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Buying a used car is the best option for more and more of us these days. A used car can be safe, financially reasonable and a fine vehicle. But you’ll have to make the effort to shop smart. Here’s how.
Unless you’re set on a classic car from the days before safety features, get a model known for having a good suite of them. Find out how the model you’re looking at fares in crashes. Admit things like how good (or bad) a driver you are and what sorts of weather the vehicle will have to navigate.
A lot can happen in 36 months. With a little push, you should find a rate lower than the industry average 4.77%.
Check Vehicle’s History
An older car, one with more mileage, can still be a good value so long as no one ever wrapped it around a telephone pole. It’s worth the forty bucks to check the car’s vehicle identification (VIN) number to find out about events like this.
If you’re able to invest in reliability (but aren’t buying a new car) at least find a CPO or Certified Pre-Owned. The level of pre-inspection is pretty rigorous, and the warranty will be better.
Get An Independent Inspection
Any honest dealer will permit you to have an independent, certified auto mechanic look it over.
Private Individual Sellers
If you’re very tight for money, consider buying from an individual. The prices are lower than a dealer’s – but that’s because you’re not getting any warranty. Find someone you think you can trust and look for an auspicious date.
Some models break down a lot, but stay in business because their fans somehow overlook that. Or they’re rich enough to buy two. If you value a model’s reputation for basic things (like starting) refer to the Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Assoc. websites.
Get it in writing, even if it’s just you writing on a notepad. If a car has no warranty, it has to be clearly marked “As Is.”
If your dealer has filled up the Better Business Bureau with customer complaints, you need to know this BEFORE he’s your dealer. That’s why we check BBB people.
Get Service Records
Anybody who isn’t your cousin? Don’t buy a car from them if they can’t provide auto service records. And we’re not too sure about your cousin.