One of the things you want to avoid when buying a new or used car is getting a lemon car. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a lemon car has a substantial defect within the period after the purchase covered by the warranty. Also, it continues to have a defect even after several repair attempts.
A substantial defect affects the serious functioning condition or expectation of a vehicle, like the car’s safety. It’s important to make an informed decision when buying the best possible vehicle that fits your budget, so check a helpful website when shopping a car.
Be an empowered car buyer by checking out these helpful tips to avoid buying a lemon car:
- Do a Thorough Research
Buying a car can be exciting, but you should not allow a new car’s fresh coat or smell trick you into uninformed purchase. Remember, you have a lot of options. By doing thorough research, you’ll equip yourself with the knowledge to be able to negotiate for a better price and will give you a good idea of how a specific car makes and model works. Here are some tips:
- Find out quality control ratings
- Read consumer reviews
- Check social media and site forums
- Check Title History
For used cars, check the title of history on consumer-friendly websites to provide you information recorded on the vehicle’s title. Every manufacturer’s dealer of a car has a computer system, showing a car’s warranty history report through its VIN. It will show you all the repairs done that were covered by the car manufacturer’s warranty.
The report will alert you if the car has been subjected to significant or repeated issues. It will help you avoid buying a vehicle that has been involved in an accident or flood. Here’s how:
- Enter the identification number of the vehicle
- Pay the small fee
- Check information recorded about the used car
- Avoid Purchasing a “Tricked Out” Vehicle
A car dealer may advertise that a car has an enhanced stereo system, DVD player, or custom wheels. Make sure that these car accessories are all factory supplied by the car’s manufacturer. It will avoid electrical or other minor or major problems that are not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Check the manufacturer’s warranty, specifically the section that excludes specific issues that usually arise due to non-factory or aftermarket components.
- Check the Car’s History
Double check that the quoted car’s mileage to you matches the vehicle’s odometer. Knowing the car’s mileage will determine and validate if the car was rarely or frequently used based on the seller’s first testimonial. Aside from the mileage, it’s also important to check the:
- Vehicle ownership since it confirms that the seller is the legal owner
- The registration information should match with the vehicles VIN
- Inspect the Car Thoroughly
Inspect the car during the day or in the daylight. Doing so will help you spot apparent signs of accident damage. If you arrive at the car dealership in the evening, wait until the daylight so you can thoroughly inspect the vehicle. Remember that even new cars may have damage occurring during a test drive or in transit from the manufacturer. Here are some inspection tips:
- Check for the trim’s paint overspray, wheel wells, or headlights
- Check for dents, cracks, or any flaws
- Check for anything that is out of alignment
- Inspect the engine. If possible, bring a qualified auto mechanic with you
- Test Drive
Test driving is paramount before buying a new or used vehicle. It will avoid purchasing a car that has a defect. Never assume that the car is in excellent condition just because the dealer says it is. When performing a test drive, you should:
- Drive the car at different speed rates
- Test drive in different conditions apart from the designated route suggested by the dealer
- Be focused when driving and be observant like hear strange sounds, distinct smell, or vibration
- Check all features by asking questions and testing or operating them yourself
- You need to aim to spend up to 30 to 45 minutes on a test drive, so you can evaluate thoroughly how well the vehicle runs and whether it suits your lifestyle
Whether you’re planning to purchase a new or used car, it’s essential to do your best to implement the tips mentioned above to avoid ending up with a lemon car. Don’t be fooled by too good to be true car deals, dynamic features, and cool accessories. Do your homework and don’t hesitate to ask questions so you can enjoy driving your new car without worries.