How To Avoid Buying A Lemon Car

A "lemon" vehicle defined as a mode of transportation that will cost you a great deal of money in repairs in a short period of time.  Many states have Lemon Laws to protect buyers from defective and dangerous automobiles.  A vehicle that has had the same repair done four times under warranty is considered a lemon and the buyer should contact a lawyer.

Lemon laws only protect buyers of new cars, however, there are many ways you can prevent yourself from getting stuck with a car that will put a hole in your pocketbook.

  • Take the car to a mechanic that you trust. It may sound simple, but I've seen too many cases of the People's Court where the Plantiff only test drove the car and decided it was good enough for them.
  • Run a CARFAX report. This will show if the vehicle has been in an accident, if the odometer has been turned back or if there have ever been any other damages.
  • Check the mileage.  An average vehicle is driven 12,000 miles a year.  If the car is 5 years old and has 100,000 miles on it compared to an average of 60,000, various parts may be ready to wear out and cost you money.
  • Take the car for a test drive.  Make sure to go on a highway and side streets so you can see how the car handles at high speeds and how it rides on bumpy roads.
  • Research the car online.  There are hundreds of sites that will tell you the normal quirks of almost every kind of car made.  If the car you want to buy is famous for oil leaks and bad shocks, have your mechanic check out both areas in depth.

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