If you’re in the car market you are generally looking for what car to buy. Whether you are reading consumer reports, or doing research on the internet of the “top best models for..”, you are always looking for the one to buy. But what if I told you that you could improve your vehicle buying experience by focusing on the cars you should not buy? Let me break it down for you on the cars you should NOT buy.
Vehicles that are far, far away from you
I’m always blown away how far people will go to purchase a vehicle and save a couple hundred dollars. You aren’t really saving any money when you factor in travel and time, and generally you probably aren’t getting a better vehicle. Unless you are looking for something unique or exotic, just buy the one closer to you.
Extensively modified vehicles
There are probably a handful of situations where I would recommend an extensively modified vehicle to a buyer. Generally, these are vehicles you want to avoid, especially if you are in the market for anything mass produced and definitely if you need something that is day to day transportation. Extensively modified vehicle have had things altered, well, extensively. This can cause issues when you are doing maintenance or trying to repair other issues, making it a challenge to even properly diagnose them. Also remember, most manufacturers will void warranties for vehicles modified.
Cars without service history or very limited history
I am always shocked when I hear of people buying a vehicle with no history, especially with no service history. I don’t care how good your prepurchase vehicle inspection is, it’s simply not worth buying one of these cars. For starters, if it’s still under warranty, good luck getting anything fixed under that warranty with no service history. Manufacturers will need to see that there wasn’t neglect on the owner’s part by viewing that maintenance was followed as directed but without service history you won’t be able to show this. If it’s past the warranty period, you are probably going to be entering some sort of repairs or more expensive maintenance, but you’ll have a hard time knowing what has been done and what needs to be done without the service history.
Extremely low mileage vehicles
But I thought it was a good thing if the miles are low?! Well, it can be but most times low miles are deceiving. The biggest issue with low mile cars, especially older low mile cars, is that it means they have been sitting for long periods of time. You’ll have to consider issues such as rust, gaskets and seals drying and rotting, and tires degrading.
Cars with unknown issues
Every once in a while you’ll see an ad for a vehicle that appears to be an unbelievable deal. Or maybe you’ll take a car for a test drive and fall in love with it but find it has an annoying knock or makes an unusual noise that the seller has no idea about. You might think it’s a good idea to still buy one of these, even after the mechanic does the prepurchase inspection and tells you they have no idea what the issue is, but I’ll tell you now do not do it.
Happy car shopping!