Used Car Cautions

Many people, particularly those wanting to drive a really nice car or wanting to appear successful are sometimes tempted to buy used luxury brand cars. If you don’t have a large savings account, or mechanical abilities to fix cars (or a good friend who does), never buy a used BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Land Rover, Audi, Saab, Porsche and Volvo or practically anything else from Europe.

These are great cars to drive but they will break down, and their repairs can cost you thousands. They may be made engineered better than many other cars, but once they clear the warranty, or go over 100,000 miles as many people’s cars have today, you will have costly repairs. More frequent repairs are not necessarily due to engineering, but quality control on parts suppliers, and other reasons. I have known, or talked to many low-income or ‘just okay financially’ people with broken down cars by the side of the road or beside me in the waiting room at the repair shop needing a $2,500 steering rack for their 5-year-old Audi, or a $1,500 strange gear shifter repair for the cool Saab convertible. If you have a lot of money to spare, or only drive it short distances to work, maybe buy that well maintained BMW convertible for the weekend jaunts to the country.

Lastly it has been my experience to also stay away from used VWs and Chryslers too. VW keeps rolling out new wonderful automobiles, highly rated by automotive magazines, but I hear all the time about their poor repair record. Last time I researched the Chrysler/Dodge name brand, they led the industry in recalls, and based on my friends and my parent’s experience with the two they have owned and maintained better than any car owner, and have low miles, although they are great cars, they seem to me to have needed a lot more repairs than my used import with 280,000 miles. I’ve known a few people who have had good luck with these brands, but they seem to be the exception, therefore before you buy any car, talk to a seasoned trusted mechanic, you know the one with gray hair, the look of wisdom in his eyes, and who seems to always have a red mechanics rag in his back pocket, they will tell you what cars from all makes to stay away from, and which one’s to consider.