Tips For Buying A Used Car

Tips For Buying A Used Car

Buying a​ car is​ one of​ the largest investments many people make in​ their lives-and more and more, people are bypassing new cars for used models. in​ fact, used cars have become big business in​ the U.S. and today, consumers have choices that stretch beyond the big lots and dealerships.

Just remember that when you're buying a​ car-new or​ used-it's important to​ get the facts first. Doing so can help you be more certain you're actually getting the car you want at​ the price that's right.

"Buyers should be sure to​ consider all the angles-from mileage, model and vehicle history, to​ warranties and financing," says Brad Eggleston of​ AutoVantage. Here's how to​ protect yourself:

• Check out the model's repair record, maintenance costs, and safety and mileage ratings in​ consumer magazines or​ online. Check the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's Web site ( to​ see if​ the car you are considering has any recalls associated with it.

• Get a​ vehicle history report from Experian Automotive ( It's a​ cheap way to​ ensure you're not the victim of​ odometer fraud and that the car wasn't in​ a​ fire, flood or​ accident.

• Dealers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to​ post a​ Buyer's Guide in​ every used vehicle offered for sale. Read it. This guide provides important information about the car and always overrules your sales contract.

• Consult the Kelley Blue Book to​ learn what a​ car is​ worth before going to​ the negotiating table. Be prepared to​ bargain for the best deal on your car. Also, visit a​ qualified mechanic for an​ automotive diagnostic and inspection before buying. Check the Car Care Council's Web site ( to​ find certified mechanics.

• Take a​ serious test drive. Test the acceleration and give the brakes a​ workout. Make sure the steering wheel doesn't wander from left to​ right or​ shake. Drive up and down hills, down highways and through stop-and-go traffic.

• When financing, beware of​ advertisements offering tempting deals to​ folks with bad credit or​ first-time buyers. Find out the exact price you're paying for the vehicle, the amount you're financing, the finance charge, the APR and how many payments you're up against.

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