First time used car buyer


#1

Hi, I am wondering if it is advisable to buy a car that has been previously leased if it has had no accidents? Also, if I ask a dealer for a CarFax report on a car, and they give me a AutoCheck report, is that legitimate? One more question, if I want to buy a car from a dealer, can I ask to take it to get an independent inspection by a mechanic that I trust, or do I just have to rely on the dealer’s inspection? Am I supposed to take it to a mechanic after I buy it, if the dealer offers me some sort of a warranty on the car?


#2

There are lots of off-lease vehicles on the market. They are no better or worse than cars that were purchased by their owners.

Carfax and similar reports can be helpful, but you can’t count on them 100%. There can be plenty wrong with a car and it won’t show up on Carfax.

I suggest having any used car you’re interested in buying inspected by a mechanic you trust BEFORE you buy it.


#3

There is a long recent discussion in this forum on the pros and cons of buying a previously leased car. I suggest you search for it and read it. Lots of good info.

CarFax (and I assume AutoCheck) can only be trusted so far. If they say a car was involved in an accident, then you can believe it. If they make no mention of the car being in an accident, then you can’t believe it. In other words, you don’t know what it isn’t telling you.

If you buy a car from anyone (dealer or anyone else), you’d be foolish to not have your own mechanic inspect it. Very foolish. Don’t rely on the dealer’s inspection or warranty or word.


#4

My current vehicle, a 99 Civic coupe, was bought off lease back in 2001 with 46k miles on it. It now has just over 94.5k miles on it and is still going pretty good.
Like all used cars though, it all depends on how the previous owner treated it.
You can ask the salesman if you can take it to a mechanic. If they balk at that idea, thank them for their time and leave


#5

If they do not allow you to take the car for an independent review do not buy it. Surprising as it sounds I bought a pick up truck new with rebates and lower interest rate for a net savings over what I could have bought used at the same place!


#6

If you are looking at “off lease” cars for a bit more money you could be in a new car. Consider it, because deals on new cars are better at this moment than deals on used cars.

You can order a CarFax report yourself, all you need is the VIN # of the car and you will have to pay a small charge for the Carfax report. AutoCheck maybe as good or better than Carfax, but I’m not familiar with AutoCheck. These reports give some useful data, but they are not a complete history of any car.

Any reputable dealer should allow you to take the car to a mechanic of your choice for an inspection, as long as you are the one that pays the costs of that inspection. If the dealer refuses your request, then move on and look at other cars. Even if the dealer offers a warranty on the car take it to your mechanic for an inspection BEFORE you buy it.