In March, Krystal Lester was desperate. The Knightdale, N.C., single mother needed transportation to get back and forth to work or she might lose her job.
So she went shopping for a used car. To save time, she skipped an important step: having the car checked by a mechanic before buying.
"I was rushing to get into something," Lester said. "I did it out of desperation and need. I know now that I should have taken a licensed mechanic with me to look at the car."Since the purchase, she has replaced the starter, the timing belt and made other minor repairs on the 2001 Ford Escort, she said. The day care professional said she has had to use her rent money to cover the repair expenses, which she estimates have totaled more than $1500. Lester isn’t the only consumer who recently bought a used car without doing her homework first. Also, if the car is sold "as is," which most used cars are, the dealer is not responsible if something happens to the vehicle after it’s sold
In Lester’s case, the owners of Auto Alternatives in Raleigh, where she purchased the car, said they have tried to work with her.