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Don’t spend your cash or car loan on a lemon

When you are in the market for a used car, the car you decide to purchase is usually determined by your budget. Whilst this isn’t the only factor that is important, it can often be the defining factor when choosing between different vehicles. The problem is that you need to do sufficient research so that you don’t waste your money buying a lemon – a car that isn’t value for money and needs expensive repairs.

The best way to ensure that you are truly getting a good deal and that the car has a free title, no outstanding debts and is in good working order is to buy from a reputable used car dealership. These are not fly-by-night dealers who try to hoodwink you out of your money, selling you a lemon and not taking any responsibility after the sale.

Trusted dealerships will do their own title checks on the vehicle and usually offer you their own 3-month warranty as well. They do these checks and offer a warranty because their business depends on maintaining a good reputation within the industry, and they want you to recommend them to your friends and relatives.

Tips for avoiding buying a lemon car

The first tip is clearly to buy from a reliable dealership, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore researching the market yourself because this will help you to understand whether you really are getting a good deal or not. So here are our top tips for avoiding buying a lemon car and instead, focussing in on the best deals in the car yards.

Background research: Check carsales.com.au for all cars within your price range, as this will give you an idea of what you can afford in the market. Once you have a general overview of the cars you can afford, select a few models that you prefer and then specifically search for these models on the website. This will give you an idea of the prices and years of your preferred car. For example, for $10,000 you might be able to purchase a 2014 Kia Rio 3 door hatch, a 2012 Honda Jazz or a 2013 Ford Focus.

Fine-tuning your preferences: Once you know what model and age of car is within your budget, you can start looking at other factors that are important to you. For example, fuel economy might be one of your priorities, you might want a sedan instead of a 3-door hatchback or a car that is still within its warranty period. You might not be able to get all of your ‘wants’ within your budget, but all of this research helps you to be more discerning when you go to the dealership because you will have a fair idea if a car is a great deal or if it is overpriced.

Do all the relevant checks: As mentioned above, a reputable dealership will have done all the title searches and know whether there is any money owing on the vehicle. They will also have performed a safety check and should give you a 3-month warranty as well. Once you have driven the car and decided that you would like to move forward with the purchase, then a final check is to have a mechanic or the RACQ to do a pre-purchase check on the vehicle. Any good dealership that has nothing to hide won’t have a problem with this arrangement because they will already have completed their own safety checks and know that it is all OK. A final check is to ask to see the log books, to make sure that all the relevant services have been performed on time.

With all this research, you shouldn’t have any problem culling out the lemons and homing in on the best deal for your budget at the dealership. If you want a car loan with competitive rates, please complete our online enquiry form or locate a Tony White Dealership close to you.