How to Protect Yourself When Buying a Car "As Is"

Many of us feel confident knowing that we will be getting a pristine car by buying new and driving it off the lot in immaculate condition complete with a manufacturer's warranty that covers repairs for several years, however, the reality is that many of us purchase used cars that are sold "as is." Buying used is a bit riskier than buying new. However, there are several things you can do to be proactive and protect yourself from unexpected repairs before purchasing a used car that will minimize the chances of encountering more significant and unexpected repairs.

"As is" is a legal term used to free the seller of any obligation or responsibility for the mechanical condition of a vehicle once the title changes hands that means "all issues known and unknown" become the buyer's responsibility once you have taken ownership. When you purchase used from a dealership, most likely, it has undergone an extensive multi-point inspection, which allows the seller to advertise it as "like-new." These inspections are comprehensive and often come with a limited warranty extending coverage for an additional year or so.

Luckily, there is a "lemon law" nationwide that protects buyers who encounter a vehicle with severe, repeated mechanical issues. The "lemon law" requires the manufacturer to repair the car at their expense, and if after several failed attempts, they are required to replace the vehicle or provide a refund.

The best thing you can do to be proactive when buying an "as is" car, is to research. Do extensive research on the make and model of the vehicle you are buying to know ahead of time what you are getting yourself into, what issues to look for in the car and see what their reliability rating is. You know what they say, "a good offense is a good defense." This means that if you take the time to see what other people's experiences are with this car, you will be armed with the knowledge to make an informed decision before locking yourself into a regretful purchase.

Be sure to take the car for a test drive to see that the vehicle starts, steers, and drives without any issues. Spend some time idling the car, check for smells, and see if all systems are functioning correctly. Pop the gas cap, kick the tires, turn on all lights and open and close the hood, trunk, and all doors. Sit in the back seat and explore all functions of the vehicle to make sure everything is in good working order. You will want to schedule a pre-purchase inspection on the car to ensure that the mechanical portion of the vehicle checks out as well.

If you are looking to buy a used car, we at AC Auto Service Center would love to help you with your pre-purchase inspection to help ensure you are getting a reliable running vehicle. Give us a call or schedule an online appointment with us between Monday - Friday, from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Our auto repair shop is conveniently located at 2425 West Clemmonsville, Winston-Salem, NC.
We look forward to seeing you soon!

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