior to my ownership of the vehicle – it was actually sold to me without a warranty because I had no way to persuade the dealer to provide the information.

I called the factory KIA representative to see if there was any online record of my vehicle’s VIN having a maintenance validation but after an exhausting all avenues of possibility, I had to conclude that I’d been ‘Taken’ once again.

The fact is that the dealer conducts many ‘deals’ every month and thereby knows all the shortcuts, loopholes and shady shyster’s ways of making the most for himself at every turn. You on the other hand, he sees as his next ‘mark’ and as an uninformed bumpkin, you’re like a typical visitor to the Midway at the county fair.

If you’ve got a friend who is savvy on the art of working the deal, by all means ask him to accompany you on your shopping trip or at the very least, try to learn as much as you can before you sign any papers that will obligate you and your family for the upcoming five years.

I don’t consider myself to be foolish or an idiot, but I’ve been taken a ride on almost every purchase that I’ve ever made with a car dealer. They’re usually pretty slick operators – and you’re not.

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Edited by Xecho

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  I've been HAD again!!!  Let me tell you the rest of the story - and the latest one...
 
The KIA that I bought from the KIA dealership still had considerable warranty time - but the dealer had taken the warranty book out of the car when he sold it to me and so that was voided because I couldn't produce any evidence that the car had been serviced prior to my purchase.
 
 
That KIA Rio (you may recall that I mentioned earlier) had an "Interference Engine" which means that it'll self-destruct if the timing belt breaks so I was a bit afraid of that happening.  KIA recommends replacing the timing belt at 60,000 miles so I had it replaced at 52,000 miles just to be safe.  Well, it broke anyway!
 
I'd just installed:
  • new battery
  • tires
  • wheel balance
  • brakes
  • rotors
  • front-end alignment
 and then the new belt broke and the pistons hit the exhaust valves and destroyed much of the engine... but I got it all rebuilt.  (The students in the Auto Mechanics shop at TCAT (Tennessee College of Applied Technology) did the rebuild - I supplied the parts.)

I was "Afraid" of that car doing it to me again so I traded it for a Ford Escape Eco-Boost with 49,000 miles on it at the local Ford Dealer.  (Factory warranty is 50,000) but I've learned not to rely upon a used car warranty anyway.)

I decided to buy the dealer's "Car-DOC" maintenance plan and then I went elsewhere and purchased an "extended warranty" that cost me $2,000 - lump sum - up front, that covers only the drive train.

My Ford Escape now has a little over 58,000 miles on it.  (I've driven it about 9,000 miles since purchase.)  Three days ago my "CHECK ENGINE" light came on and guess what?  They told me, "You're going to need to find another way home."  Engine coolant has leaked into one of the cylinder's combustion chambers and has eaten up the walls of the cylinder - which has destroyed the engine block!  The cost to repair? - - - $7,860 !!!  NO FACTORY WARRANTY!!!

So I'm paying $300 a month for a car with a destroyed engine and I still need to keep up insurance for the next 4 years!  WHY would anybody be SCARED about buying a CAR?
 

The mechanic at Ford said another guy had the same problem as me last week and that the Ford Escapes are prone to this problem and that I shouldn't have bought an Escape!  And not to buy ANOTHER one!!!

Well....  there is a little light at the end of this tunnel...  That extended warranty that I decided to buy for $2,000 ???  The Ford dealer contacted them with a repair claim and they have agreed to pay for a brand-new engine.  That's ALL that has saved my bacon!  I'm still on the hook for $100 (deductible) and for the sales tax of $586 but at least my car will be running.

The new engine has been ordered and it has a warranty of 2 years or 24,000 miles.  So should I trade it for something else?
 
Incidentally, that Car-DOC maintenance plan that I bought from Ford includes the use of a courtesy car in the event that my car repair is delayed.  They didn't offer me a ride home from the dealership!  I had to call a neighbor to come and get me and to bring me home.
 
Then, in talking to the service department and was waiting on HOLD - their advertisement on the Car-DOC plan played over the phone and told me about the courtesy car.  So I arranged to have a friend drive me back to the dealership to pick one up.
 
Oh, and that OTHER guy that had the same problem last week?  He hadn't bought a supplemental warranty so he's out'ta LUCK!
Even with a new engine, I'm reluctant to KEEP it.  And I'm scared to go to the next CAR DEALER to do it all again!  I wonder if I could get by with a bicycle?

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