I've been carefully shopping for a new-to-me car, ever since mine got totaled in a crash a few months ago. The #1 rule when buying a used car is to have your mechanic look it over. Car lot, private party, doesn't matter. Have a professional at least go over it. I know this rule, you probably know this rule, and I am SO GLAD I followed the rule today.

Backstory: I found a  2017 model, low miles, loaded with everything I want, at a really good price. Too good of a price. The car has a rebuilt title. It was in an accident, but to me it looked great! Gorgeous car! A salvage title doesn't bother me, especially if I'm saving over $5,000 on the car. I was ready to make an offer and had my financing lined up. Just to be sure, I took the vehicle to a trusted shop for them to look over.

The tech immediately started pointing out a number of things I didn't even notice. Like: one of the doors is an ever-so-slightly different color. As is the rear quarter panel.  The rear passenger door jam had some shoddy bodywork done. The running board trim piece didn't fit right. There were odd gaps on some of the body panels on the side of the car that was obviously hit.

It's really easy to get sucked into the excitement of a newer car. Yes, I was disappointed that the car I already fell in love with has problems that I'm not willing to accept. But I am absolutely relieved I didn't get locked into payments on a ride that has issues. I'll keep shopping. And you'd better believe I'll be bringing the next one I find to my mechanic as well.