Buying a car is a scary thing. It's a significant purchase, and everyone wants to avoid buying a lemon for sure. More people are looking into buying used cars to save money, but worry about inheriting the problems of a former buyer. Even new car buying isn't a guarantee as evidenced by recalls from major auto manufacturers. It is possible to find a good car and not buy a lemon if you do your homework properly .. 1. Research car models that you're interested in through an independent source: Concentrate on reliability scores and the incidence of repair problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (nhtsa.gov) and the Center for Auto Safety (The Center for Autosafety) maintain information about complaints, defects and recalls. Consumer Reports regularly publishes car information and even has car buying manuals for new and used car buying each year. 2. Use the Internet in your used or new car buying search: Various forums will tell you about the experiences of car owners and what they think about certain car models. 3. Choose cars from reputable dealers: Authorized dealers not only have to answer to manufacturers, but a good reputation leads to more sales. 4.Search for used cars at authorized new car dealer lots: Low odometer miles often mean less wear and tear has taken place. Late-model cars may also have warranties still in place, such as a factory warranty or a drive train warranty from the dealers. 5. Test drive cars from a narrowed down list: Judge the handling and any noises of the car while driving. Trust your instincts if something doesn't feel right, and pass on the opportunity to possibly buy a lemon. 6. Ask a mechanic you trust to check the car out, particularly for used car buying: Unless the mechanic is a family friend, you'll probably have to pay, but it's a small price to pay to avoid buying a lemon. 7. Obtain a Vehicle History Report, also known as a VHR, for information about a car's repair and title history: Multiple titles or repairs may indicate that the car has problems. 8. Learn about the lemon laws: Lemon laws protect consumers from substandard cars that fail to meet minimum standards of quality. Lemon laws vary among states and sometimes only cover new car buying. If you believe you're stuck with a lemon, contact an attorney who specializes in lemon laws.