5 Used Cars You Shouldn’t Buy

February 24, 2024. By Heather Taylor

New BMW cars for sale stock photo

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Buying a used car can be a savvy move if you want a reliable vehicle at an affordable price. However, there are some used cars that aren’t great investments. Purchasing some of these cars means you might be stuck with transmission issues, questionable build quality or experience a higher likelihood of deprecation. 

GOBankingRates spoke to several automotive professionals about used cars that can turn out to be more of a financial hassle than a deal. Stay away from purchasing these five used cars. 

Fiat 500

Used Fiats have become such a regretted purchase among car buyers that the vehicle has its own unflattering acronym: Fix It Again Tony. Over the years Fiat has been in the United States, Carl Anthony, managing editor at Automoblog, said reliability and quality ratings from industry sources like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power have been lower than expected. 

If you’re shopping for a used Fiat, Leland Jones, founder and CEO of Ceramic King Coatings, said to steer clear of any 2012 through 2016 Fiat 500 cars. Among other issues to anticipate, Jones said buyers may experience clutch failure and high repair costs.

Ford Escape

Buyers who see a used Ford Escape for sale might want to keep looking. 

Joe Giranda, director of sales and marketing for CFR Classic, said used Ford Escape cars are plagued with transmission issues like shuddering and jerking. Another major issue with these used cars is the suspension which needs frequent maintenance. 

Volkswagen Eos

Even after being discontinued by Volkswagen in 2015, the Volkswagen Eos is among one of the worst used convertibles to purchase.

“It is prone to mechanical problems, particularly with its power windows and convertible top mechanisms, resulting in high repair costs,” Giranda said. “Owners have also reported frequent suspension issues.” 

Chrysler 200

According to Cars.com, certain model year 2015 Chrysler 200 vehicles have been recalled by Chrysler. Some of the reasons why this particular model was recalled include electrical system wiring issues and power failures in the electrical system. Jones adds these used vehicles have engine issues and speed control problems. 


You may feel like you can impress everyone with a used or secondhand BMW, but Jones does not recommend purchasing this used car no matter what year it is.

“The cost on those vehicles tends to be insane,” Jones said. “There’s a high cost of maintenance and repair expenses are through the roof. Not to mention if you wanted an extended service contract. In my experience, they just bring issue after issue.”