How to Avoid Buying a Lemon: Our Top 7 Used Car Buying Tips

How to Avoid Buying a Lemon: Our Top 7 Used Car Buying Tips

There’s always a chance that a pre-owned car has some mechanical defect that can cause consistent problems while driving. Such a car will cost you a lot in terms of time and money. So when shopping for a used car, every buyer should know what to do to avoid getting stuck with a lemon. Here are our top tips:

Do Your Homework

Get onto reliable auto websites and find out which makes and models are the most reliable, safe and have the best track record in the segment you’re looking for. This will give you which car companies manufacture cars that can be run for over seven years with no major problems.

Check the Car History

If you’ve already visited some dealerships that have a few cars you like, get their vehicle numbers and gain access to their service history online by paying a small fee. This will reveal any accident history, history of services, nature of each service, etc. Repairs and especially repeated repairs done on main parts such as the engine, suspension and brakes means that you should avoid buying that car.

Inspect the Car

Visit the dealership in the daytime and scrutinize the car’s paintwork, body condition, tires, exhaust pipes, etc., to get a feel of how well the car has been maintained. Example: A car with bald tires may mean excessive use and could imply internal wear and tear in addition to needing new tires.  

Do An Independent Inspection

If possible, drive the car down to an independent auto garage and have them inspect the car. Their trained eyes will be able to tell whether the car has been in any major accidents or if the car is in need of any mechanical repairs. They should also be able to give you an estimate of what the car is worth.

Check the Buyer’s Guide

Dealers are required include a buyer’s guide to the car that lists its history, work done on the car by the dealer, warranty coverage and more. This document is what the law mandates and should be adhered to. So if a buyer guide says that the car has a warranty, it should be given regardless of what the sale deed states.

Test Drive the Car

Once you’ve done all of the above research, take the car out for a test drive. Put the car through some tough driving to check for any squeaks or sounds that are out of the ordinary. Observe the stability, braking and overall feel of the car. If the car seems to be struggling, dies midway, the air conditioning stops functioning or any other malfunction occurs, remember to steer clear of the vehicle no matter what kind of special offer you’re given by the dealer.

Check for Model Recalls

Sometimes dealers don’t tell you about recalls announced for certain parts in a model. So check for such announcements online. If there have been any manufacturer recalls, check to see if they have been rectified. If not, the dealer or car maker is obliged to rectify the issue regardless of how long ago the recall was announced.

When buying your used car, remember to stay vigilant and avoid buying a lemon!