5 Tips to Help You Avoid a Lemon When Shopping for a Used Car

5 Tips to Help You Avoid a Lemon When Shopping for a Used Car

Volkswagen Japan car dealership Tokorozawa Saitama

Volkswagen Japan car dealership Tokorozawa Saitama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you’re ready to buy yourself that next automobile, you’ve got a pretty important purchase coming up. The car you buy can have a lot of implications for a lot of important things, so it really helps to take your time, and be sure that the decision you make is a good one. A big part of this comes from making sure you’ve done your research, and if you’ve been looking into buying a car, you may have noticed that buying a used car is a lot more affordable than purchasing a new one. Brand new cars are sold at a pretty good markup, and basically start to get devalued the moment they’re driven off the lot. A lot of times, a used vehicle is a much more sensible purchase. One must be careful, however, to avoid getting a lemon when buying a used car. We’ll talk about five things you can make sure you watch out for when you’re looking at used vehicles, so that you can make sure your next auto is a dependable one.

1. Get a Warrantee. If you’re buying your used car from a dealership, you’ve got a few different advantages. A warrantee is definitely one of them. A dealership can guarantee that it will fix or replace anything that goes wrong on your car if you buy the warrantee that typically comes with it. Private sellers can’t do this, so if you’re purchasing a used car from a dealership it’s a smart idea to add that warrantee to the cost. This way you’ll be able to make sure you’re covered in the event that anything goes wrong when you get your car home.

2. Buy a Certified Car. Most auto manufacturers will certify their pre-owned automobiles, and have a pretty detailed inspection checklist that every car must complete before it’s allowed to be resold. If you’re buying from a manufacturer’s dealership and not an independently-owned one, make sure your used automobile is certified so you can have a much bigger chance of knowing that it won’t be a lemon that winds up letting you down.

3. Get a CarFax Report. CarFax and a few other services will offer you a verified automobile history for just about any car, and this will help you know exactly what the automobile has been through. A lot of car owners won’t tell you exactly everything that happened to the car before they tried to sell it to you, so seeing a CarFax report or something like it will let you know whether or not the car was damaged in a flood or anything like that.

4. Limit Your Search. If you restrict your search to later-model cars that have lower mileage you’ll be able to make sure you find a more dependable vehicle that’s going to last you as long as you need it to. Newer cars depreciate a lot faster, so if you buy a later-model used car without too many miles on the odometer you’ll be able to know that your car is in decent shape and won’t be deteriorating too seriously.

5. Bring a Second Opinion. We don’t all know a lot about cars, so if you can bring someone along who does, you’ll definitely be able to bolster your chances of not making a bad investment. Whether you’re laying down the big bucks for a brand new Vauxhall ADAM or just looking at used Volkswagens, it always helps to have someone along with you knows a thing or two about cars if you don’t.

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