Don’t Get Left With A Lemon: The Used Car Buyer’s Ultimate Cheat Sheet

Picture here

Cars, they are one of the most expensive purchases we can make, right? In fact, there are some models that you can buy new that is as much as a small house; it’s pretty crazy! However, you don’t have to spend your left savings on a vehicle, especially if you buy one second hand. Although, if you do choose to go this route you have to ensure that you know what to look out for, so you don’t end up getting left with a lemon! To help you with this, read our post below.

Image link

Do your research beforehand.

Firstly, before you get anyway near to buying a secondhand car, you need to take some time and do your research online via popular sites like and Such research is so important because not only does it allows you to check that the vehicle you are interested in suitable for your needs, but it also helps make you aware of the average cost of such a car. Something that means you know whether the price you are paying for a second-hand version is good value or not, and whether you should attempt to bargain it down with the person selling.

Researching thoroughly into the car that you are considering buying is also valuable because it will inform you about the particular problems that the model and make has. Knowing this is useful because it means you can ask the current owner or car salesman whether these problems are showing up in the particular car you are buying, and you can also look out for them yourself. Just in case you come across a seller that is not 100% honest! Sadly, it does happen.

Don’t write off auctions and private sales.

While most people that are buying a secondhand car will go to a lot to choose their next ride, it’s important that you don’t write off other methods of purchase. These methods include going to car auctions and private sales.

Picture link

Many folks steer clear of these because they are concerned that they don’t have the opportunity to address any problems after the sale. However, it is also worth noting that the savings you can make are high compared to the prices on a traditional used car forecourt.

Of course, to get a truly good deal, you need to pick a vehicle that isn’t a lemon. That means you must look it over before your bid or purchase, and you also have to have done your homework, as described in the section above.

Do get a used car warranty.

Also, it can help investing in a used car much safer to use companies like the one at that offer extended used car warranties. This is a good choice whether you buy from a car lot, and auction, or a private sale because it means that the mechanical elements of your car are covered if they were to go wrong.

This mechanical element is something that for the most part insurance doesn’t cover. It means by having this you are protected from any potential costs from breakdown and ageing parts in the future, rather than having to find hundreds of dollars out of nowhere repair your vehicle. Something you aren’t going to want to do, especially if the vehicle itself is only worth about the same price!

Don’t forget to check this history of the vehicle.

Next, to ensure you don’t get left with a lemon, it is critical that you investigate that particular vehicles history. This will include checking the title and log book and making sure that the previous owner’s entry dates add up, as well as looking over what they say about any accidents or problems.

It is also worth taking a second action to be sure that this information is accurate and it’s using an online car checking services like  These services check official data to ensure that what is written in the logbook matches up.

This is necessary because some people may try and pass off vehicles as never having a crash, or even as another vehicle altogether if it was stolen. Both situations that you will want to avoid at all costs and can result in you being out of pocket, or put in danger when driving!

Do go for a test drive.

Wow, I can’t believe that anyone would buy a used car without taking it for a test drive first. OK, so if you are purchasing at an auction, you may not have that luxury, but there is no excuse for skipping the test drive if you are buying from a used car lot or a private individual. After all, this is the most important test that the vehicle has to pass!


It is so vital because it is a time for you to check that what the current owner says about the car is true and that it is in good running order. Something you can find out more about how to do at or in the video below.

Even simple things like bias in the steering that might put you off can be picked up during this time. It also gives you a chance to double check that the make and model you are considering is right for your lifestyle and style of driving, so whatever you do don’t miss out this step!

Don’t forget to get it serviced at the time of purchase.

The last way that you can help to avoid purchasing a lemon is to take your newly acquired vehicle for a service straight away. This is so useful because it can help to pick up any issues that you may have missed, and that the seller has neglected to tell you about.

Image link

Then you have the opportunity to get them resolved or take the car back to the seller and ask them to fix it or to get your money back. Something that can help you avoid ending up out of pocket in the long term, or putting you and your family’s lives in danger by driving around a lemon of a used car.