7 important questions to consider before purchasing a used car

When buying a used car, there are several important questions to ask to protect yourself from potential scams or misrepresentations. Lemon Laws and cooling-off periods may not always apply, so it’s essential to be thorough in your questioning. In this article, we will cover seven crucial questions to ask when buying a used car, as recommended by New York-based lawyer Sergei Lemberg.

Questions to ask when buying a used car in 2024:

1. Do you have the repair history for this vehicle?
When purchasing a relatively new or Certified Pre-Owned car, asking for the repair history can provide valuable insights into any previous issues experienced by the vehicle. By checking the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at a manufacturer’s dealership, you can obtain a record of the work done on the car. Additionally, requesting a CarFax report can reveal any red flags in the car’s history.

2. Where is the Buyer’s Guide?
Federal law requires that every used vehicle has a Buyer’s Guide displayed prominently, indicating whether the car is being sold ‘as is’ or if there is a warranty included. If no Buyer’s Guide is posted, it’s best to look for another dealer to ensure transparency in the sale.

3. What is your return policy?
While there may not be a universal cooling-off period for used car purchases, some dealers offer return policies. It’s important to inquire about the dealer’s specific return policy and request it in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.

4. Can I see the vehicle’s title?
Checking the vehicle’s title is crucial to avoid buying a lemon buyback, salvage, or rebuilt car, which could be misrepresentations by unscrupulous dealers. Researching the VIN independently is recommended to verify the car’s history and avoid potential title washing scams.

5. Will you put that in writing?
Obtaining written documentation of any promises made by the dealer, such as financing arrangements or warranties, is essential for legal protection in case of misrepresentation. Ensure that all agreements are included in the contract before leaving the dealership.

6. Can you substantiate the odometer reading?
Odometer fraud is a common scam in the used car market, so it’s crucial to verify the accuracy of the odometer reading. The dealer should be able to justify the reading through the vehicle’s history and present condition.

7. Is there a factory warranty left on the car?
If the car is still covered under the original warranty, make sure to obtain the warranty documents from the dealer and verify the warranty with the manufacturer before finalizing the purchase.

In conclusion, when buying a used car, thorough questioning and verification of essential information can help protect you from potential scams or misrepresentations by dealers. By asking these seven crucial questions recommended by Sergei Lemberg, you can make a more informed decision and ensure a smoother car-buying experience.

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