Refuting 5 Common Myths About Buying Used Cars

When you’re about to start looking for a vehicle to purchase, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether you want to buy it new or used. There are plenty of benefits to both options.

New cars are, well, new. They look and smell great, they have all the latest features, and they have a lower risk of maintenance issues. However, they are pretty expensive.

Used cars, on the other hand, can certainly save you some money on the initial price tag upfront, and there are plenty of options with low miles and great features. However, if you are trying to find a vehicle, you may run into some concerns when considering a previously owned car.

Being in the used car industry, we hear a lot of distressing myths and misunderstandings circulating amongst buyers who haven’t learned the truth. If you are in the market and considering a used car in Albuquerque, allow us to bust some of the most common myths shoppers are concerned about when looking at used vehicles.

Myth #1: Private Sellers Always Provide the Best Deals

Used car shoppers are often told that private sellers will offer them a better deal than used car dealerships. While this may be true in some instances, it is certainly not always the case.

Usually, a private seller has a set amount in mind that they expect to receive from a car – so you may not be able to negotiate much more than a few hundred dollars off of the listing price.

However, used car dealerships can offer customers more options when it comes to selling. While their lowest price may be set in stone, dealerships can sometimes throw in added bonuses, such as a detailed car cleaning, free oil change, or even repairs.

Car Cleaning

Make sure that you are doing a thorough research when looking at cars for sale in Albuquerque, New Mexico. See what other customers have to say about different dealerships and check if any are offering special discounts or offers. You may be able to find a far better value by going through a dealership that offers discounts or rebates.

Myth #2: Buying a Car with Low Mileage Is the Smartest Thing to Do

Many people immediately get excited when they find a car that has low mileage. In their mind, they associate this number with how “new” the car is and assume that a car with lower mileage will have less wear and tear.

However, this may not be the case for EVERY used vehicle. Although cars that haven’t covered many miles are usually safe bets, the mileage number is not necessarily an accurate reflection of the condition of the car.

Used Vehicle

For instance, what if someone bought a car and let it sit in their driveway with little to no maintenance for several years? Sure, it won’t have many miles on it, but it could be in bad shape when it comes to other matters.

Remember when you are looking at a used vehicle to ask detailed questions to the seller about the history of the vehicle – and don’t just base your impression off of the numbers.

Myth #3: Used Cars Are “Lemons”

Ever heard of someone refer to a used car as a “lemon?”

The term insinuates that there was something wrong with the car ever since it was first sold. This is often people’s greatest fear when they go shopping for a used car, especially for first-time buyers or people that have little knowledge about cars.

In reality, most used cars on the market are probably not lemons. Vehicles that have major malfunctions are generally recalled as soon as possible by the manufacturer to avoid expensive lawsuits. Most used cars are still fit to be on the road, and if you are buying from a reputable used car dealership, they should not have any major defects.

Car Repairing

Remember too that your risk of getting a “lemon” is far lower if you are buying from a dealership. Oftentimes, car dealers will have far more knowledge about car brands than a private owner would.

These sales representatives are trained to know details regarding mileage, horsepower, and other information about numerous makes and models – not just the one car they are trying to sell you.

These sellers also have far more to lose if they did sell you a bad car. They could lose their commission, hurt their reputation, or even be fired – so chances are fairly low that they will try to swing one over on you.

If you have your suspicions, you can always ask for a dealer to provide you with a car report that will list any repairs that have been made to the vehicle. You should also look up the make and model in Motor Trend magazine to see if there are any reported issues or recalls for it.

Cost of Car Ownership

If you are purchasing a car from a private seller, you can simply ask for the VIN and look up the history through CARFAX. This will also tell you whether or not that specific make and model has hidden issues that can’t be fixed.

Myth #4: Previously Owned Cars Can’t Be as Reliable as New Cars

Assuming that reliability is purely based on age is a big mistake.

According to Consumer Reports, some of the latest models like the Volkswagen Atlas and even new luxury vehicles like the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Tesla Model X were actually found to be the least reliable cars on the road.

However, the Toyota Camry has been consistently named as one of the most reliable vehicles ever since 2002.

Toyota Camry

Brand types and models are much better indicators of true reliability, and some brands are simply better than others in terms of how well their parts have been put together. Do some research beforehand to see what other reports have to say about common issues associated with the make and model before making a final decision.

Myth #5: Old Cars Are Missing Important Safety Features

Unless you’re buying something that’s over a decade old, a used car isn’t going to be missing any of the “BIG” safety features.

The airbag standard has been set since 1998 and the list for required car safety features is relatively short. The US government only requires that a vehicle has safety belts, a LATCH child safety seat system, electronic stability control or ESC (which become standard in 2012), and front airbags.


Sure, you might not get the latest backup camera or blind-spot indicator on an older used model, but you won’t miss out on the top safety features that keep people from being injured or killed.

If you are considering an older vehicle, just double-check that all of the standard safety features are included.

Almost all 2012+ vehicles (especially those from a used car dealership) will have basics like airbags, anti-lock braking systems, and ESC. If the car does not include them, it will not be able to pass inspection and should not be sold until those features are repaired/installed.


Buying a used car is a great option for most drivers on the road. Many used vehicles are still in great shape and will keep you safe from point A to point B for years to come. Don’t let these common myths deter you from considering a used vehicle for your next car!

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