Used Car Inspection? Void Warranty? Bad Credit? FAQ About Car Buying

Purchasing a new or used vehicle is often the second biggest purchase we’ll ever make in our lives, behind a house/apartment. So of course we all have a lot of questions to ask before we decide to purchase the vehicle. Here are a few common questions that you may encounter when looking to buy a vehicle.

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What should I do if a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) reveals an issue?

Pre-purchase inspections are very important in determining the condition of a vehicle. Most dealerships will perform a PPI on every vehicle that gets traded-in and should have documentation of what issues (if any) they found and fixed. When purchasing a vehicle through a private sale, you should negotiate with the current owner to have the vehicle inspected at a shop. If you just take the word of the previous owner, you could be in a world of headaches as they may not have told you about issues with the vehicle or perhaps themselves had not known.

If a PPI does uncover something with the vehicle such as requiring new brakes, you should negotiate that into the price. However if it’s something more serious like the vehicle requires an engine rebuild, it’s probably in your best interest to walk away from that vehicle and find another in better condition.

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If I modify my car, will it void warranty?

Modifying cars is a big business. Most auto enthusiasts want to differentiate their car or truck from the next guy. But you run the risk of voiding your warranty. Or do you?

If you put on an aftermarket part on your vehicle, for example lowering springs, it will not void your warranty. If for example there is an issue with your vehicle’s transmission, the lowering springs would not be the cause of the transmission’s issue so the powertrain warranty would cover the cost of fixing the transmission. But if there’s an issue with other suspension components and it is determined that the lowering springs are to blame, an auto manufacturer may choose to not cover the costs of the repairs. So your warranty is only affected if it is in correlation to the aftermarket part that was fitted onto your vehicle.

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What if I can afford a more expensive car but have bad credit?

For the most part dealerships don’t really care about your credit score. It’s the lenders (banks) that care and they are the ones that determine at what rate to lend you money for a new or used car. If you happen to come across a big pile of money, for example an inheritance or getting a huge promotion at work, you have a few options that you can take when looking at a vehicle.

First, you can keep your current vehicle until your credit score improves over the next few months. But if you don’t currently have a vehicle, you can choose to finance the vehicle you want at the high interest rate (if the payments are reasonable) and then refinance the loan at a later date when your credit score improves. Third option is to find a co-signer however they will take a risk on their own credit score if you fall behind on the payments. The last option is to purchase something well below your budget and take the higher finance rate with a large down payment to keep the payments low. Then once your credit improves, treat yourself with the vehicle that you always wanted.

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