It is remarkably easy to buy a used car these days. Salespeople at car dealerships are all too happy to show you around the lot while touting the unique features of each automobile.
Dealerships and salespeople always talk up the car you are considering, but what do they truly know about the vehicle? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it may be up to you to find information from other sources.
Research the history of the car
Delving into the history of used cars is an effective way to learn about prior problems with the vehicle. For example, you can find out if it was involved in an accident and get its repair record. If the car was in a serious accident, you might choose to look elsewhere.
Find out if the car was declared a total loss
Armed with the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), it may be possible to uncover whether it is only suitable for salvage. It might have suffered flood or other damage or was stolen (and not recovered). The VIN can help you learn even more about the history of the auto.
Find out if it was part of a recall
Several federal resources are available to help you discover if the used car that caught your eye was ever part of a vehicle recall. If it was recalled but never repaired, you might be looking at a lemon.
If you recently bought a used car with mechanical or other problems, you may qualify for a remedy under the California Lemon Law. It’s wise to seek legal guidance if you file a claim.