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Was Your Used Car Previously a Rideshare Vehicle?

» Posted March 14, 2018Resources | Share This Post

When you buy a vehicle, you could be buying a ton of problems if the car does not work as expected. The California lemon law provides some protection if you've purchased a new car that comes with lots of issues, but protections are more limited for used car buyers. 

It's imperative that you do your due diligence when you are shopping for a used car to make sure that the vehicle you buy does not end up costing you money and failing to work as expected. One of the big things that you may want to be on the lookout for these days is a vehicle on the used car market that was used as a ride sharing vehicle.

How to Tell if a Used Car Was Used for Ridesharing

Consumer Reports recently addressed the problems with ride sharing vehicles on the used car market. As Consumer Reports explained, these vehicles often have much more wear-and-tear than a typical car does, and these vehicles tend to have different kinds of wear-and-tear than on a standard family car.  Because of the way that ride-share vehicles are utilized by drivers, a substantial amount of miles gets put on the car in a limited period of time and many of the cars passengers are strangers.

Yet, while ride share vehicles are different from typical used cars and may be more prone to problems, it can be difficult for the average buyer to know if a car that he is thinking about purchasing was a ride share vehicle or not. 

While vehicle history reports provide warnings to car buyers about accidents and other major issues, no vehicle history reports disclose whether a car was used for ride sharing. In fact, Consumer Reports conducted a test to determine if a car being used to drive for Lyft and a car being used to drive for Uber were reported as commercial vehicles on their Carfax reports. In both cases, the cars were not listed as commercial vehicles and the Carfax reports listed the cars as privately owned.

Because there's no disclosure on Carfax reports and limited other ways for car buyers to find out if a car has a history as a ride share vehicle, most ride share cars are sold to buyers who know nothing of their past without any warning that the car may be more worn out than a typical used vehicle.

Consumer Reports recommends that drivers purchasing used cars examine vehicles carefully to look for red flags that the car might have been used as a ride-share vehicle. This could include broken trim pieces or lots of stains in the upholstery in the back seat of a vehicle.

A car with a lot of miles during a limited period of time could also be a red flag, as can residue from stickers that are displayed by many Uber and Lyft drivers identifying themselves as ride share operators.  Looking for airport permits is also a good idea, as ride share drivers who do airport transports usually need a special visible permit on display.

By doing due diligence on any car purchase, whether for a new or used car, you can hopefully avoid serious problems that can cost you a lot of money. If you do have issues after the purchase of a new car, you should contact an Orange County lemon law attorney for help.


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