Accident cars are not always easy to spot to an inexperienced buyer, given that car salesmen and car dealers in Nigeria are infamous for their ruses disguise damaged cars as neat looking, well-functioning cars to get their products sold as quick as possible. But sometimes, even the buyer know the car has been in accidents, they still consider buying it due to its cheap price. So the question is how to know whether the car got damages from accidents and should you buy a tokunbo car that has an accident history? The answers will be revealed fully in this article. Purchasing a tokunbo car is not an easy task, it is actually a tricky proposition.
So, how can you inspect if a secondhand car has been previously in an accident? Follow our 3 steps below:
1. Accident cars checking in 3 simple steps
- Step 1: Inspect the tokunbo vehicle history records
The car history record will show you all about the accident history of the car. Look at that information, you can give your own evaluation whether the vehicle you intend to buy was good or bad.
- Step 2: Find out signs of corrosion and being damaged by accidents
Is it hard to detect signals of previous accidents? Actually, it's not easy at all. But keep calm, you might catch some striking signs - we've written this article to guide and help you. Keep reading to know how to do it.
- Step 3: Call for a mechanic’s help
If you don’t know how to check the used car, let it be inspected by a secondhand car inspector or a knowledgeable mechanic.
If you don’t know how to check the used car, let it be inspected by a secondhand car inspector or a knowledgeable mechanic
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2. Accident cars: Are they for me?
Not everyone is willing to buy a car that has been in an accident. Car accidents could be either inconsequential or serious, and it is tricky to tell to an average buyer. Who knows how damaged the car suffered as it is normally hidden by restoring to a like-new car, which easily fools buyers. Some good seller may repair it by pay the professional mechanics to do the work but some may quickly "patched up" to sell their cars as soon as possible. So buying a restored car is likely a gamble and are you lucky enough to get a good one?
Should You Buy A Used Car That Has Been In An Accident?
These are essential things you need to pay attention when buying a used car. We will also guide you how to check it properly.
3. Accident cars: 10 checking tips for buyers
1. Checking tip #1: Looking for rust
Rust is a common problem of used car, particularly the places where salt appears a lot in the winter. Unless a car is rusty, any old car or truck from the age of 5-6 will show at least some type of rust.
In some vehicles, you will find out only a few points on some parts of the car, you can see rusts on the floors, brake parts or body panels. Rust can be fixed for a limited time only, but once the corrosion begins, it is very hard to prevent. If a rusted car is repaired, it will reappear later. So, similarly, with previous accidents, big rust is should be avoided in a secondhand car.
2. Checking tip #2: Reflection can disclose many things
The simplest way to quickly recognize the signs of a paint job or a body repair is to look at the reflection. For example, this car looks new with straight lines and smooth paint surface.
This car looks new with straight lines and smooth paint surface
Here, you can see an uneven surface in the reflection. It seems there has been somebody fixes on the left rear fender.
There have been some body fixes on the left rear fender
Take a closer look at the rear fender, you will see a peeling off the coating, which is a clear signal of a repainting.
This car has a repainting
It is obvious that the SUV’s rear corner has been fixed because the reflection seems to be not smooth. Look carefully at the place in the corner next to the tail light and under the gas tank lid, some unevenness is also shown.
The SUV’s rear corner has been fixed because the reflection seems to be not smooth
3. Checking tip #3: Check how body panels fit together
Look for signs of unmatched panels. For instance, when closing the door, it should be completely flush with other panels, this is also the same for the trunk lid, hood and other plates. The rear door of this car is not fitted with other panels as closed, which reveals some body repair in this car.
The rear door of this car is not fitted with other panels as closed
Take a closer look at this car’s front bumper, it wears a slightly unmatched color compared to other places on the car. And if you see some signs showing the same problem, the place should be checked more carefully.
This car’s front bumper wears a slightly unmatched color compared to other places on the car
4. Checking tip #4: Compare opposite sides
A wise trick to inspect the car is if you find out something wrong, compare the part with another one. In this case, the secondhand Pontiac Vibe has a huge distance between the door and the front fender on the right side. Inspecting the left side, there is almost no distance between the two parts. So now you can see there is a problem with the right side.
The secondhand Pontiac Vibe has a huge distance between the door and the front fender on the right side
Another example of this trick will be shown in this used Toyota. You can see that the right front fender disclose a clear damage as its corner and two bolts look not integrated.
The right front fender disclose a clear damage as its corner and two bolts look not integrated
>>> Check out: Accident cars: 10 checking tips for buyers - Part 2
>>> Click here to get more tips and advice for your car buying and selling