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Red Flags to Watch Out for When Buying a Used Car

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What to Look for When Buying a Used Vehicle


Buying a used vehicle is a smart financial decision. You typically get a car for less money than buying new but can enjoy the vehicle for several more years – depending on the conditions of the vehicle. After all, used cars have histories. While most used vehicles are fine, there are a number of issues used cars can have that making buying them a waste of your hard-earned cash. Luckily, there are some pretty clear signs of when you should walk away from a used car.


  • Rust – While some rust is normal on an older model, too much rust can be a sign that the vehicle is damaged. Rust on the frame means that the very bedrock of the car is rotting away.
  • Discolored paint – If the vehicle just got a paint job or has different colored paint throughout the exterior, then something could be covered up. This could indicate that the vehicle has been involved in an accident and the owner has not taken it to an authorized repair shop.
  • Warning lights – Sometimes, dashboard lights can come on because of a bad sensor or because we didn’t tighten the gas cap enough. However, if the used vehicle has several warning lights, a trusty inspection from an independent mechanic can tell you if those lights are something to be concerned about.
  • A very low price – Although it’s great to grab a deal, you may want to pause and wonder why the car is priced below its Fair Market value. More often than not, a super low price on a used car indicates that the seller wants to unload it quickly and is hoping you will be blind to any issues. 
  • Bad or no title – Never purchase a vehicle that doesn’t include a title. Also beware of fake or improper titles.


These tips can help you when looking for you’re a used vehicle. To help keep your journey safe and protected, Hoffman Brown Company can help secure reliable auto insuranceContact us today to get started on your tailored policy!