Used car fraud is when a car dealer engages in unfair or misleading sales practices to sell a used vehicle. When shopping for a used car, most people tend to be wary of used car salesmen. No one wants to buy a vehicle that turns out to be a lemon, so it is important to learn how to avoid becoming a victim of a used car scam. Below are a number of ways you can protect yourself from a used car scam.
1. Vehicle History Report: Before you purchase a used car, it is important to acquire the vehicle’s history. AutoCheck or CARFAX are two places where one can get a detailed history of the car. These companies will provide information about a particular car such as an odometer check, title check, history of repairs, and registration check. As well, the dealer can get a copy of the vehicle’s repair history by using the VIN number. Unfortunately, rolling back the odometer is quite common among used car dealers so it is important that you get a good approximation of the odometer reading. If the odometer reading seems really low, chances are the odometer has been rolled back.
2. Mechanic Inspection: Many experts recommend taking the used car to a mechanic for inspection before purchase. You should take it to a mechanic that you know and trust. If a seller will not allow you to take it to a mechanic, than you should look for another vehicle.
3. Avoid a Lemon Laundered Vehicle: There are a number of states that mandate if a manufacturer buys back a lemon, the title of the vehicle must state that it was a ‘Lemon Law Buyback.’ Some manufacturers avoid this law by settling with a consumer off the record. Acquiring the vehicle repair history will ensure you are not buying a previous owner’s lemon.
4. Inspect the Vehicle: When you are looking at used cars, there are number of things you can look for to determine if a car is in bad shape. For instance, you can find out if it is a flood damaged vehicle by looking for slow-moving power windows, wetness in the taillights and headlight compartments, and rust or dirt in the trunk and glove compartment. You should inspect the exterior for rust spots, recently painted areas, loose bumpers and fenders, old worn tires, rust and dirt under the hood and on the mechanical parts, scratches, and big dents. When you take it for a test drive, check for squeaky brakes, unusual shifting, and if you have to press hard on the brakes to get it to stop. Don’t buy a car that says sold ‘as is’ in the agreement.
Due to the recent troubled economy, many people are now buying used cards instead of brand new cars. Although there are lemon laws to protect people who purchase used cars, it is important to get a good warranty. As well, the seller should give you the warranty to any new parts that have been added to the vehicle. You should also check the Kelly Blue Book value of the car to make sure you are paying a fair price. When buying a used car, it is important to thoroughly research the car to avoid becoming a victim of a used car scam. If you think you have been scammed, you should see an attorney that specializes in used car scams.