Saturday, May 3, 2008

Don't Get Taken for A Ride When Buying A New Car

The winter is an ideal time to purchase a car, according to lemon law office representatives. With an assortment of 2007 and 2008 models on the dealership lots and competitive pricing initiatives, consumers have plenty of opportunities to get behind the wheel of a shiny new car, truck or SUV that fits their lifestyle.

However, drivers need to take certain precautions to make sure they aren't taken for a ride or stuck with a lemon car. "An automobile purchase is something that should not be rushed", they warn. The Lemon Lawyers offers consumers the following tips:
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!. Make sure the car you are looking at has a strong customer satisfaction rating, provides the features that you are looking for, and is priced within your range. Consumer Reports remains an exceptional research tool.

Also check out Jack Gillis' "Ultimate Car Book". For pre-owned cars, check out and Kelly Blue Book ( to insure that used car drivers don't discover problems down the road.

ASK YOUR FAMILY, NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS. These people can provide useful information and recommendations. They may know someone who adores their SUV or someone whose sport car is constantly in the shop. User forums on the internet can also provide some useful perspectives and uncover common complaints consumers have with their particular vehicles.

KNOW THE MSRP! The MSRP stands for the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Unless a car is in high demand, most dealers will offer their cars at a price that is lower than MSRP. Knowing the MSRP can help you when you are discussing costs. Also, don't forget to call other authorized dealerships to see if they can get a better offer for you. A little legwork can save you thousands and if you are not one who likes to haggle, take along someone who does, or consider one-price shopping offered by Saturn and other manufacturers. Remember, this is your hard-earned money and you want to get the best ride for your dollar.

TRY IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT! This is a common error in judgment. We often order cars in special colors or with additional features and when they arrive, we sign on the dotted line and drive off. STOP! Before you take possession of the car, you need to check out the exact car you are buying, not one just like it. Make sure you try every feature (i.e. air conditioner, defroster, trunk latch, cruise control, sunroof, etc.) Also take it for a quick test drive before you sign any papers. If something isn't working right, don't sign anything. This is the one time you are in control. Demand perfection.

DO NOT PURCHASE A USED CAR WITHOUT A MANUFACTURERS' WARRANTY. Make sure that any car you purchase is protected with a warranty from the manufacturer. This is the only way a manufacturer will stand behind a pre-owned vehicle. And make sure that if you are buying a "pre-certified" car, it is certified by the manufacturer, and not the dealership. Otherwise, you will not be protected under the State and Federal Breach of Warranty Statutes.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! If you have purchased a new car or a car with an existing manufacturer's warranty and you have a reoccurring problem that they can't seem to fix, you do have legal rights. If a car is in the shop a significant number of days in the first year, or has a reoccurring problem under the manufacturer's original or extended warranty period, you could be entitled to a new car, or a full or partial refund. Best of all, there are State and Federal laws that provide 100% cost-free legal help. Don't be afraid to consult a specialist lemon law attorney if needed.

By Paul Fleming

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How Not To Buy A used car lemon

As a consumer, you have many ways to protect yourself. It is usually safest to purchase a used vehicle from a reputable dealer. Although you may pay a bit more up front, you will have a better chance of successfully resolving any problems that may arise with your purchase. The fewer cars the dealer sells, the higher the chance that your vehicle will be a lemon; the chance is highest if you're buying from a private party.

Buy all warranties that are available and get all repair records about the car. The salesperson should put in writing that the car was not in a major accident, or used for rental or salvage. If they equivocate, it should raise red flags about the purchase. An honest dealer would care about your concerns when buying a used car. Ask the dealer if you can have an outside mechanic examine the car before you buy it.

The most dangerous way to buy a car is from an unknown private party. Be absolutely certain, to have an outside body shop and mechanic examine the vehicle before you buy it. Demand to see all repair accounts. Always bring someone to view and drive the vehicle.

It is vital that you run a carfax check (, to insure that the seller has proper title to the vehicle. Ask the owner for a 30-day warranty. (You probably won't get it unless the car's been on sale for a while.) Go to a trustworthy dealership. Make sure that the dealer knows you won't be buying the car that day, and that you are just examining the car. Mull it over for a while. Don't believe the hype --- few cars are truly "one of a kind." There is no cooling off period with vehicle purchases, unlike vacuum cleaners and the like. Once it leaves the lot, it's yours!

Make certain that you understand the terms of any lease before you get one. Have the salesman give detailed explanations of the lease. Make sure all warranties are in effect if you're buying a demo, loaner, or a slightly used car.

Don't be afraid to follow your gut instincts. If you feel pressured from a salesperson to buy a specific vehicle, or if the deal just, "doesn't seem right," your instincts are probably correct. Step back and walk away. There's always another dealership, but there's only one of you. This gives you the advantage.

It is a rewarding and easy thing to be an smart and informed consumer. If you follow some simple rules, you can drive your new car with peace of mind and comfort.

by Barry Edzant