Is your used car safe? A new study has found that about one out of every six (16%) used cars offered for sale has an accident on its record.
Not only does an accident history decrease the value of a car, but it can also compromise your safety in the event of a car accident.
The study looked at the vehicle history of about two million used car listings posted by both individuals and dealers. The reports did not distinguish between major and minor car crashes. While 16 percent of all used cars had an accident history, only eight percent of recent models (2009-2011) had been in a car crash.
The study also found that one out of every five (22%) of cars listed was a former fleet vehicle, a vehicle owned or leased by a business or government agency rather than by a family or individual. These are often owned by rental car companies that have high vehicle turnover.
Fleet vehicles are twice as likely to have an accident history as individually-owned cars. They are used by many drivers and may not receive regular maintenance. Fleet vehicles that are sold at auction have been found to have inaccurate odometers. In some cases, the mileage was turned back to get a better price.
If you are planning to buy a used car, do your research. If there was an accident in the vehicle’s history, you should know about it. A previous accident should lower the asking price of the vehicle by as much as 12 percent. Used car history reports are available through CarFax and cost about $40. They not only report on prior accidents, but also list recalls, maintenance issues and odometer problems.
One more tip from our Dallas car accident attorneys: have a trusted mechanic take a look at the car before you buy. Improper repairs, especially to the airbag, can put your life at risk if you are ever involved in a Dallas car crash. It will cost a little extra, but your safety is well worth the price.
If your car’s safety systems fail in an accident, contact a Dallas car accident lawyer. You may have a claim against the car dealership that sold you your used car. To learn more, contact Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313.