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Super Deal on a Supercar Reminds Us: Be Suspicious When Buying Used

December 27th, 2011

Damaged McLaren MP4-12C

When a car is priced at half its value, be suspicious. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to be suspicious any time you go used car shopping.

We’ve covered the lure of underpriced cars before, from the standpoint of watching out for common online scams. Sometimes, though, the price is accurate, and the car is real. But that doesn’t mean the deal isn’t too good to be true.

From Motor Authority (via Autoblog.nl), we heard about a killer deal on a used McLaren MP4-12C. The seller of the car, listed for sale in The Netherlands, wants about half of what the car is worth. The catch, as you might have guessed, is that the car has been in an accident and has not been repaired. Would buying it be a good deal, or would someone save money by just buying a new one?

Of course, that depends on the extent of the damage. The front end has obviously been hurt, and the windshield is cracked. Both front airbags have deployed. There’s a possibility of unseen water damage. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance that the buyer of this car would be better off financially buying new.

How easy would it be, though, for the seller of this car to replace the front bumper, install a new windshield and sell it for full price to an unsuspecting buyer? Okay, maybe that wouldn’t be an *easy* process on the McLaren, but it’s certainly feasible, which is why buyers of any used car should always complete the following checklist to make sure no hidden defects lie beneath the surface:

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