MILWAUKEE -- Car mechanics are reminding drivers who may be purchasing a used car for their summer road trip to do their research before they drive off in their new ride.
Riverside Automotive owner Peter Bilgo says people neglect to do this way too often.
"We had a gentleman that came in last week. He had a car that he spent $1,000 dollars on. He didn't take it anywhere to have it checked and it needed $2,500 dollars worth of work," said Bilgo.
It's without question that you should test drive the car. However, not every one remembers that fact. Having purchased a used car himself, Mark McNally says he's learned the hard way how important it is to take the car out for a spin.
"I bought a used car,” said McNally. “I didn't really, I didn't drive it. He started it up. I paid for it. I drove off and the shocks were shot!"
To avoid paying nearly double the cost of the car is simple enough sometimes, explains Bilgo. It's best to:
- Research online to a website like Kelly Blue Book to learn the car's worth
- Read the dealership's disclosure statement located on the car's pre-purchase inspection or have a list of questions about the car's history
- Make the sale of the car contingent on a mechanic's approval.
Riverside Automotive mechanic Greg Piquette says any good mechanic will look that car over from top to bottom, searching for any and everything that is or could be come a problem.
"You can see that we have some pinhole leaks starting. This would be about a thousand dollar repair just to fix that, " said Piquette
Bilgo and Piquette agree that less than 3% of used cars are perfectly fine. Buying a thousand dollar vehicle, there's a good chance it'll cost at least a thousand in repairs. So looking it over, as well as, having it checked by a professional might be a good idea. Check everything from the locks and seat belts, to a scan of the car's electrical make-up.
Piquette says the aim for a used car should be that the vehicle will pass an emissions test in the state of Wisconsin. Granted the goal for a used car: spend as little money possible. But in the long run, by covering your bases, you save time and money from buying a lemon.