Purchasing a car is exciting. However, if it stops working or has serious issues once it is taken home, the entire purchase may be quite disappointing. Keep reading to learn how to avoid buying a lemon and what Lemon law are in place to help duped consumers.
What Exactly Is a Lemon Vehicle?
Lemon vehicles are those with serious issues that may be hidden under the surface. These issues are not discovered until the car has been purchased or leased. Lemon cars can be both used and new, and they may have a single mile on the odometer or tens of thousands (or more).
Every state has a unique definition regarding what constitutes a true lemon. Some states say that it is a substantial defect that affects one of three different things: the market value of the vehicle, a person’s safety in the vehicle, or the ability the person has to use the vehicle.
Even though a new vehicle can be a lemon, in most cases, it will be a used vehicle. Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to avoid being a victim.
Look for Red Flags
Be sure to inspect the vehicle carefully before spending money on it. Remember that the tips here don’t guarantee being able to detect a lemon, which means each buyer must conduct their own due diligence, especially when purchasing from a private seller.
Don’t just look for cosmetic issues when inspecting a vehicle. Be sure to test drive the car or truck and look for any lights on the dashboard. Also, watch for other signs of a problem, such as smoke coming out of the exhaust.
Take the Car for a Test Drive
If a potential buyer doesn’t test drive the vehicle they are thinking about buying, they may miss some of the most serious signs of a problem. The test drive needs to be more than a quick jaunt around the parking lot.
If the seller refuses the test drive, this is also a red flag, and it is likely best to look elsewhere. Also, only take the vehicle out for a test drive if things look good and if you are seriously considering buying it.
During the test drive, make sure to take it through different conditions. For example, drive over speed bumps or potholes to test the suspension and test the brakes with a hard stop (just ask for permission first).
If the car passes these tests, take it out on the highway. Get up to a decent speed to test the transmission and engine. If the car sounds weird or feels unusual, there could be a hidden issue.
Avoid Buying a Lemon
There is no magic formula that is going to let someone know if they are buying a lemon, but considering the factors here and carefully inspecting the vehicle will be easier to avoid getting into a bad deal. Keep this in mind to make the right decision regarding any vehicle purchase that a person is thinking about regardless of whether the vehicle is new or old.