THE PERFECT CONSUMER APPROACH TO BUYING THE PERFECT CAR
By: Barry L. Edzant, Esq.We receive many calls at our office by people who have made expensive new or used vehicle purchases only to find out later that they purchased a lemon or a flawed vehicle which was far less in value than they bargained for. For example, one of our clients purchased a used vehicle from a used car lot. It was a "perfect" car with low mileage. After the purchase, however, he found a vehicle rental receipt behind a seat which proved that his vehicle was not only a previous rental vehicle, but the odometer had been rolled back 30,000 miles! Be assured that undoing a vehicle transaction is not for the simple minded, or those with weak stomachs.
If you think you have a lemon and want to talk with experienced California lemon law attorneys, call the law office of Barry Edzant today at 661-222-9929.
There are many things you can do to protect yourself as a consumer. When buying a used vehicle, you are generally safer purchasing from a reputable dealership. You may pay a little more, but if something is wrong with the purchase, you will have a better chance at a successful recourse. The smaller the "selling dealer," (the smallest being the private party) generally the better the chance you will buy a problem vehicle.
Whenever possible, ask for repair records of a used car, and buy a warranty, if offered. Ask the dealership to put in writing that the car was not a daily use rental, was not a salvage, and was not in any major accidents. If the dealership hesitates, perhaps you should think twice about the purchase. The dealership should be sensitive to your concerns regarding used car purchases. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealer if you can have your own mechanic inspect the car.
With purchases from unknown private parties, keep in mind that this is the most dangerous method of buying a car both from a safety and a financial perspective. You should always have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic and a body shop - no exceptions! Insist on all repair records. Never go by yourself to look and drive the vehicle. Always run a carfax check (www.carfax.com) which will tell you if the seller has proper title. Ask the owner to warrant the vehicle for at least 30 days. (He/she probably won’t, but might if the vehicle has been for sale for a while.)
When purchasing a new vehicle, go to a dealership you can trust. Tell the salesperson up front that you are just looking, and do not buy the vehicle that same day. Think it over a while. There is rarely a true "one of a kind" vehicle as represented by many salespersons. Remember, unlike vacuum cleaners and the like, there is no "cooling off" period with vehicles. Once you drive it off the lot, it is yours to keep!
If you are going to lease, you must fully understand this complicated, but often practical method of getting into a new car. Make sure the salesperson explains everything to you in detail. If you are going to buy a dealer demo, a dealer loaner, or a "slightly" used car, make sure all of the warranties are fully in effect and follow the same precaution as if this were a used car.
Most importantly, follow your instincts. If you feel pressured from a salesperson to buy a particular vehicle, or if the deal just, "doesn’t feel right," your instincts are probably right. Walk away. Remember, there are hundreds of other dealerships - but there is only one of you. That puts you at a tremendous advantage!
Being a smart and informed consumer is rewarding and is easy.
Follow some simple rules, and drive your new car with peace of mind and comfort.
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