If you are in the market to buy cars, you must avoid buying a ‘lemon’ car. A ‘lemon car’ is an automobile that does not work well most of the time and has inherent defects that result in poor functioning. Here are some tips to purchase the right car and avoid lemon cars.

  • If you are buying a brand new car, check the ratings of the car dealer. See how people have rated the dealership for customer service. Review the ratings on the vehicle before making a purchase decision. Check if there is news about the brand being recalled once or multiple times and how have consumer complaints been dealt with.
  • If you are buying a used car, do not rely on negotiation only (how to get a good bargain). Think about other factors such as
    • how trustworthy the seller is,
    • how willing the seller is to do an independent quality check, also known as a third party inspection (before or after sale),
    • and who foots the bill.

If you are signing a written agreement with the seller, incorporate the following details:

    • the price of the car,
    • cost of third party inspection,
    • line of action if the third party inspection is negative,
    • extended warranty
  • If you are buying a used car, it is advisable to take the keys immediately after entering a contract and making payment. Many times the buyer and seller agree on letting the seller use the car even after entering into a contract. This can be a risk for the buyer.
  • You can avoid purchasing pre-owned ‘lemon’ cars if you check the vehicle’s history on websites like www.autocheck.com or www.carfax.com.You should enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and pull up the details on the car. It is better to do this on autocheck.com as most used car dealers offer to give a free carfax report. This will help you to cross-reference both the reports.
  • Check the lemon laws in your state and also study used vehicles warranty laws. Many laws provide consumers with protections and remedies, total or partial refunds and replacements of lemon cars. The laws for used and new cars are different and there may be huge variations in state laws. For example the California Lemon Law is different from New York Lemon Law or Florida Lemon Law.

Never run the risk of buying a pre-owned car without checking the vehicle history. Purchasing a car requires a significant capital investment. If your car is a lemon car, you will end up spending a lot of money on repairs! This makes it more important to distinguish good cars from bad cars. Overall, the state lemon laws and consumer protection laws provide you with solutions for a lemon car but ultimately you must protect yourself by being an aware buyer (Caveat Emptor).