If you’re a college or high school student looking for a first car, you’re understandably excited, and you’re probably on a tight budget. Be sure that your excitement doesn’t lead to a hasty choice based on appearances. That old piece of junk that you’ve seen parked for months might still be a viable option. In fact, with a little work, an old clunker can be transformed with minor bodywork and some serious tender loving care.
If you’re searching for a car on Craigslist, eBay or other sites, scrutinize listings before making any commitments. Remember the rule about judging books by their covers. If a car is running great and has been treated with care, try to overlook cosmetic flaws. You can always restore the exterior and upholstery. Look for cars with relatively low mileage for their age, records showing routine maintenance and a clean CarFax.
When Life Gives You Lemons, Don’t Accept Them
Sometimes a car looks great but might actually be a mechanical disaster that’s not worth the investment. Here are a few red flags you’ll want to avoid while searching for a car either in person or online.
- No service records to help you determine if the car has been properly maintained.
- A problem history that includes frame damage, odometer tampering or title discrepancies
- Obvious mechanical problems
- Questionable noises or odors when the vehicle is in operation
- Signs of severe previous body damage
Don’t Buy a Car Blind: Quanz Auto Body Can Help
Before making your final decision to buy, bring the car to a trusted mechanic shop like Quanz Auto Body for a thorough checkup. Besides ensuring that your new car gets the best possible mechanical repair, Quanz can help repair exterior bodywork, so your new car will no longer look or run like an embarrassing old clunker.