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How to Avoid Buying a Lemon Car: 4 Must-Know Tips

How to Avoid Buying a Lemon Car: 4 Must-Know Tips

The origination of the term ‘lemon car’ is murky but it’s part of accepted parlance when describing a car that just won’t work properly. It’s a subject we were discussing with our Port Dover car loan team the other day so decided to create a blog post about how to avoid buying a lemon.


So, what is a lemon car and how can you avoid buying one?

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What's a Lemon Car?

As we alluded to in the introduction, a lemon car is when you buy a car that just won’t work properly. Whether the issue is mechanical, electrical or something else, if it’s a persistent issue that is never fixed by repairs or would cost too much to repair, that’s a lemon.


If you buy a new car that’s a lemon, you have protection under warranty to have all defects fixed. If the manufacturer or dealer won’t address the issue, you can then go to the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan, CAMVAP.


CAMVAP can help arbitrate an agreement between you and the manufacturer to address any repairs.


How to Avoid Buying a Lemon Car

You cannot eliminate the risk of buying a lemon but you can take a few steps to minimize the chances of it happening.


It is very difficult to avoid buying a new lemon as any defect may be invisible and happen during manufacture. It must have been hidden enough for quality control to have missed it and it will be up to you to find a remedy with the dealership.


Buying a used lemon offers more scope.


Buy Certified Pre-Owned

Buying a certified pre-owned car should help you avoid buying a lemon. Cars are inspected and repaired wherever there is an obvious problem.


You also have warranty protection from the dealership covering you for most issues within the first few months of ownership.


Check the Vehicle History

Vehicle history checks won’t always tell you much about whether the car is a lemon but will tell you if it has been involved in an accident that could cause it to become a lemon.


You can check vehicle history for private and dealer sales and they are well worth it.


Have the Car Inspected

If you’re buying privately, paying for a mechanic to come with you to inspect the car should help prevent you from missing stuff only practiced eyes would detect.


If the owner refuses permission to inspect the car, it will likely be for a reason so even then, the inspection has saved you.


Research the Make and Model for Common Issues

Most cars will have characteristics that demand close inspection. Some rust easily, others go through brakes quickly, and others have weaker transmissions.


Check out the make and model you’re buying and make sure you carefully inspect the particular weakness of that car.


There is no surefire way to avoid buying a lemon car but there are things you can do to minimize the chances of it happening.


If you need a car loan to buy a new car, contact our car loan team. We would be happy to help.


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