If you are in the market for a car, there’s a good chance you are not going to be the first owner. Unless you are buying directly from the manufacturer, you are going to have to navigate the world of private sales. With this, there is always a risk that someone is going to try and take you for a ride.
Fixing a car to look good cosmetically can be pretty easy, but it’s certainly not the same as doing a proper repair. And if a car has been in an accident, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed well so that it is safe and long-lasting. The problem is when you are not told the whole story.
If, as a buyer, you don’t know what you are looking, it’s easy to believe that the vehicle has never been in an accident, especially if that’s what the seller is saying.
But there are a few telltale signs that are dead giveaways that a car has been in an accident. If you are buying a vehicle, here’s what to watch for.
4 Tips To Check If a Car Has Been in an Accident
One of the worst giveaways is an area of the vehicle that has been repainted. It will be subtle so it’s important to view the car in outdoor natural lighting. Buyer beware of the seller wants you to come to a poorly lit parking garage. Insist that you inspect the car outside and take a close look at the car from every angle to see if any sections are a slightly different colour.
Remains of the Paint
There are other signs that a car has been cosmetically touched up and repainted. Look for remnants of paint drips, for example. Another sign is that non-factory paint will have a slightly bumpy texture to it, similar to an orange peel. You might have to squat, press your cheek against the panel and squint down the length of the car to notice if, but it’s this kind of detailed examination that will pay off for you in the end.
Look for Misalignment
If the car has never been in an accident, all the doors, windows, and panels should line up perfectly. Any kind of damage to the frame has the potential to push things off centre. Run your finger along any joining parts and if it feels like a bigger gap than it should be, alarm bells should be going off in your head.
Finally, request the vehicle’s CARFAX report. This will tell you if the car has recorded accident, if there is money owed on it, and if there has been any safety recalls on this make and model.
If a deal with a car seems too good to be true, it probably is. And the more you know, the better you are protecting yourself and your hard earned money. Never feel like you are asking too much information or being too critical. If you are in Vancouver, you can also bring it in for a pre-purchase inspection.
This is an important purchase and you don’t want to end up in an auto body shop fixing problems you didn’t know existed. If you do, however, we welcome you to come down to Grandcity Autobody Shop where you can rest assured that you are going to get fair and honest service.