Car History Report
- Used Car Buying Tips
Car History Tips | Buying
Private | Buying
from a Dealer
Start with a background check of the VIN number. This is
a great place to start. You want to know what if any title
issues there are with the car.
Next, consider performing a car history check. If the car
checks out, you should have a vehicle inspection done by a
mechanic. Make sure you pick the mechanic. If the seller doesn't
want to do this, than you probably shouldn't buy the car.
Note that you will have to pay for this out of your own pocket.
Next, buy a warranty. There are many places you can buy warranties
from, and on almost any vehicle.
You should also use a service to get current blue book valuations
on the car. The more detailed the better. This gives you a
better ability to judge the fair value of the vehicle and
increases your odds of not overpaying.
Look to local papers, auto locator publications, thrift papers,
local bulletin boards, and friends who might know someone
Be courteous of the hour when you call. Many people are in
bed by 10:00pm. If the ad states a time to call...... follow
it. If not, I would not call before 10:00am or after 9:00pm.
Have pen and paper handy when you call the seller. Write
down key facts like mileage, asking price, directions, how
long have they owned the car and why they are selling.
Research the car online before you go to see it. Having the
"Blue Book" value in your head can give you a starting
point for negotiating.
Have a mechanic look at the vehicle. Most local mechanics
will be happy to put the car on a lift and do an inspection
for you. Expect to pay for this service, but if you have a
good relationship with you mechanic he may do this for free.
Take a long test drive. Make sure you do some highway driving
and also some back road driving to get a feel for the car.
Some suspension problems will not show up on the highway but
as soon as you hit a bumpy road they will appear.
Check out the car’s repair record, maintenance costs,
and safety and mileage ratings in consumer magazines or online.
Look up the "blue book" value, and be prepared to
negotiate the price.
Look for the Buyers Guide. It’s required by a federal
regulation called the Used Car Rule.
Make sure all oral promises are written into the Buyers Guide.
You have the right to see a copy of the dealer’s warranty
before you buy.
Warranties are included in the price of the product; service
contracts cost extra and are sold separately.
Ask for the car’s maintenance record from the owner,
dealer, or repair shop.
Test drive the car on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go
Have the car inspected by a mechanic you hire.
Check out the dealer with local consumer protection officials.
If you buy a car "as is," you’ll have to
pay for anything that goes wrong after the sale.
The Used Car Rule generally doesn’t apply to private
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