I’ve had the pleasure (and the pain) of owning all kinds of cars over the years. Some were sporty; others were more practical. I’ve even owned a classic car or two in my time!
There is one thing that I’ve learned about motoring in all that time. Some car models are just a bad idea! I’m talking about the cars that always seem to have a problem. It doesn’t matter how well you look after those bad apples; they still give you grief.
Are you about to spend some cash on your dream car? If so, I urge you to read this first. Why? Because I want to help you avoid making the mistake of buying a “lemon”! Here are seven sure-fire signs your next motor is only fit for the scrapyard:
- The model always fails an MOT
Thanks to the government’s “open data” we can learn more about the cars we drive. The Department for Transport releases anonymous data about MOT failures. If your model has a high MOT failure rate, there is usually a good reason for that: it’s not a good car!
- The car you want has several previous owners
Back in my salad days, I once bought an old car. When I received the log book in the post, I noticed it had 14 (yes – FOURTEEN) previous owners! Within the first month of ownership, I could see why – it was just a rubbish car!
- There is always a factory recall for your model
The great thing about the Internet is you can find out if your future car model was subject to a recall. If there are several recalls for various reasons, run like the wind! Consider a better-built car from a different brand, such as Hyundai, instead.
- Dealers ALWAYS carry stock of spares for your car
It’s not unusual for a dealership to stock spares of certain consumables like brakes. But, if they have enough stock to build several new cars from scratch, it’s a bad omen. Some cars should just get consigned to the history books.
- The model you want was cheap when it was new
In the UK, you can expect to spend around £16-£20k on a brand new car on average. Some new cars retail for around £6k. I won’t name them, but some brand new models from one brand suffered from rust, believe it or not! Just avoid super-budget cars at all costs.
- Enthusiast forums are full of owners with problem models
One thing I always do is research cars in forums relevant to the model I want. It’s a good way of gauging if it’s likely to become an expensive problem or not if I buy it. Be sure to check some forums out before you buy.
- There are plenty of examples in the scrapyard
It’s no secret that lots of mass-produced cars end up in a scrapyard when they’re no longer useful. If your local scrappers are full of the model you want, take that as a sign!
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