How to choose a used car with good reliability history at good price
If you are planning to buy a certified pre-owned/used car from a dealer, a private sale or neighbor, it will do you a world of good to thoroughly read Consumer Reports for a safe used car buying experience.
Trouble-free used cars do NOT come just by a stroke of luck. It involves good research and a keen eye to spot potential problems. Choice of a right and reliable used car can save you angst about possible Lemon law issues sooner or later.
You can easily identify a good used car and eliminate potential lemons if you do not turn a Nelson’s eye for the following:
Have It Inspected by a Qualified Mechanic to avoid a Lemon used car
Before you buy a used car, have it inspected by a qualified mechanic for an automotive diagnostic work.
- An organization called the Car Care Council www.carcare.org certifies diagnostic shops
- A thorough diagnosis of the used car costs around $120
- If you’re an American Automobile Association (AAA) member, you could use one of the recommended facilities of the organization
Let the mechanic inspect the undercarriage of the used car on a lift.
- Kinked structural components and large dents in the floor pan or fuel tank indicate a past accident
- Welding on the frame suggests a damaged section might have been replaced or cut out during repairs
Have the mechanic look for fresh undercoating used to hide recent structural repairs
A dealer lends you the car to have it inspected if you leave identification.
A private seller may not and you need to go the seller’s shop/house for the inspection of the used car.
Know your Lemon Law rights
The Lemon Law can protect you if your used car deal turns out to be a Lemon used car deal.
- Knowledge of the Lemon Law protection is also part the strategy of buying a safe used car
- State Lemon Law protection varies greatly for used car consumers
- New York law requires that used car dealers offer written warranties on all used cars selling at $1,500 or more with less than 100,000 miles
- In California, it is illegal for a used car dealer to sell a used car with unsafe tires, damaged glass, nonfunctioning lights, or ineffective brakes
Other states offer varying amounts of Lemon Law protection. Check with your state attorney general’s office or local consumer-protection agency to learn about the Lemon Laws in your area.