Bought a Lemon? 4 Options to Recover Your Investment

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Laying down a major sum of money for a vehicle can be a little disconcerting. After all, even if you purchase your car from a reputable dealership, you have no guarantees that the vehicle will live up to expectations. In fact, the vehicle could turn out to be a complete lemon that requires thousands of dollars in repairs just to make it operable. That’s why, if you do purchase a lemon, it’s important to understand your options for recovering your investment so that you don’t bust your budget for the foreseeable future.

Contact the Dealer

When purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, it is vital to do research on the dealership where you’ll be purchasing that vehicle. That’s because some especially reputable dealerships will refund your money if the car you buy turns out to be a lemon. This is especially true of smaller dealerships that have a longstanding reputation for good customer service. However, no dealership is legally obligated to refund your money, especially if they sell the vehicle “as-is.”

Sell It as Junk

If you can’t find anyone else who will take care of your lemon, there’s always the option of selling it as junk. Since every vehicle has some level of intrinsic value thanks to its individual components, there are plenty of companies willing to pay money for junk cars. Just be sure that the company you work with also takes care of getting the title out of your name so that you can be rid of your failing car for good.

Hire a Lawyer

In some cases, you may be able to recover some or all of your investment in a lemon by hiring a lawyer. If you hire a good lawyer, they may be able to prove that a certain dealership knowingly sold you a vehicle with multiple defects that made the vehicle undriveable. A lawyer can also help you get in touch with your vehicle’s manufacturer if you bought a brand-new vehicle that turned out to be a lemon.

Sell It to an Individual

Although you may not be able to economically fix your vehicle, someone else may have the necessary skills to fix it and make it their own. Therefore, another option for recovering your investment in a lemon is to try and sell it to another individual. If you choose this route, though, be sure to disclose all of the known issues with the vehicle so that you don’t end up in the hot seat when the buyer discovers these defects for themselves.

Of course, the easiest way to deal with a lemon is to avoid buying one in the first place. By thoroughly researching dealerships, vehicle brands, and other information, you can have confidence that the vehicle you purchase will be worth the money you spend. Therefore, even if you’re in a rush to get a new vehicle, it still pays to slow down and be careful so that you don’t end up making a purchase that you’ll regret.


Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.


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