5 Steps to Avoid Buying a Lemon

June 21st, 2014 by

A red 2010 Chevy Impala in a suburban driveway

When you decide that its time to purchase your next new-to-you car, it’s important to make sure that you find the best one out of all the used cars for sale in Cincinnati. Buying used can be a great money saver, and plenty of people purchase used as an alternative to more pricy new models. You can usually snag a great car with awesome features, for well below what it was originally purchased for. While this is exciting, it’s important that you make sure the car you are purchasing is in good shape, and not hiding anything to surprise you later down the road.

Red Flags to Look Out for When Buying a Used Vehicle

The uncertainty of buying a used car, whether from a dealership or individual, is a very real thing. We have a few tips to help you navigate your used car buying experience, so that the vehicle  you purchase will be yours for years and years to come.

  • Check Title History. If you find a used car you are interested in buying, jot down the vehicle identification number (VIN), and head over to a site like CarFax to search the car’s history. Now is a good time to request to see the actual vehicle title, to make sure the VIN number on it matches with the VIN on the vehicle itself.
  • Check for Flood Damage. If the cabin of a vehicle smells moldy, it’s a good bet that it was involved in a flood of some type. Water damage can affect a car down the road with electrical and corrosion problems.
  • View Service Records. If available, check and see if the vehicle received regularly scheduled maintenance.
  • Research the Model. Some car models had problems when they were new, which means they probably haven’t improved. Get online and research the make and model for professional and consumer reviews.
  • Check Emissions Compliance. Be sure that the car has up-to-date emissions certification and has been able to pass annual emissions tests.