Whether you’re buying a used car for your teenager or are buying a previously-owned car to enjoy summer in Florida this year, you’ll need to use a few extra precautions to stay safe on the roads. Used cars can be quite safe, but they don’t always come with the same warranties and safety features as newer vehicles.
New vehicles sold by dealers generally have the latest safety equipment and are required to meet current guidelines for safety. In the event of a recall, dealers will contact their clients to tell them about the issue. If there ever is a mechanical problem with your car, you can generally bring it back to the dealership for assistance. With used cars, you simply may not have all these benefits.
You can still buy a safe used car, but you will need to:
1) Go with a more recent used car.
Cars more than ten years old may not have current standards of airbags or other safety features. Very old vintage cars may not even have seat belts!
2) Always have a mechanic give you a professional evaluation.
Never buy a previously-used car without having a mechanic check it out. A qualified mechanic can tell you whether there is any problem that will seriously impact the car’s safety.
3) Always check the background of the car.
Using the car’s VIN, you can usually find out whether the car has been in a serious accident or other situation that can severely affect its safety. A car that has been in a serious accident and has been rebuilt, for example, may end up having more problems when compared with a car without any accident on record.
4) Explore all your options.
Some car makers offer certified used cars. These come with some assurances of safety and performance. They may cost a little more, but they are usually solid vehicles with safety features.
5) Do your research.
Before you look at cars, read up about models and makes. Which ones interest you? What safety ratings do they get? What are the known problems? Are the cars you’re interested affected by recalls? This is important information to know, since you;ll want to confirm whether a recalled part has been replaced in a car you’re buying. You don’t want to drive a car with defective parts.
6) Go look at cars with a friend in the know.
If you have friend who understands cars, works with them, or has extensive experience buying cars, have them tag along when you’re test driving used cars. Your friend can offer a second opinion. In addition, if you’re buying from individual sellers, it can be safer to visit sellers when you’re not alone.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a used car you believe may have been defective, you may have a claim against the seller or against the manufacturer. Depending on the specifics of the collision, you may also have a claim against the at-fault driver in the collision. To find out whether you have a claim, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.