Subscribe to our mailing list

X

How to Know if the Car You’re About to Buy Is a Lemon

By on April 19, 2018

The truth is, any time we buy anything there’s a risk that the product isn’t all it was cracked up to be. But the stakes get a lot higher when the prices do, and they’re compounded by even more pressure when the product is one you need to use on a daily basis.

Therein lies the stress of buying a car. And while you could say you’ll go new so there won’t be any problems, you’ll pay more for a car for which the value will drop the second you pull it off the lot. And even new cars come with issues, such as recalls.

What’s more, the markup on a new car can be a deal breaker for the car buyer with bad credit or the car buyer on a serious budget. In many cases, a used car is the only realistic option. For those cases, here are some checkpoints to help make sure you don’t buy a lemon:

  • Avoid buying “as is” because that means there’s no guarantee on the quality of the car — and no legal recourse if it does turn out to be a lemon.
  • Obtain a vehicle history report for the car to find out how many owners it has had and if the car has been in any accidents. Keep in mind that car dealerships can sometimes pull these reports in such a way that leaves pertinent information out. Get your own report to play it safe.
  • Do your own research on the make and model of the car or cars you’re most interested in. Look for customer complaints and praise, as well as the recall history on the car. While you’re at it, review the Kelley Blue Book value to make sure the seller is offering a fair price.
  • Test drive the car on over to your favorite mechanic and get it checked out — don’t only rely on a car dealership’s inspection or a private seller’s words about the work that’s been done on the car — doing so could lead to your own car buying horror story.
  • Don’t even think about skipping the test drive. What’s more, try to test drive it on regular roads and highways to see how the car handles multiple terrains and speeds.
  • If you’re at a dealership, read the sticker on the car’s window — dealerships are required by law to put information there about what a warranty will cover on future repairs. This is also where you can find the vehicle identification number (VIN) to run your own vehicle history report.
  • If you live in an area that experiences frequent hurricanes or flooding, follow the steps outlined here by the National Automotive Parts Association to see if the car you’re looking at might have been in a flood.
  • Closely examine the interior of the car and the exterior of the car, and take a look under the hood. Signs of previous damage can be as simple as a car door that doesn’t close properly, which could indicate that exterior work has been done (which would likely have followed an accident).
  • If you don’t know what you’re looking for when you examine the car, take a look at tips three through nine in this article by Consumer Reports. There you’ll find super-specific checks you can run to verify the condition of the car.
READ  Debt Consolidation Helps Entrepreneur to Find Solid Ground

Above All, Trust Your Gut

Whether you’re opting to buy your next car at a dealership or you want to buy a car online through a private seller, there’s one word of advice that always applies:

Trust your gut.

Think a deal sounds too good to be true? It probably is. Feel like you’re being pressured or potentially even lied to? You probably are. The dealer or seller making you feel unheard or disrespected? Then you probably can’t trust them to tell you everything you need to know.

Follow the steps above but then let a gut check be your final reference. Like fish in the sea, there are plenty of other cars out there if the one you’re looking at doesn’t work out. Better to extend your search than end up in a lemon.

This article by Shannon McNay Insler first appeared on UpturnCredit and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

The post How to Know if the Car You’re About to Buy Is a Lemon appeared first on Personal Finance Syndication Network.

Last step, fill out the information below or call us for Priority Assistance.

What problems are you having with your report?

Your first name is required. Your first name is required to be at least 2 characters. Your first name cannot be longer than 50 characters.
Your last name is required. Your last name is required to be at least 2 characters. Your last name cannot be longer than 50 characters.
Your email is required.
Your phone is required. Your 10 digit phone number is required.
Your state is required.
Your age is required. Your age must be greater than 18. Your age must be less than 100.

By clicking on the "Contact Me" button above, you consent, acknowledge, and agree to the following: Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and to receive electronic communications. We take your privacy seriously. That you are providing express "written" consent for Debt.com or appropriate service provider(s) to call you (including through automated means; e.g. autodialing, text and pre-recorded messaging) via telephone, mobile device (including SMS and MMS - charges may apply), even if your telephone number is currently listed on any internal, corporate, state or federal Do-Not-Call list. Consent is not required as a condition to utilize Debt.com services and you are under no obligation to purchase anything.

By clicking on the “Contact me” button above, you consent, acknowledge, and agree to the following: (1)That you are providing express “written” consent for Lexington Law Firm, Debt.com or appropriate service provider(s) to call you (including through automated means; e.g. autodialing, text and pre-recorded messaging) via telephone, mobile device (including SMS and MMS – charges may apply), or dialed manually, at my residential or cellular number, even if your telephone number is currently listed on any internal, corporate, state or federal Do-Not-Call list; and (2)Lexington Law’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and Debt.com’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Consent is not required as a condition to utilize Lexington Law or Debt.com services and you are under no obligation to purchase anything.

About Research Department

Here is where you will find important stories located from around the web which can impact you and your financial life.
%d bloggers like this: