The second-hand car market can be a treacherous place if you lack inexperience and have a tendency to think the best of everyone.
Anyone selling a used car wants to get as much for it as possible. If there are multiple people involved, the options for profit become slimmer. So when a dealer tries to sell you a car, be aware they will try to inflate its value to maximize their profit.
Some of the ways they do this are totally legal. Often they are not that difficult either. They just do the things the previous owner could have done but could not be bothered to do. For example:
- Repairing the dents
- Sticking a loose door handle down with glue
- Giving the inside of the car a thorough clean
- Cleaning the oil off the engine
- Touching up scratches and polishing the paintwork
If you get the car home and realize the door handle comes off in your hand or the door panel has filler, you cannot take the vehicle back and complain. Those are things the law expects you to look out for or pay someone knowledgeable to discover for you.
Some secrets may give you a right to return your purchase
Some dealers use other illicit tactics to make the car more attractive. For instance:
- They reduce the mileage by spinning back the odometer
- They fail to reveal the vehicle was flood-damaged or salvaged
- They create fraudulent documents for the car
If you are unhappy with a recently purchased used car, seek help to understand if you have a legal basis to bring a claim against the dealer.