A recent story from KJRH in Tulsa serves as a reminder that most states don’t have used car lemon laws, and that some states leave buyers of used cars completely unprotected.

In an all-too-familiar story, a consumer purchased a used car (in this case, two used cars) from a dealer, and then the day after decided she didn’t want them. She expected that she would have three days to return the vehicles, which simply isn’t the case. Moreover, she discovered - after the fact - that one of the vehicles needed substantial repairs. Unfortunately, in Oklahoma, used cars are sold “as is” unless there’s an express written warranty.

If you’re in the market for a used vehicle, it pays to get the car’s history from CarFax.com. While not infallible, the report should tell you about past accidents, flood damage, whether or not it has been titled as a salvage vehicle, etc. You should also be aware of your state’s requirements for titling a vehicle, and then review the car’s title before you purchase it. In Oklahoma, for example, a red title means that the car’s only good for parts, and a yellow or orange title means it’s been rebuilt after a salvage. Even a green title has spaces to note a salvage date and a flood damage notation.

You can take these and other simple steps to help ensure that you don’t become the owner of a used car lemon.