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The Only Way to Get Out of a Bad Car Purchase in 1 Piece

Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass If you bought a disappointing model, such as a Jeep Compass, it takes some work to break free of your burden. | Fiat-Chrysler

So you think you bought a lemon. In fact, it happens more often than you might think. After all, every car maker is a giant corporation, and within every corporate structure you’ll find cost-cutters out to increase profit margins any way possible. That’s how America got deadly automotive scandals, and it’s the same reason you might still have a Takata airbag in your car.

The question is how to get rid of a lemon and start over in something like, say, a Camry. People mock Toyota’s famously vanilla sedan for its lack of curb appeal, but you never see Camry owners out there regretting the purchase of their car. You know what you’re getting, and the beauty is in Toyota’s consistent delivery.

Other car owners should be so lucky. Unfortunately, there are no take-backs or do-overs after you buy or lease a new vehicle. You can’t just drop it off at the dealership and get your money back. However, you can limit the damage to your ego and personal finances. Here is the only way to get out of a bad car purchase in one piece.

8. Confirm your suspicions

Before you do anything drastic, confirm that the vehicle you bought is indeed a lemon. (If you bought a Jeep or Fiat model circa 2015, you can skip this step. It’s a lemon.) You might talk to your mechanic and ask whether they know of common defects in the engine or model. Another tactic is to look at J.D. Power initial quality ratings. When you see others moaning about your car, proceed to the next step. We’d say look at J.D. Power dependability scores, but it takes three years for a rating. You’ll want to exit before then.

Next: See what it’s worth.

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