Five tips to avoid buying a Lemon
THE STARTER - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - February 5, 2018 - 12:00am

Buying a second hand car is a smart way to budget your needs and save money.   But the key to buying a good, quality used car is to know how to spot a lemon, or an over-used and abused car.

Acquiringfrom a dealership is always ideal especially with dealerships that carry limited warranties on it.A dealership also offers good insurance rates aside from the assured legal protection from fraudulent documents. Private sale from direct owners is also a good way of acquiring a good second hand car especially if it is highly recommended by a friend who knows the previous owner.

Here are five useful tips on how to get a good quality second hand car.


Before you start searching the classifieds, know your budget and tailor it to what type of car you need , going as far as writing down what features you want in a car and the gas mileage you expect it to do.

With the vast reach of the internet, narrowing down the field will help big time and will let you focus on your search.

It's always good to check the Facebook Marketplace and sites like OLX. This gives you a good basis for market price of the car you are after. Almost all cheaply priced units have major drawbacks but not all fairly priced units are good quality used cars.   Ideally, you want to buy the most recent used car with the lowest mileages that you can afford. But the idea is to look for a car that has been well kept and well-maintained (serviced regularly, no major accidents, where it is driven mostly).


Come prepared and make a checklist for all the things to lookout for.  You can have an experienced mechanic or a "car guy" friend help you sort out your list.

Thoroughly check the vehicle and give it a test drive around a variety of conditions like rough roads, traffic and inclines and steep roads.  Listen for unusual sounds, check the temperature gauge, and check the responsiveness of the engine.


Firstly, check if the car is currently registered (complete with Certificate of Registration and Updated Official Receipt).  Double check on chassis and engine numbers of the car if it corresponds to the numbers on the registration. Lastly, check if the registration is under the name of the current owner. If not, then check if the current owner has the supporting papers like the acknowledgement receipt from the previous owner, a Deed of Sale from the previous owner and a valid Identification Card with a signature.  You can also verify ownership by calling the concerned individuals on the paper trail.

Check if the registration is free from mortgage and clear by calling the banks that the registration was formerly attached to.


If you can't spot a lemon, it would be best to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic.

A vehicle inspection costs a few hundred pesos but will give you so much protection against the wrong cars.  Money spent here could save you hundreds of thousands of pesos in the long run.  Make sure you get a qualified mechanic.


Now that you've found your perfect used car, make sure you've compiled the necessary paperwork to make the transfer ownership as headache free as possible.

Here are the things to compile.

•Certificate of Registration under the name of the person you are paying to.

•Updated Official Receipt of Annual Registration

•5 copies of the Deed of Sale from the owner

•3 signed photocopies of the owner's Identification Cards

•An acknowledgement receipt of payment from the owner

•Copy of the Comprehensive Insurance

•The Car Manual/ Service Booklet

•Spare Keys and Remotes

Transfer the ownership of the vehicle into your name as soon as possible.


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