Over the past year, demand for used vehicles has soared. So, in many cases, have prices. In this environment, drivers in West Virginia should be even more careful than normal when looking for a pre-owned car. It’s important to vet a vehicle before committing to a purchase. You can do this by conducting research, doing a visual inspection and test-driving the car. There is also a lemon law in West Virginia to protect consumers.
Researching a used car
One of the first things you should do when starting the buying process is checking for recalls. Do a computer search of the make and model of the car you’re most interested in. This will let you know if there’s an intrinsic problem with the vehicle and how it’s being addressed.
It’s important to do a visual inspection of the car as well. This means looking at the exterior, interior, under the hood and at the tires. You want to see signs that the car has been well-maintained and that there are no obvious issues. There are several guides for signs of problems online.
The lemon law
Per the Federal Trade Commission, dealers need to provide information about the cars that they sell. Normally, they put this information in the window. In addition to federal protection, there is a West Virginia lemon law.
Under this law, you may be able to seek legal recourse if you purchased a defective car. There are a number of stipulations about which cars qualify. The case needs to be brought within 12 months of purchase. One sign you have a lemon may be that you took your vehicle to an authorized dealership for repairs several times and the problem never resolved. An attorney may be able to help you understand if you have a good claim.