Insider Tips on Buying a Used Car

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    • Check your car out before you buy.car image by sasha from Fotolia.com

      If you purchase a used car, as opposed to a brand-new vehicle, you save money on the purchase price. However, with most used cars, the warranty will have expired, and the car will typically be more susceptible to problems, especially if the previous owner did not take care of the car. To reduce the headache of making a decision too quickly, follow some inside tips prior to purchasing a used car.

    Newer Used Cars

    • Look for a newer previously owned car that still has some of the original manufacturer's warranty. Once you have found the car, verify that the warranty can transfer to another owner.

    Certified or Pre-Owned Car

    • Certified or pre-owned cars are generally late model previously owned cars with less than 50,000 miles and have received a certified inspection by the auto company, such as General Motors, Volvo and Chrysler. Therefore, the company performs any needed services or maintenance before the car goes on the market again.

    Check for Recalls

    • Check to verify, if the car you are interested in purchasing, is under any recalls or has numerous consumer complaints. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website keeps an accurate record of recall and defects, in regards to safety. Also, JC Power & Associates provides information on consumer satisfaction. You can also perform a search on the web. If the car has problems, you are sure to find previous or current owner complaints on the Internet.

    CARFAX History

    • Write the Vehicle Identification Number of the car down to run a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. Some information you can obtain from a CARFAX History Report include accidents, services and title issues (see "Resources").

    Use a Mechanic

    • Get a mechanic, other than the car dealer's, to review the car before you purchase the vehicle. Walk away from the car, if the dealer will not allow your mechanic to look at the car.

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