Just like buying new or certified pre-owned, buying a used car can be an exciting experience. Finding that rare vintage gem or your ideal late-model car with low miles at a great price can feel like a big win. The opposite side of the spectrum is when the used car buying process is trouble from the beginning -- or that used car turns out to have costly issues down the road. Learn from the used car buying horror stories below: always do your research into the used car's history, make sure it is inspected by a professional and also consider shopping for a certified used car for added peace of mind.
A Nightmare from Day One
I purchased a used 2010 Volkswagen CC about a year ago with 70,000 miles. Clean carfax, no accidents. I did have the understanding Volkswagens are expensive to have worked on, but...the car has been a nightmare from day one. Just the last two months alone the has been in and out of the dealership five times. The intake manifold, all the fuel injectors, the fuel pump, fuel pump control module, carbon build up.
Just with the fuel system alone I truly don't believe all those parts I mentioned above failed. Every time I drive the car I now wonder am I going to arrive at my destination? Totally disgusted.
Talk About a Run of Bad Luck
A drunk driver recently pulled out in front of me and totaled my 1988 Camaro RS. A sad day. Then a week later the head gasket on my 2000 Land Rover Discovery 2 blew. So I take the insurance money and go buy a 2000 Honda Prelude with 100,000 miles on it. On the way home the tire falls off from studs snapping. $700 in repairs later, I get home. Only to find out a month down the road that the reason for my alignment issues is a bent frame. Beyond repair, I've tried. Now I'm stuck with a car that is never aligned and burns through tires in like three weeks. Any advice?
How about a certified used car next time around? With a certified pre-owned (CPO) car, you get a late-model and low mileage vehicle that has been certified by the manufacturer, has passed a rigorous inspection, repair and reconditioning process and comes backed with an extended factory warranty!
What's Your Car Buying Horror Story?
Help inform other used car buyers; share your worst car buying story in the comments below!