New vehicles can be prohibitively expensive, so many people buy secondhand cars in a bid to save money. However, purchasing a used vehicle comes with certain risks – namely, a defect could compromise its safety.
If you buy a used model, there are steps that you should take to ensure the vehicle is safe. These include:
- Evaluating the vehicle’s accident history report;
- Checking for vehicle recalls;
- Inspecting the vehicle thoroughly;
- Evaluating its paperwork;
- And checking safety ratings.
No matter how safe your vehicle is, though, nobody is immune to accidents. If you were injured in a crash that another driver caused, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC. A Cedar Rapids personal-injury lawyer can assess your case to determine if you may have a legitimate claim.
Call 319-393-1020 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also visit http://accident.usattorneys.com/iowa/ to learn more about injury lawsuits in Iowa.
Here are five tips to keep in mind when shopping for a used vehicle:
1. Evaluate the Vehicle’s Accident History Report
According to the Office of the Attorney General, you should purchase a used vehicle’s accident history report before buying it. This is true whether you buy from a dealer or private party.
You can search for an accident history report by the vehicle’s identification number. There are several websites that sell these reports including CarFax.com and AutoCheck.com.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, these records contain essential information that should influence your decision to purchase – or not to purchase – a vehicle. Important data include:
- Accident indicators;
- Odometer readings;
- History of repairs and services;
- And recall information.
2. Check for Vehicle Recalls
Auto manufacturers sometimes recall vehicles due to safety concerns or defects. If the owner sells before fixing the problem, then the buyer could suffer the consequences.
If you purchase a used vehicle, make sure it is not on the recall list. You can determine this by visiting the website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or by calling 1-800-424-9393.
3. Inspect the Vehicle
It is important to inspect any vehicle thoroughly. Unless you are a certified mechanic, you should take the car to a professional for a full evaluation.
A mechanic will determine if the vehicle has defects and how much they will cost to fix. This not only can help you avoid buying a dangerous car but can also save you money in the long-run.
4. Be Wary of Missing Paperwork
Make sure the vehicle’s license plate matches its registration. Also, evaluate the car’s service history. Request all records of maintenance and repairs, and be cautious if the owner cannot provide them.
5. Check Safety Ratings
It is important to choose a vehicle with a high safety rating. You can find these ratings on the NHTSA website.
If you sustained injuries in a crash with a negligent driver, contact the Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, PLC. A Cedar Rapids personal-injury attorney can help you avoid mistakes such as accepting a low settlement offer. Call 319-393-1020 to schedule a free consultation.