Advice from an accident lawyer on how to find a safe used car.
Will you be buying a new car in the New Year? If you are like many Americans, you may be considering a used vehicle. In 2011, more than 12.5 used vehicles were sold. Many of these cars were excellent deals. The lower price allowed many buyers to get nicer and safer cars than if they were buying new. But some of these cars were dangerous. Second-hand cars come with no guarantees of safety. In fact, many used vehicles have safety defects that have been subject to recall. How do you make sure a used car is safe before you buy?
The Dallas accident lawyers at the Rasansky Law Firm have compiled this list of used-car buying tips in this used car buying guide:
- Check the vehicle’s safety ratings on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Website and at safercar.gov.
- Use Recalls.gov to check whether that model of car has been recalled.
- Order a CARFAX report for the vehicle that you are considering. A report for one car costs $34.99; if you are considering several vehicles, you can get five reports for $44.99 or unlimited reports for $54.99. A CARFAX report will provide information about:
- Any prior accidents, including whether the airbags have ever been deployed and whether the car has been salvaged, junked, or declared a total loss
- Whether the car was part of a fleet or used for commercial purposes
- Flood or hail damage
- Odometer rollbacks.
- Look for evidence of odometer rollback. Evidence may include:
- Odometer numbers that don’t line up
- Marks on the odometer
- Fewer miles on the odometer than are written on inspection stickers or in the CARFAX report.
- If there is less than 25,000 miles on the odometer, check that the vehicle has its original tires. The tires should be the same brand and have equal amounts of wear.
- Make sure that the tires are in good condition, have plenty of tread, and no bulges or signs of uneven wear.
- Look under the hood and under the vehicle for rust and other signs of damage.
- Ask if the car has been in an accident. Look for signs of an accident, including parts that don’t match.
- Take a test drive and check the brakes, seat belts, steering, horn, lights, defrosters, wipers, heating, and air conditioning to make sure that everything works correctly.
- Ask the seller for a copy of the car’s maintenance record.
- Take the car to a trusted mechanic. Your mechanic can make sure the vehicle is in good working order and let you know of potential problems. He can also look for signs of neglect, wear, prior accidents, and substandard repairs.
- Check that the car has working airbags. Since airbags are a high-theft item, ask your mechanic to make sure that the airbag is still in place.
The Rasansky Law Firm represents those injured in Texas car accidents. If you or your loved one has been injured in a Dallas car accident, contact the Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313 and ask to schedule a free consultation.
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