Used cars can provide consumers with access to relatively new and lightly used vehicles for often a fraction of the cost of a new car. Whether you choose to browse for vehicles online, at a used car lot or elsewhere, you can often find a great deal.
However, prospective West Virginia used car owners should keep several considerations in mind before committing to a used car. While many used cars will provide owners with years of good, reliable service, others can turn out to be full of persistent issues that become both frustrating and expensive.
Lemon Law and used cars in West Virginia
West Virginia Lemon Law protects car owners with substantially defective vehicles, whether the car is new or used. The law considers cars as lemons when key safety components are defective or when three or more repair attempts fail to correct an issue. In either case, as long as your car is still under the original warranty, the manufacturer must then replace the vehicle or refund you for your purchase.
What to know before purchasing a used car
While Lemon Law provides consumers with significant protection, there are steps you can take to avoid purchasing a lemon in the first place. Consider the following steps when in the market for a used vehicle:
- Inquire about the warranty of the vehicle. Warranty is critical if the vehicle is a lemon. Learn about the warranty as well as the reliability of the car.
- Ask about the vehicle’s history. Ask about the full history of the vehicle, including its previous use, accident history and any potential red flags.
- Do your own research. While you should be able to trust that the value of the car is fair, do some research to question discrepancies in sticker price and value.
- Shop around for financing. Look beyond a dealership for financing options. Compare quotes from credit unions, banks and more to look for the best offer.
- Test drive the vehicle. This can alert you to potential issues that you would otherwise be unaware of. If you feel uncomfortable, be prepared to walk away.
A used car can be a great investment with the right research, time and questions asked. Take your time to shop around and do all you can to avoid purchasing a defective vehicle.