Buying a used car is a rite of passage for many high school and college students who need a way to get to class and their jobs but don’t have the funds to buy a factory-new car. It can be a great deal for a cash-strapped young person—but it can also be a serious gamble. High school and college students who buy used cars may find themselves saddled with a vehicle that ends up requiring much more repair work and money than they were expecting.
Fortunately, identifying major problems with used cars doesn’t mean you have to be a gearhead. Even if you don’t know the difference between a lug nut and a crankshaft, some basic knowledge can help you spot a used car with serious issues before handing over your money. Although you may not be able to spot some major issues without a professional’s appraisal, you can easily and quickly learn enough know-how to avoid buying a car that will cost you way more in the long run.
If you’re hoping a used car can save you some money, take a look at the guide below to make sure you’re getting a good deal.