Lemon cars look wonderful on the outside, but there are big problems with their functionality and durability. You can actually go bankrupt while fixing those repairs. But, hey, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purchase a used car! Used vehicles are a budget-friendly solution. And if you buy them through reliable platforms like cars4.bid, there’s nothing to worry about buying lemons. The dealership will thoroughly check the car for you to make the right decision.
The real problem arises when you purchase a used vehicle through direct dealings and marketplaces. It’s hard to detect whether the car is a lemon, and well, you never know who might try to benefit from your incompetence. So, in today’s post, we will guide you all about used car inspections. We will discuss how to avoid buying a lemon and what to do if you’re stuck with one. Let’s dive in!
5 Ways to Avoid Buying a Lemon Car
1. Asking Questions
This may seem unnecessary, but a little question-answer session with the owner can reveal a bunch of details about the car. Ask why is he selling the car, how many times it has been sold, and are the taxes paid. But don’t just focus on the answers. Observe the owner’s behavior and whether he seems to be lying, hesitating, or avoiding certain questions. This will help evaluate whether there is something fishy with the car or not.
2. Vehicle History Report
All sellers provide a vehicle history report to the buyer. This report contains important information like:
- Car’s year, model, and make.
- Ownership changes
- Status of the vehicle
- Accident and repair history
Please study this report carefully and look for potential red flags. For example, if the car was sold multiple times in a short period, it probably has a huge issue. Similarly, if the car was in a major accident (or has a changed engine and aftermarket parts), it’s best to stay away from it.
Note: If your seller hasn’t provided a vehicle report history, you can also get it from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System.
3. Professional Inspection
No one can detect a lemon car better than a professional mechanic. When visiting the car for a physical inspection, ask a trusted mechanic to come along and help examine for damages.
He will test the engine, suspension, brakes, exhaust system, and all the other main parts of the vehicle. Meanwhile, you can examine the exterior for scratches, dents, and rusted patches. You can also sit inside and check the functionality of windows, doors, etc.
4. Test Drive
Most people skip the test drive once their mechanic has approved the car. Although there’s nothing wrong with it, we don’t recommend doing so. This is because a test drive will give you a more realistic idea of how well the car is suited for your needs. Do you like the interior, or will you have to spend a considerable amount on renovating it? Are there safety features like seatbelts and rearview cameras?
Note that if the seller has refused both a test drive and inspection before payment is done, the car is potentially a lemon.
5. Bank Financing
There is a common misconception that used cars can only be purchased by immediate cash payment. You can also get bank financing for old cars. And if this option is available, it’s best to go with it. We say this because a bank will never finance a lemon car. It will first verify everyone and everything to ensure you are getting a legit, functional vehicle.
What to Do if You’re Stuck with a Lemon Car?
Being stuck with a lemon car is the worst possible scenario, but there are still ways to get out of it. The first thing to do is discuss the matter with the seller and ask for a potential refund or resolution. If that proves futile, turn to state lemon laws designed to protect consumers in such cases. These laws typically cover vehicles with substantial defects that persist despite multiple repair attempts within a specific timeframe. They often offer refund, replacement, or arbitration options.
Remember that this is a legal pathway, and it will recover your loss when negotiations with the seller hit a dead end. However, since laws vary from state to state, we recommend researching them thoroughly before applying.