Make Sure Your Used Car is Really a Good Deal

Make Sure Your Used Car is Really a Good Deal

Avoid a lemon with these simple tips


Buying a used car is often touted as a great way to save money. But that's only true if you don't get a lemon.

If you get the wrong used car, you can spend far, far more in repairs than you ever expected. Here are some ways to avoid a lemon – and really enjoy your great deal!

See if a Warranty is Available

Some used cars are sold "as is," but others have limited warranties. If a warranty is available, research it carefully so you know what's covered and what's not.

A warranty can give you a lot of peace of mind regarding future breakdowns and repairs. Of course, that's not something you can rely on alone – you need to take other steps as well.

Test Drive the Car – Quietly

When you test drive a car, you can get a good sense of how it rides. However, it's also important to listen. And that means being quiet during the drive.

Odd knocking? Squealing belts on starting? Rattling during driving? You need to hear it all.

So don't have the radio on during a test drive – although make sure it works – and don't talk too much during the trip. Just relax, feel, and listen.

Look the Car Over

Check the car inside and out. In the engine, things should be pretty grease-free with no sign of corrosion. Watch out for wet spots, which may indicate leaking, along with melted wires and blackened tubes, which may be a sign of a previous fire.

You should also look for obvious condition issues in the interior and exterior. Dents, scratches, rust, tears in upholstery, and missing knobs are all red flags. You may not think they are a big deal, but they are an indication that the car hasn't been cared for overall.

Have a Mechanic Check it Out

Finally, take the car to an independent mechanic to have it looked over. If you have a mechanic you know, that's a good start. If not, ask your mechanic to suggest someone in the area.

It's important not to have the seller "check it out" for you, or go to someone they suggest. Unfortunately, the world is a crazy place, and you can't trust everyone.

You may have to pay a fee for the look over, but it's a small price to pay for knowing whether you're buying a used car that's good or a lemon.

Buyer Beware – But You Can Get a Great Deal!

If you've done your due diligence, you can buy a used car with confidence. It's a great way to save money and have a reliable vehicle that will last several years!

Popular Right Now

Freshman Year Of College As Described By John Mulaney Quotes

Freshman year of college described by the King of Comedy himself, John Mulaney.


Gracing the world with his presence on August 26, 1982, John Edmund Mulaney has taken the world by storm through his extremely relatable, at times awkward, standup comedy. And a lot of the time, I can't help but sit there and relate to his self-deprecating, hilariously truthful jokes.

So, here are 9 John Mulaney quotes that accurately and hilariously describe freshman year of college.

1. On finally becoming an "adult":


It's been very funny to try to act like an adult. Even getting dressed. Every day, I'm like, 'Should I wear a blazer and walk around with an umbrella? Do I carry a briefcase?' Because I'm trying to be some image of the adults I saw on TV growing up.

2. On new-found struggles:


I am very small and I have no money. So you can imagine the kind of stress that I am under.

3. When your very first round of midterms comes along:


I like when things are crazy. Something good comes out of exhaustion.

4. When you take your very first midterm, and it didn't go quite as planned:


If it's one of those true or false questions, you should be able to add a third option which is, "Who's to say?"

5. On studying for your first round of dreaded final exams:


You can do good work simply staying up all night and eating nothing but junk food, but probably not in the long term.

6. On learning how to participate:


College is just your opinion. Just you raising your hand and being like, "I think Emily Dickinson's a lesbian." And they're like, "Partial credit." And that's a whole thing.

7. On procrastination:


Percentage wise, it is 100% easier not to do things than to do them, and so much fun not to do them—especially when you were supposed to do them. In terms of instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin.

8. On dealing with your new lack of sleep:


College [is] like a four-year game show called "Do My Friends Hate Me or Do I Just Need To Go To Sleep?"

9. On finally getting the hang of things, despite still occasionally messing up:


The more you do stuff, the better you get at dealing with how you still fail at it a lot of the time.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

How to Fail in Business – When You’re Really Trying

You can try so hard - and mess it all up. Learn how not to!


I've been working my business full-time for almost four years. Despite my hard work, my business very nearly failed.

I made a lot of mistakes that lead to this. I want to share those with you, so that you can learn from what I did – and have better success than my business has had.

Wait Too Long to Make the Leap

I was in a very comfortable, stable, and BORING day job. I had dead-ended in my career years before I finally had the courage to leave.

68% of employees in corporate jobs are disengaged. I was one of those folks. I had my business as a side-hustle, and it provided additional income. But I waited three years before I took my business full time!


Honestly, I let fear and security win the day – until I was truly desperate and HAD to leave. And unfortunately, that led to my second mistake.

Leave Your Job Without Savings

So, while I was comfortable, I wasn't building my income. I let myself get lazy – even though I had a business on the side. It was very difficult to prospect at night when all I wanted to was veg.

Plus, at the same time I was running my side-hustle, I was dating and eventually marrying my husband. That took a lot of energy, and I was more interested in spending time with him than in building my uncertain business.

As a result, when I finally reached my absolute limit and finally gave my two-week notice, I didn't have a cushion saved up. I had a retirement account – and I used it entirely the first year of my business.

Not recommended.

Fall For All the Marketing

I'll tell you the honest truth. It's really hard to resist the temptation to spend like crazy when you have your own business.

I had excellent credit. (HAD.) As a result, I was approved for a strong credit limit on my business credit card. And I took full advantage!

A lot of this had to do with the fact that I fell for a LOT of marketing messages. You know all the folks that say, "I built my business 1000% in one month using these five strategies?"

They're lying!

If I had realized that MUCH earlier, that alone could have helped my business stay a lot more healthy.

Here's the dirty truth – they grew their business 1000% by preying on the uncertainty of beginning business owners like you. They'll give you some generic strategies in their course – assuming you even finish it. But your results will not be theirs, because you're not following the REAL business model.

I also liked the feeling of traveling to business conferences. And those conference hotels are NOT cheap. I whipped out the credit card, oblivious. Oh – and business conferences are one more giant sales pitch. Don't fall for it.

Finding Your Footing

I made all of these mistakes, and my business is still alive. It's very rough and my family is in a deep hole. At this point I only qualify for the types of credit cards Bonsai Finance recommends for folks with bad credit. But I'm still kicking!

A lot of what I did to right the ship was to get back to my core service – freelance writing – and stop chasing every other "success story" out there. I started ignoring the marketing messages. I stopped believing the "I can show you a way to easy money," lies.

If you've found yourself struggling in your business, you may be making these mistakes. Hopefully this article has given you some clarity so you can see the way out!

Related Content

Facebook Comments