Steps to Take If You’re Buying a Used Vehicle from Another State

There are times when buying a car is as simple as going across town. Other times, it means going a longer distance to find the vehicle you really want. If you’re buying a used car from another state, make sure you’re a diligent customer to avoid ending up with a lemon.

Get It Inspected

Whenever you buy a used car, whether outside or within your hometown, it’s important to have it inspected by a professional automotive technician. You can expect a thorough inspection of the car to see if there are mechanical issues or maintenance problems. The technician will also assess if the car is roadworthy and safe to drive. Hiring a professional technician for a used auto inspection means you can get an unbiased and complete report on the car to help you decide if it’s a good buy.

Fulfill the State Requirements

When it comes to vehicle requirements, it’s important to note that each state has its own rules. As a buyer, it’s your responsibility to ensure you comply with them. However, there are some general guidelines that apply to almost all states.

First, the car needs to be certified that it passed a smog and emissions test. There may be times when a car has certification that isn’t valid or accepted in another state. In cases like this, the car needs to be tested again.

A safety inspection is another requirement to be aware of. Some states have a biennial or annual inspection program, while others only require the inspection upon transfer of ownership. Since there are some variations, check your local motor vehicle agency for specific instructions on inspections.

The title and registration need special attention for used cars. Usually, the dealer handles the paperwork. However, if you’re buying a used car from a private seller, you’ll have to do the title transfer and registration yourself. People who purchase vehicles outside of their state may need to coordinate between their state’s motor vehicle agency and the agency where the car was originally located.

Pay the Right Amount of Taxes

The general rule with sales taxes is that you pay the tax where the car will be registered, which in this case would be your own home state. If you fail to pay the sales tax, you cannot register the vehicle.

Make Sure You Have Adequate Car Insurance

Consult with your insurance agent before you buy a car out of state. Almost all states require car insurance before you can legally drive the car. It’s also important to consider that as soon as you have the car, it will need to go through a long drive to get to your home state. Having the proper car insurance is, therefore, particularly important for people who buy a used car out of state.

Contact Lemon Squad today if you’re considering purchasing an out-of-state vehicle and would like a pre-purchase car inspection. We can send one of our highly trained technicians out to inspect the car and let you know if it’s a good option to purchase. Call 888-231-7965 today to schedule an inspection.

7 Issues Used Auto Dealers Attempt to Hide from Buyers

A lot of people don’t trust used car dealerships because some of them try to hide problems from potential buyers. You should always be cautious when purchasing a used vehicle and be careful of who you purchase from. Before you go to a used car dealership, look for reviews on the internet about their business. Here are a few of the top things used car dealers sometimes attempt to hide from potential buyers.

1. Engine Problems

Engine issues can be problematic for a variety of reasons. Used car dealerships may try to hide problems with the engine because they know they’re expensive to fix and they don’t want to lose money.

2. The Title

One of the worst things that can happen is purchasing a vehicle only to find out there’s something wrong with the title. Always make sure the vehicle you’re buying has a clean title before you sign any papers. You can usually find this information by checking the vehicle’s history report.

3. High Mileage

A lot of buyers won’t purchase a vehicle that has high mileage because they think the vehicle might have poor performance. Some used car dealers try to hide this information by omitting the exact mileage from the car’s fact sheet. Don’t trust what’s on the fact sheet. Check the mileage yourself.

4. Car History

Used car dealers aren’t legally obligated to tell you every detail about the vehicle’s history, but it’s illegal for them to lie to you. Still, some of them do it. Always look up the history of the vehicle you’re thinking about purchasing before you make your decision.

5. Defects

If the used vehicle you’re interested in has any defects, the dealer might park the vehicle in a position that makes it difficult for you to see defects. Make sure you walk around the entire vehicle and perform a thorough inspection. If you’re concerned about any defects you find, make sure to order a professional car inspection.

6. Interior Damage

Some used car dealers may try to hide interior damage by distracting you. The dealer might sit in the vehicle quickly when taking it for a drive or try to take your attention away from a certain area inside the car. Make sure to perform a thorough inspection of the car’s interior to check for damages.

7. The Vehicle’s Value

Many used car dealerships try to raise the purchase price of the vehicle they’re selling to much more than it’s worth. If you’re interested in a vehicle, check its true value before you negotiate a price.

Don’t buy a vehicle when you’re busy and in a hurry, as it makes you vulnerable to getting ripped off. Be suspicious of any used car dealership that tries to pressure you into making a purchase. Dealers use this tactic because they know it often works.

Don’t take the word of a used car dealer at face value. Get a pre-purchase auto inspection to determine if the car you’re interested in is worth your time and money. Call Lemon Squad today at 888-231-7965 to schedule an appointment with one of our reliable technicians.

Purchasing a Used Vehicle from a Private Seller vs. a Dealer

Buying a used car can be a great way to get affordable transportation. However, you need to make sure you can verify the vehicle’s condition and that whoever sells it has the legal right to do so. Here are some of the differences between acquiring a vehicle from a dealer as opposed to buying from a private seller.

Dealers Are Generally More Transparent About a Vehicle’s Condition

Dealers typically offer a used car history report with every vehicle they sell. The report will tell you if your preferred vehicle has been in an accident, has experienced frame damage, or has a salvaged title. Furthermore, a dealer will usually inspect and recondition a car before putting it on the lot. Therefore, you can safely assume it’s in good running condition. However, it’s still a good idea to have an auto inspection performed by a professional technician.

Dealers Typically Offer More Flexible Financing Options

Another potential benefit of buying a car from a dealership is that the dealer may offer financing. A dealer may also partner with local, regional, and national banks to offer loans to customers. Obtaining a loan allows you to purchase the vehicle today and make payments over time. Even if you have the money to pay for a vehicle right now, it can be advantageous to keep your money in the bank or in an investment account. It’s important to point out that banks will make loans to those looking to buy from private sellers as well.

Private Parties Offer Greater Selection

Most dealers only offer late-model vehicles for sale. In some cases, they limit their selection to cars made by a certain manufacturer or group of manufacturers. When you choose to buy from a private party, you can look for the exact car you want regardless of how old it is or what the make is. If you only have a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to spend on a vehicle, it may be more convenient to buy from a private seller instead of a dealer.

Private Sellers May Be Willing to Negotiate

When you go to a dealer, the salesperson may have limited leeway to lower the sticker price on your preferred vehicle because the dealership has to make a sufficient profit on each car it sells. A private party may be willing to negotiate because his or her top priority is to unload the vehicle for a reasonable amount even if it’s below the asking price. Private party sellers may also be willing to pay for a pre-purchase car inspection or a vehicle history report to make you feel more confident about the transaction.

If you’re considering buying a used vehicle, whether from a dealer or a private party, contact Lemon Squad to inspect it before you make your decision. Call 1-888-231-7965 to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians.

How to Avoid Being Ripped Off When Buying a Used Car

When you’re shopping for a used vehicle, it’s easy to get ripped off by swanky salesman and private sellers looking to make a quick buck. Luckily, a bit of knowledge and experience can save you from buying a total lemon of a car. Here’s a quick guide to buying a used car without getting ripped off.

Bring a Trusted and Knowledgeable Friend
Don’t shy away from enlisting a friend who is knowledgeable about motor vehicles to help you pick a car. Your friend can ask all the tough questions you may have not known you needed to ask in the first place. If you suspect there might be issues with the car, hire a professional car inspector who can inspect the details and find any faults the used vehicle may have. Don’t be afraid to ask for more time if you need a more thorough car inspection.

Take a Test Drive

Even if the owners insist on going with you, it’s important to take a used car for a spin to see if it drives properly. A responsible seller will let you drive the vehicle around the block or even on the highway to make sure it rides properly. Make sure the keys work in the ignition and the engine runs right. You don’t want to be stuck on the road after driving away and paying for a vehicle that doesn’t work to its best ability.

Check the Details

Make sure your car comes with an updated inspection to save you some stress. The mileage is also a good way to judge the quality of the car. Look for nicks and damage to make an assessment on how much the vehicle is worth.

Look It Up Online

With new technology, you can easily type in your car’s license plate and model to see if it has been in prior accidents and determine if any work needs to be done. A simple search will show you the mechanisms of the vehicle and if you should avoid the purchase completely.

Keep Your Composure

When you’re desperate for a car, it’s easy to get overexcited and jump at the chance for a great deal. Try to keep your mind collected as you negotiate the deal. A trusted seller will be able to work with your budget and perhaps present a price that works for you both.

With the right frame of mind, you can easily find the vehicle you love without getting ripped off. Purchasing a car involves a lot of money, so use it wisely.

When buying a used car, it’s beneficial to get a pre-purchase auto inspection from Lemon Squad to avoid being scammed. Our technicians can check the car for a variety of potential issues. Call us today at 888-231-7965 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.

7 Things That Make a Used Car a Lemon

The purchase of a used car can prove to be a costly transaction if not well handled. In some circumstances, you could end up with a used car that is a lemon, which is a pre-owned vehicle that is problematic for some reason. Such cars are usually misrepresented so you eventually pay significantly more than the actual worth of the car. Following are some things that make a used car a lemon.

1. Absence of Repair Records

A genuine seller of a used car should provide a detailed record of the work completed on the automobile. Otherwise, the seller might be trying to hide something about the vehicle.

2. Evident Issues During the Test Drive

Always make sure you take a vehicle for a test drive before making a purchase. A test drive is one of the best ways to determine whether a vehicle is a lemon. If you’re not well acquainted with cars, get a test driver or a mechanic to drive with you. You should lookout for telltale signs like engine noise or strange vibrations when driving at high speeds because they indicate potential or existing problems.

3. Signs of Neglect and Abuse

You need a used car inspection to notice signs of neglect and abuse if you don’t want to end up buying a lemon. A well-maintained car is less likely to have significant problems. Look for signs of neglect like dents, dings, or odors. Although these signs do not necessarily mean the car is a lemon, it’s more likely a person who has neglected the appearance of his or her car has neglected the engine as well.

4. Involvement in an Accident

Although a used car might appear spotless and well maintained, you should try to determine whether the vehicle was involved in an accident. If you find out a used car you intend to purchase was involved in an accident, you may want to take your search elsewhere.

5. Performance Level

If you intend to purchase a high-performance vehicle, the best alternative is a new car because people who purchase high-performance vehicles often do so to utilize the capacity of the car. Consequently, these vehicles tend to have been subjected to high stress and performance that might make them underperform.

6. A Bargain Too Good to Be True

The saying “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to used cars. If the deal is too good, take a closer inspection of the car. The seller might be anxious to get rid of a lemon.

7. Lack of Adequate warranty

The warranty offered for a used car should be adequate to cover you if the vehicle is a lemon. Although this factor is relative to others like the outcome of an inspection, don’t rush to purchase a used car without an adequate warranty. You might be purchasing a lemon.

If you’re considering buying a used car, make sure to get a professional pre-purchase auto inspection by Lemon Squad, one of the leading used car inspection providers. Call 888-231-7965 to schedule an appointment today.

5 Advantages of Getting a Used Car from an Auction House

When buying a new car, many people head to a used car dealership. However, people looking to get a great price for a used vehicle should consider buying a car at an auction. Going to a car auction to purchase your next vehicle has several advantages. If you’re curious about the benefits of visiting an auction to purchase your next vehicle, read on for five of the best reasons.

1. Prices Are Lower

Buying a new vehicle at a car auction can seem like a risky option for prospective car buyers. Make sure to carefully review the details of an upcoming auction if you’re interested in buying your new vehicle from an auction house. At a car auction, interested buyers can typically purchase a car below market value. With the right amount of research, you can find a car priced at 30 percent of the vehicle’s initial value. Though you’ll likely have to handle the cosmetic and mechanical issues on your own, the price of the vehicles at an auction is unbeatable.

2. There Are a Variety of Vehicles to Choose From

The options at a car auction are nearly endless. With the large selection of vehicles, you’ll likely find several cars that will meet your needs, including cars, trucks, and farm vehicles.

3. Civilians Have Access to Fleet or Government Vehicles

When government or fleet vehicles become outdated, they are often sold at auctions. These cars are typically rather new with low mileage, well maintained, and an excellent option for a used car.

4. Vehicles Can Be Found Still Under Warranty

When you go to a car auction, you’ll see most of the vehicles are relatively new, and several are still covered by their warranties. When buying a used car, you’ll likely have to pay a few hundred dollars to fix mechanical issues. When purchasing a car with the warranty still intact, you can expect to face minimal mechanical issues. But just to make sure, it’s better to get a pre-purchase auto inspection before buying it. By visiting an auction, you’ve got a much higher chance of finding a car that is like new.

5. Auction Houses Have Their Inventory Online

Today’s auction houses typically post their inventory on their websites, allowing interested buyers to view information and pictures of all the available cars. Reviewing the vehicles before the auction allows you to pinpoint your top picks beforehand. Make sure to do your research on any cars you are considering purchasing.

To avoid ending up with a car with potential issues, make sure to order a car inspection from Lemon Squad. Our technicians can help you make an informed decision while purchasing a used car by checking it for possible problems. To schedule an appointment with one of our technicians, give us a call at 888-231-7965.

Signs You Should Avoid Buying a Used Vehicle

If you’re in the market for a vehicle, you may be tempted to buy a used car you found in an ad online or in your newspaper. While there’s nothing wrong with finding a good deal on a used car, you’ll need to be careful. Luckily, there are ways to figure out if you’re getting good value or a gigantic lemon.

Clear Evidence of a Manipulated Odometer

When the odometer only has 20-30,000 miles and the car is five years old or more, there might be a problem. If the steering wheel or seat belt webbing shows evidence of significant wear and tear, the odometer may have been tampered with to hide serious engine issues.

An Unusual Check Engine Light

In this case, unusual means the check engine light isn’t turning on for a few seconds when you start the car up. If this happens, the seller may be keeping it off deliberately because the engine is in bad shape. Should this happen to you, ask the seller what the problem is. If the seller denies there are any problems at all, walk away.

Dents and Misaligned Body Parts

Even though dents and other cosmetic issues are fairly common on used cars, many sellers try to hide the fact they exist. If you see door panels or hood/trunk gaps that aren’t in alignment, these issues could mean the car was in a serious accident the seller is trying to hide. Look closely at the seams lining the fenders, hood, and doors. If they’re wider or narrower than they should be, your seller may be lying to you.

Lack of Title Paperwork

If the seller seems hesitant when you ask about the car’s title or says there isn’t one, just walk away. Although a few people lose the title among their paperwork, it’s far more likely that the car was stolen in this kind of situation. If there is a title available, check the date on it. If the purchase date was recent, there could be problems the seller isn’t telling you about.

Missing Maintenance Records

You should also be wary of sellers who have no records of maintenance or service, as it shows a complete lack of responsibility on the seller’s part. If you’re still interested in a vehicle without these records, you should have a professional auto inspection performed before deciding to buying it.

Shady Salesmanship

Don’t buy a used car from anyone who’s being disrespectful or sneaky. If the seller can’t answer the questions you have, that’s another reason not to trust him or her.

One of the best ways to avoid buying a poorly maintained used vehicle is to order a car inspection from Lemon Squad. We’ll schedule an appointment with one of our technicians who can check for a variety of issues with the car. Give us a call today at 888-231-7965 to learn more.

What to Look for When Test Driving a Used Vehicle

Though it’s important to get a pre-purchase auto inspection before buying a used vehicle, you can only tell so much about the automobile by inspecting the body, interior, and engine bay. To find a safe, reliable car for your daily commutes, you need to get behind the wheel. Among other things, test driving allows you to see firsthand how it performs, giving you a better idea of whether it’s a smart investment. Here are a few things you should look for when test driving a used car.

Transmission Shifting

With the average cost of a rebuilt transmission exceeding $1,000 for most automobiles, you should choose a used car with a functional transmission that shifts smoothly. During a test drive, pay attention to the RPM gauge between shifts. If it’s an automatic transmission, it should shift between 2,000 and 2,800 RPMs unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. If it’s a manual transmission, it should shift when you change the gear stick position.

Handling

You can also see how well a used automobile handles during a test drive. Ideally, an automobile should travel directly ahead on a straight line when the road is flat and the driver isn’t turning the steering wheel. Problems such as misaligned wheels, excessive tread wear on the tires, or suspension failure may cause it to veer in one direction. Another important step to checking an automobile’s handling is to press the brakes. The brakes should quickly respond to decelerate the automobile. If there’s a delay or you hear a grinding or screeching noise, it may indicate the brakes are failing. Brake discs, rotors, and other components are relatively easy to replace, but you shouldn’t drive an automobile with bad brakes due to the increased risk of collision it poses.

Engine Performance

Test driving a used automobile offers transparency into the engine’s performance. It’s not uncommon for neglected, damaged automobiles to misfire upon startup, which means one of its cylinders isn’t firing. When a misfire occurs, the engine may produce a hissing or stuttering noise. However, the biggest indication of a misfiring cylinder is loss of power. For a four-cylinder engine, misfiring results in a 25 percent loss of power. Whether it’s a four, six, or eight-cylinder engine, it should always fire all its cylinders.

Check Engine Light

Test driving gives you the opportunity to see if the automobile’s check engine light is active. When you turn on the ignition, the odometer, speedometer, and other instrumentation displays will illuminate. If there’s a problem affecting the engine’s performance, such as a blown head gasket, clogged catalytic converter, or low oil pressure, you may discover the check engine light illuminated as well. Bring an on-board diagnostics scanner when test driving a used vehicle so you can identify the specific problem triggering the check engine light. This nifty automotive tool reveals a unique code for any problems attributed to the check engine light.

In addition to test driving, one of the most important steps before purchasing a used vehicle is getting a professional car inspection. At Lemon Squad, we look for a variety of potential issues that will help you make an informed decision on buying a particular car. Give us a call today at 888-231-7965.

How to Determine If a Used Vehicle Has Aftermarket Parts

Used Vehicles with Aftermarket Parts in San Diego, CA

Replacement parts manufactured by another company apart from the original vehicle manufacturer are known as aftermarket parts, also called competitive replacement parts, generic parts, or non-OEM parts. You can perform the following checks to determine if aftermarket parts have been used when repairing a used car.

Find Out the Insurance Company’s Policy

Used vehicles from insurance companies, usually sold at an auction, are often cheaper compared to other secondhand car dealers. Insurance companies sell cars that have been repaired either after a major or minor accident. Usually, buying original parts from the manufacturer costs more compared to purchasing aftermarket spare parts. As insurance companies are in the market to make a profit, they typically go for aftermarket spare parts. When buying a car an insurance company is selling at an auction, check the company’s policy and inquire about the kind of spare parts they used.

Ask the Previous Owner

Knowing whether a used car has aftermarket parts can be difficult for an ordinary person to identify by just observing the equipment. Most car equipment is almost the same, and you may not know if it comes from an original manufacturer unless you have a professional inspector look at your car. However, some back history of the vehicle can help you determine if the car has aftermarket parts or not. If you purchased the vehicle directly from the previous owner, you can ask if he or she replaced worn out parts with original parts or with aftermarket parts.

Get a Professional Car Inspection

Used car dealers may not openly admit they have fixed a vehicle with aftermarket parts since they want to impress buyers and make a sale quickly. It’s up to you to get an inspector to access the vehicle and find out if it has non-OEM parts. Hiring a professional technician to perform a used car inspection can help you identify aftermarket parts on the car, though some parts can be difficult to verify. Some of the spare parts could be counterfeits disguised as original parts from the car manufacturer. As a buyer with no experience with original spare parts, you might fail to recognize aftermarket spare parts installed in secondhand cars.

Test the Car’s Engine Performance

Changing the entire car engine or some parts of the engine can affect a car’s performance. Before buying a used car, take a test drive to gauge the performance of the vehicle. After a test drive, you may be able to tell if aftermarket spare parts have altered the engine’s performance.

If you want to find out if a used vehicle you’re interested in has been repaired with aftermarket equipment, or if you’re concerned about other issues with the car, make sure to get a professional auto inspection from Lemon Squad. We’ll send one of our reliable technicians to the vehicle to check for a variety of potential problems. Give us a call today at 888-231-7965.

6 Fluids That Might Be Leaking from a Used Car

6 Fluids That Can Leak from a Used Vehicle in San Diego, CA

If you’ve bought a used car, the last thing you want to see is a leak. Some leaks are more problematic than others, which makes it important to get a car inspection before buying a used vehicle. Below are six different fluids you might see leaking from a used car.

1. Water

If something clear is coming out of a car, there’s a good chance it’s just water, especially if the AC has been running. If the AC hasn’t been running, you’ll want to check by scent or feel to determine whether the offending liquid is water or not.

2. Oil

If the liquid coming out of your car is black, it’s probably engine oil. In most cases, you can fill your car back up with oil and take care of the leak as soon as it’s convenient. However, frequent oil leakage can be a sign of a much bigger problem. If you notice oil is leaking frequently, take your car to a trusted mechanic.

3. Coolant

Green coolant leakage isn’t terribly uncommon in used cars. Like an oil leak, this is something you can probably fix temporarily by filling up the coolant while you’re out. Keep an eye on this type of leak, as a major leak could lead to larger problems for your car. The best-case scenario is a crack in the coolant reservoir, while the worst is a radiator problem.

4. Transmission Fluid

Red liquid is almost always transmission fluid. You’ll need to get this leak checked out immediately unless you’re familiar with working on an auto transmission. You may just have a leaky pan, but you might also have a more serious transmission problem. The quicker you get it fixed, the less it’s going to cost you.

5. Brake Fluid

Brake fluid leakage is hard to diagnose by color. It can range from brown to clear, but you’ll almost always find it near the tires or directly under the brake pedal. Brake fluid leakage isn’t terribly common in newer cars, but it does happen in older vehicles. This is another issue you need to get checked out quickly, as leaking brake fluid can lead to a drop in the hydraulic pressure of the brakes, which can cause brake failure.

6. Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid ranges in color from orange to light brown, and it’s usually thin. You might mistake it at first glance for brake fluid or oil, but the viscosity will give it away. Leaky power steering fluid can indicate a major issue with the power steering, which is something that needs to be fixed quickly. Power steering repairs can be costly. Having to replace the system could cost much more than the average used car is worth.

You can avoid the issues that accompany these types of leaks by getting an auto inspection before buying a used vehicle you’re interested in. Lemon Squad can send out a technician to check out the car you want to buy, anywhere in the U.S. Give us a call today at 1-888-231-7965 to schedule an appointment.