With the cost of the average new vehicle soaring above $20,000, it often makes sense to purchase a used or “pre-owned” later model vehicle. But how can you tell if that used vehicle has been in an accident or had other major repairs? Take the time to inspect the vehicle closely and beware if you find any of the following red flags!
- Paint color differences between adjacent panels indicate repair or replacement of those panels.
- Unevenly worn tires may indicate an out-of-alignment situation due to damage to the vehicle and/or improper repairs.
- A variation in gap sizes between exterior body panels may be a sign of sloppy repair work.
- Doors, hoods, and trunk lids that don’t open and close smoothly or require a lot of effort to latch could signify that they are not original to the vehicle.
- Small hash marks on the sill areas underneath the doors are a sign that the vehicle has been clamped onto a frame straightening piece of equipment.
- ID decals, VIN tags, and emission labels are affixed at the factory to various points on the vehicle. If these items are missing, it’s an indication that some parts have been replaced.
While many of the above warning signs are easy to spot, others can be well hidden or camouflaged. City Auto Body Centers provide a very valuable service to our customers. We’ll inspect the used vehicle that you are considering for purchase and identify any prior collision repairs, frame or unibody damage, or other structural defects. There is NO FEE for this service and it is well worth the peace of mind it provides about the history of the vehicle–and whether or not this particular used vehicle would be a good choice for your family.