Buying a New Car

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Tips for Buying a New Car for a Christmas Present

This is part one of a two-part series on buying a motor vehicle for Christmas. Check back in for the next entry on buying a used car.

Christmas time has arrived and people around the country are looking for the perfect gift for that someone special. For many, a new car is the ultimate present for the one they love. However, the gift of a car may also bring trouble. In to make sure that the car you give this season brings joy instead of sorrow, follow these four guidelines to make sure there are no problems with the vehicle you select.




  1. Be aware of recalls - Even new cars can be subject to dealer recalls because of a defect with the vehicle. When buying a car, check to see if there have been any recalls issued for the model or the line of cars that it belongs to. If there has, make sure the car has been fixed by the dealer.
  2. Watch out for dealer fraud - While many dealers practice ethical sales tactics with consumers, others do not. Car dealer fraud may include hidden fees, price inflation, presenting a used vehicle as a new one, and undervaluing a trade-in. These tactics can cause an unsuspecting car buyer to overpay for a car or purchase one that has been misrepresented by the dealer as being better than it truly is.
  3. Check for damage - Even new cars on dealer lots can suffer damage from weather, accidents, and vandalism. Dealers may try to hide damage or only partially repair what has been broken so that it is not readily apparent to consumers. Make sure to thoroughly check a vehicle that you are interested in purchasing and even have it inspected after purchase if you feel you need to.
  4. Buy a car that suits your loved one - Most important, buy a vehicle that the person you are giving it to will love. If he or she enjoys sports cars, don’t buy a van. Most people will be overjoyed at receiving a new car for Christmas, but buying them a car that suits their taste, not yours, will make it even better.

A new car can be an amazing gift at Christmas, but if it has problems that the dealer can’t fix, you may have a lemon. If you believe that your vehicle qualifies as a lemon contact Southern California lemon law lawyer Howard D. Silver today at (866) 49-LEMON for a free consultation.


FBI Cautions Online Auto Shoppers On Scams

Online car shoppers should beware of suspicious deals and sellers, warned the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently. The agency claims over $44.5 million was unscrupulously taken from consumers through these types of rackets, from 2008 to 2010.

There are different forms of the con, but it usually includes a fake merchant posting an ad on a reputable website (like eBay or Craigslist) offering a deeply discounted price for a vehicle. When the consumer responds to the ad, he or she is typically given a phony explanation as to why the price of the car is so low. The seller will then ask to move the transaction to a different site for reasons of fake security, for example, a false name like eBay Inc. ( the logo and other branding imagery is high-jacked). The scammer will even carry through with the communication and invoicing process in a deceptively processional manner. However, once the money is paid the car will never arrive and the seller will mysterious evaporate into the shadows of the web.

Only deal with verified sources when buying a car or vehicle and always demand to meet a seller in person and see and inspect the vehicle you are purchasing through an online classified service (like Craigslist). Never wire or send any funds in advance of seeing, inspecting and purchasing a vehicle. If in doubt, always walk away.

Buying a car can be an intricate process, but it’s important to be aware about potential scams so you can avoid falling victim to one. As a California consumer advocate and lemon law attorney, Howard D. Silver has a thorough understanding of consumer rights and the possible courses of action a person can take in pursuing reimbursement or compensation. To learn more about your rights, call (855) 341-2611 today.


How to Decide if You Should Trade in Your Gas Guzzler for a Fuel Sipper

With gas prices on the rise again, it is tempting to consider trading in a gas guzzling car for something more fuel efficient. An article in Consumer Reports Magazine gives some points to consider before making the switch.

First, calculate if the savings in gas costs will offset the depreciation of a new car. Depreciation accounts for almost half the cost of owning a car in the first five years. You have already paid the depreciation on the car you own and will have to pay it again on a new car. These costs usually are larger than the gas savings you could achieve.

Second, consider the size of your car and your needs. Fuel efficient cars are usually smaller than gas hogs. If the smaller car can’t fit all of the people or things you need to carry, it may not be a worthwhile trade.

Third, keep in mind that real-world miles per gallon (mpg) may differ from advertised EPA highway mileage. You may not actually save as much gas as you hope.

If you decide to switch to a higher mpg car, think about purchasing a used one. You will not have to pay the depreciation costs of a new car, you will save money on the purchase price and you will have a larger variety of vehicles to choose from at your price point.

Of course, when buying any car, it is important to evaluate the car carefully to check for defects or problems before you purchase it. Even when consumers are diligent, they can end up with a lemon vehicle. If the use, value or safety of your car has been affected by a flaw that cannot be fixed, contact California lemon law attorney, Howard D. Silver. To learn how Mr. Silver can help you, call (855) 341-2611.


Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

4 Things to Look Out for When Buying a Car as a Gift this

It makes perfect sense. You want to buy the perfect gift for your loved one, or maybe for yourself. The holiday season is notorious for sparking the consumer in all of us; however, don’t act too fast in purchasing a new vehicle as a gift.

  1. Look Beyond Appearances – What you see is not always what you get. A new car can appear to be perfect, but there may be certain features that you don’t really need or the vehicle may not have the features that you really want.
  2. Gas Mileage – A car with poor gas mileage could end up costing you more than you need to be paying. Fuel efficient vehicles are out there, and you don’t necessarily have to pay an arm and a leg to get them.
  3. Safety – When buying a new car, put safety first. You may want to research vehicle recall history to see if there have been any recurrent problems with a specific car company you are interested in buying from. It is also beneficial to learn more about crashworthiness and what vehicles may provide better protection in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
  4. Reliability – While it is important for a car owner to properly take care of their vehicle and not neglect or abuse it, a vehicle should be designed and manufactured to withstand a certain amount of wear and tear. Consumers expect the vehicle they purchase to last many years, so investing time in your decision is critical. You may want to research various consumer reviews to find out if the automaker who manufactures the vehicle you are thinking of buying has had issues in the past with design flaws or manufacturing defects.

Taking the necessary time to research different vehicles is likely to only benefit you in the long run. However, no matter what a consumer does, a vehicle defect or recurring problem cannot always be anticipated. If you believe that your new car is a lemon, contact skilled California lemon law lawyer Howard D. Silver to learn about your legal rights and options. Call (855) 341-2611 today for a free consultation.


Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

California Guidelines on What You Need to Know When Buying a Car

First time buying a used car? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has created a very nice guide in a report that lists what you need to know before you sign a contract with a car dealer. Here is a summary of the important points:

Research the Value
In an effort to avoid being a victim of used car fraud in California, research the market value of the vehicle before you commit to buying a used car. The Kelley Blue Book is one of the most valuable resources for a used car buyer. Double-check the sticker price against the Blue Book and compare prices from several dealers.

Comparison Shop for Interest Rates
If a car dealer is offering financing, compare interest rates with other lenders. A couple of point difference in the interest rate can save you a bundle over the life of the car loan.

No Cooling Off Period…Unless You Purchase One
Used cars sold by a dealer for less than $40,000 must come with the option to purchase a two day cooling off period (a Contract Cancellation Option Agreement). This option only applies to sales of used cars for less than $40,000. Buying a new car? Doesn’t apply. Buying from a private party? Doesn’t apply. Buying a motorcycle? Doesn’t apply.

For an overview of the law, take a look at this car buyer’s rights brochure from the CA DMV website or contact an experienced California lemon law attorney.

Read Everything Three Times
Purchase agreements can be pretty dry reading, but you owe it to yourself to understand fully what you are committing to before signing. Walk away from the sale if you can’t understand the contract after reading it three times. The same advice holds for warranties and service contracts.

Buying a car is a big step and is often the second biggest purchase that you will make other than buying a home. If you have questions or concerns about your rights as a car buyer, please call the Law Offices of Howard D. Silver at (855) 341-2611 to speak with a skilled attorney about California lemon law.

Posted Date: 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
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