That old saying about turning lemons into lemonade doesn’t really apply when you purchase a used car. Buying a used car is a little like meeting a new friend. They might be all smiles at first, but six months down the line they start acting up. The same goes for used cars. If you don’t do the necessary research, you can find yourself in a serious dilemma. You can either lose a lot of money or actually get injured if you don’t do your homework before you purchase a used car. Here are 5 tips to prevent buying a lemon.
- You want to look at the car’s repair history. If the car has been in the shop more than it has been on the road, this can be huge determining factor as to how long it is going to last and how much it is going to cost you to maintain it. If it is a classic car and can expect a few repairs during the year, you might not have to worry about. However, if you are looking for a dependable car to commute to work in, you want a car that has rarely been to the shop. If the seller doesn’t have detailed records of all the repairs it would be wise to talk to a car mechanic to see if they can get a few clues as to what has been worked on.
- Do you homework to see if the make and model of the car in question has been recalled and for what specifically. You might find a lot of cars on the road that did not go through their necessary recall process. Some of these problems can be serious, like spontaneous combustion and sticking breaks. It should be noted that a lot of these problems are happening in new cars opposed to old cars, because of computer glitches.
- Talk to other people who have owned the car. You can stop people on the street to ask them a few questions or reach out to people in online forums. Typically, people are more than happy to answer a few questions about their car experiences. If they have had any major problems or got rid of the car because of a more serious problem, this can be a cause for concern that you might be buying a lemon.
- It is also recommended when people are purchasing used cars that they take it to a mechanic before any money is exchanged. It can be hard to tell what exactly is wrong with a car’s engine just by looking at it, especially for a novice. A mechanic will be able to diagnose any problems and give an assessment as to how much it will cost.
- Lastly, always mind the market value. You might think you are getting a really good deal, but what you are really getting is a serious lemon. The reason why the car might be so cheap is because it is not in optimal working condition. One of the easiest ways to get fleeced is to fall for the “too good to be true” deals.