Buying a used car

Tom & Ray recommend taking a used car to a mechanic before buying. What about a new car dealer who is selling a certified used car?

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a used car independently evaluated before purchasing it.

In addition, I would suggest that you AVOID buying any used car that does not come with full maintenance records.

For instance–Do you really want to be the one to pay the price for either installation of a timing belt and related parts OR for an engine that was essentially destroyed by failure of an over-aged timing belt?

Would you prefer a car whose oil was changed every 4k-5k miles over one whose oil was changed…maybe every 10k miles?

You would be far better-off financially if you buy a car that is absolutely up-to-date with its maintenance. Without maintenance records, you could be buying the proverbial Pig in a Poke.

I disagree with the others. If you want to pay extra to get a certified pre-owned car, then you don’t have to get it evaluated by a mechanic. It already was evaluated by the dealer’s mechanics. You get a warranty and a big checklist of items evaluated. This comment pertains to factory certified cars. If Subaru is not the guarantor, I’d pass.

If the car is being certified andbacked by the car maker(Subaru?) then no need to worry a lot about a mechanic check.

If the dealership is backing the “certification” I would be weary and maybe go for a mechanic check.

Warranty or not, you should always invest your time before you invest your $. My mechanic didn’t charge me anything to put the car up in the air and test drive it, before I purchased the car. The cost of not having a car checked out almost definitely outweighs the cost (if any cost) of having it checked out.

And that’s where you have to be very careful. Some less-than-reputable dealers will try to make you think the factory is certifying it. And then when something breaks you discover the dealer “certified” it and now you’re not covered.