Know Your Rights

Used Car Buying Tips

Buying a used car is not an easy task.  The vehicle might look pretty and polished, but you never know how the vehicle has lived.  To avoid buying a used car that has hidden damage or been previously wrecked, here are some tips to follow. 

Ask for a car fax report.  This will tell you the history of the vehicle.  If the vehicle had been in an accident, it will reported if the vehicle has been declared a total loss. If the car was in a fender, bender, it might not be reported.

Obtain a vehicle history report. This is when you run the VIN number through the national database.  You will have a record of the repairs made and recorded under the VIN number.  If the car was declared a total loss, either from an accident or flood damage, the car will not have clean title. This will make it hard to re-sell the car and obtain car insurance.

Have the vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic.  It will be better to spend a little extra time and money to insure the car has no major problems.

Only purchase a used vehicle at a reputable dealership.  Check the Better Business Bureau to see if the dealership is rated well.   Ask your friends and co-workers if they have recommendations on where  purchase a good, used car.  If the used car lot looks questionable or shady, do not take your chances. 

Closely look at the mileage and model year of the vehicle.  If the car has a lot of mileage, it will need basic maintenance like new brakes and tires.  In addition, keep in mind that cars are not made to last forever and unexpected repairs might pop up after purchase.  se your common sense and do not expect a nine year old vehicle to have no repairs.

The Lemon Law is only applicable if the vehicle is under the original manufacture warranty, even if you purchased an extended warranty.  There needs to be three or more repairs  that are related or in the shop for 30 days or more.  For most American cars, the manufacturer warranty is three years or 36,000 miles, whichever happens first.

If your purchased a used vehicle and later find out that it was in an accident or had flood damage, you might be a victim of consumer fraudin connection with your purchase.  SmithMarco, P.C., has over 30 years of combined experience practicing law protecting the rights of consumers around the country. Contact an attorney at our office for a free case review.  

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