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Consumers Beware: Never Buy a Car Sight Unseen

» Posted December 23, 2016Resources | Share This Post

Buying a car is a process filled with potential problems. You could end up with a brand new vehicle with serious defects and be forced to pursue remedies under the California Lemon Law.  You could also find that you have a car that costs you a lot of money or one that is not exactly what you expected it to be.

While there is always a risk that a car will turn out to have unexpected problems, there are certain things that you should and should not do in order to impact your chances of getting a car with issues. As Road and Track explains, one key thing that you should definitely NOT do is buy a car sight unseen.

Why You Should Not Buy a Car Without Seeing it First

Road and Track lists a number of reasons why it is a really bad idea to buy a car without seeing it in person first. Some of the reasons why you need to get out there and kick the tires before giving any car seller cash include the following:

  • Sellers sometimes fail to disclose problems with vehicles: After you've paid and the car has been transported to you, you could end up finding there is something seriously wrong with the vehicle you have just bought. The question then is, what next? You may have a hard time getting your money back, if you are able to at all. 
  • Sellers may take deceptive vehicle photos that hide obvious damage: Some sellers will argue you don't need to see the car in person since you've already checked out the pictures. The bottom line is, though, an in-person look can show much more than an online picture ever could.
  • Sellers may actually send you a different car than the one you thought you bought: There have been cases where motorists have made a deal, only to find out the dealer has sent over a different car than was agreed to.
  • You may end up with no car at all: There are times when scammers take your money and don't even have a car to sell you once they've successfully obtained your funds.

Because of the risks, Road and Track advises that you pass on purchasing a vehicle that is too far away for you to personally check out. If you really want a car but cannot go and see it yourself, you should find a trusted person who can do the inspection and take a test drive for you. 

This person, who should not be connected with the seller or recommended by the seller, can give you an unbiased report on the car's condition so you can decide whether to move forward with the purchase or not.

Of course, even when you buy a brand new car, do your due diligence and do everything right, problems can still happen. Consumer protection laws like the Lemon Law can provide you with some relief if you have issues with vehicles, but navigating the car buying world remains treacherous.  If you find yourself facing problems, get legal help from an experienced attorney who can help you protect your rights and explore legal remedies.

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Posted By: Clay Coker