June 15, 2024
5 Used Cars You Shouldn’t Buy

When purchasing a used car, it’s crucial to do thorough research and inspection to ensure you’re getting a reliable vehicle that meets your needs.

Here are five used cars that you may want to avoid due to potential reliability issues, high maintenance costs, or safety concerns:

Older Luxury Cars with High Mileage: While luxury cars may offer premium features and a prestigious badge, they can come with higher maintenance and repair costs, especially as they age.

Older luxury cars with high mileage may be prone to electrical problems, suspension issues, and expensive repairs that can quickly add up.

High-Performance Sports Cars: While high-performance sports cars may offer exhilarating driving experiences, they can also come with high maintenance costs and expensive insurance premiums.

Additionally, used sports cars may have been driven hard by previous owners, leading to increased wear and tear on critical components.

Models with Known Reliability Issues: Before purchasing a used car, it’s essential to research the model’s reliability history and common issues reported by owners.

Some models may have a reputation for frequent mechanical problems, recalls, or safety concerns that you’ll want to avoid.

Vehicles with Salvage Titles or Flood Damage: Cars with salvage titles or flood damage should be avoided, as they may have significant structural damage or electrical issues that can compromise safety and reliability.

Even if the vehicle has been repaired, it may have hidden problems that could pose safety risks or require costly repairs in the future.

Older SUVs and Trucks with High Mileage: While SUVs and trucks are popular choices for their versatility and off-road capabilities, older models with high mileage may be prone to mechanical issues, such as engine or transmission problems.

Additionally, larger vehicles tend to have lower fuel economy and higher maintenance costs compared to smaller cars.

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Fiat 500

Used Fiats have become such a regretted purchase among car buyers that the vehicle has its unflattering acronym: Fix It Again Tony.

Over the years Fiat has been in the United States, Carl Anthony, managing editor at Automoblog, said reliability and quality ratings from industry sources like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power have been lower than expected.

If you’re shopping for a used Fiat, Leland Jones, founder and CEO of Ceramic King Coatings, said to steer clear of any 2012 through 2016 Fiat 500 cars. Among other issues to anticipate, Jones said buyers may experience clutch failure and high repair costs.

Ford Escape

Buyers who see a used Ford Escape for sale might want to keep looking. Joe Giranda, director of sales and marketing for CFR Classic, said used Ford Escape cars are plagued with transmission issues like shuddering and jerking.

Another major issue with these used cars is the suspension which needs frequent maintenance.

Volkswagen Eos

Even after being discontinued by Volkswagen in 2015, the Volkswagen Eos is among one of the worst used convertibles to purchase.

It is prone to mechanical problems, particularly with its power windows and convertible top mechanisms, resulting in high repair costs,” Giranda said. “Owners have also reported frequent suspension issues.”

Chrysler 200

According to Cars.com, certain model year 2015 Chrysler 200 vehicles have been recalled by Chrysler. Some of the reasons why this particular model was recalled include electrical system wiring issues and power failures in the electrical system. Jones adds these used vehicles have engine issues and speed control problems.


You may feel like you can impress everyone with a used or secondhand BMW, but Jones does not recommend purchasing this used car no matter what year it is.

“The cost on those vehicles tends to be insane,” Jones said. “There’s a high cost of maintenance and repair expenses are through the roof. Not to mention if you wanted an extended service contract. In my experience, they just bring issue after issue.”

Before purchasing a used car, it’s essential to have a trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle thoroughly and to obtain a vehicle history report to check for past accidents, title issues, or other red flags.

Additionally, consider your budget, driving needs, and long-term ownership costs to ensure you’re making a smart investment in a reliable and safe vehicle.