Top 10 tips to avoid a Lemon car

Used-carsJust kicking the tire and looking under the the hood is not enough, don’t be satisfied with the out look before buying a used car.

February 2009 was a great month for used cars sales. It is not  surprising that  new car sales are going down these days due to economic crunch.
Considering the present situation most Americans, doesn’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new car.  Sales of used cars sold through dealerships jumped 3% in February 2009, compared to February 2008.  Whereas, new car sales are down a whopping 41% for the same time.

Buying a used car is not a easy nut to crack, it needs lot of research work and preparation to choose a good one among lemons.

Following are the precautionary tips which may reduce your risk of buying a used car and avoid a lemon:

1.  Try to buy cars which are not older than three years, which will enable you to have some portion of warranty coverage. But be sure that the used cars warranty is fully transferable. Most late model used cars have at least three-year/36,000 mile basic warranty coverage (and often longer “powertrain” coverage on the engine and transmission).

2. CPO(Certified Pre-Owned) used cars are usually clean and well-maintained — the “cream puffs” of the used car market. CPO used cars are usually clean and well-maintained — the “cream puffs” of the used car market.

3. Do some research work for indications that the particular used car make/model you are considering might be a problem car. Car with an unusual record of either recalls or consumer complaints.

Whether the car has been in an accident, usually the dealership will tell you.  If you want to check for yourself, you’ll need to get the VIN number of the car, and check with Carfax.

In Tennessee, you buy the car “as is”, there isn’t a lemon law.  If the car breaks down just as you leave the lot, the dealer is not obligated to give you a refund.

Consumer Reports is another good place to poke around (try www.consumerreports.org/main/home.jsp and click on “autos”). It’s also a very good idea to do a simple Google or Yahoo! Web search; just type in the make and model of the vehicle and “lemon.” You can bet if the car has a history of problems, there will be complaints all over the Internet.

4. Beware about emissions check ups: It can cost hundred of dollars (or more) to repair a used car that fails either state safety or vehicle emissions testing — and in many cases, you can’t legally register or drive that used car until it does pass.

5. Ask to see the service records: If these are available, it’s usually a good sign the car was well cared-for, and perhaps more importantly, proof (if the records are complete) that there weren’t any unusual repairs or problems.

6. No emotion please: Keep in mind that it is business transaction, forget about emotions regarding number, model or colour, it is better if you take someone with you for the dealing.

7. Once you buy, it’s usually yours as a used car goes, so before buying have a third-party mechanic (not one working for the dealer) look the used car over as a condition of sale. They knows a lot for example, if say, the tires are worn out on the inside, and they aren’t on the outside, they knows that the car has a front end issue.

8. Have a real test drive with an expert. It means a good long drive, which will unmask lots of hidden defects.

9. You will probably have to pay in cash for an older car, most banks won’t give you a loan for a car that’s more than 5 years old.

10. Line up your new insurance policy and confirm the registration policies for your state before you drive away with your car.

Finally get every thing in writing. Even if you’ve reached the end of the process, there’s still time for a dealer or seller to pull a fast one. Always get the deal in writing. Make sure everything is included, whether it’s the agreed-on price, extra fees, warranty coverage, a trial-period or an expiration date.
However, always keep in mind that you have the Ace, that is the option of walking away if not satisfied and uncomfortable about the deal.

Source:CNN.com and myeyewitnessnews

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