Saturday, May 5, 2007

Free Vehicle Finance

Lemon Laws Don’t Protect Used Car Buyers
By Charles Essmeier

Most buyers of new cars are probably familiar with lemon laws,
which allow consumers a refund or replacement when their car
turns out to be defective. These laws generally cover leased
cars as well as purchased ones, and they have worked well as a
consumer protection tool. Unfortunately, no such laws exist for
used cars, and buyers should be careful when purchasing them.

Many car dealers offer “certified used cars” that come with
some sort of warranty, but most independent used car dealers do
not. In most states, the law permits used car dealers to sell
cars “as is”, and in that case, anything that goes wrong, even
if it happens five minutes after purchase, becomes the buyer’s
problem. Dealers selling cars on an “as is” basis often aren’t
even required to disclose any problems a vehicle might have to
potential buyers. Most independent car dealers sell older, less
expensive cars than those sold at major auto dealerships. A lot
of the profits that independent used car dealers make come from
financing, particularly from financing those with bad or poor
credit. Those with problem credit often find that such
dealerships, which self-finance, are their only chance at
obtaining a car loan. These loans, with their resulting high
payments, often leave buyers without any extra cash to pay for
repairs of undisclosed problems. Legislators in several states
are considering laws that will require used car dealers to have
their cars inspected by certified mechanics prior to their being
offered for sale. This will help, in time, but what can a
potential buyer do now?

# Ask to have a certified mechanic examine the car before
purchase. Any reasonable dealer should allow you to take the
car to a mechanic; if not, you should probably shop elsewhere.

# Get a list of the car’s known problems in writing prior to
purchase. Inquire as to whether you have any recourse should
something go wrong after the sale.

# Ask the salesperson if the car has any sort of warranty, and
if so, get it in writing. If they tell you the car is sold “as
is”, ask them to define those terms exactly.

# Contact your local Better Business Bureau to see if they have
had any complaints about that particular dealer.

# If possible, purchase a used car from a dealership that
offers certified used cars with a written warranty.

Buying a used car is more problematic than buying a new one.
After all, a used car is one that someone else didn’t want
anymore. Buyers who are considering a purchase of a used car
should be aware that their protection under the laws of most
states is quite limited. Asking a few questions and doing some
investigation prior to making the purchase may save buyers
thousands of dollars down the road.

About the Author: ©Copyright 2005 by Retro Marketing. Charles
Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing. Retro Marketing,
established in 1978, is a firm devoted to informational
Websites, including, a site devoted
to automobile lemon laws and, a
Website devoted to information about debt consolidation and
credit counseling.


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