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Car Buying Tips For Second-Hand Auto Buyers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Car Buying Tips For Second-Hand Auto Buyers

Steven Pierce
November 3, 2012


If you're considering looking at used cars for sale before you make your next car purchase, you might find some great cheap cars. But you should also beware of lemons. Research the history of any car you're considering buying. Examine the car yourself and also take it to a mechanic for an evaluation before you close the deal and ultimately purchase the vehicle.

Tip #1 Get the VIN and Learn the History

Get the vehicle's identification number and find out the vehicle's history. You can check the vehicle's history quickly, cheaply and easily with an online vehicle history report from Carfax.com or a similar site. You'll want to stay away from vehicles that have a salvage title, a large number of previous owners, or a history of accidents.

Tip #2 Bring a Friend with You

If you're going out looking at vehicles, don't go alone. Bringing a friend with you can benefit you in two ways. A friend will help you inspect things that you can't inspect alone, such as the functionality of brake lights, headlights, and directional signals. Additionally, a friend can also keep you level-headed. If you encounter a smooth-talking salesperson or a vehicle that looks irresistible, having someone you know with you can help prevent you from making an impulsive and emotionally-driven purchase.

Tip #3 Don't Be Afraid to Kick the Tires

Many people feel that giving a vehicle a thorough inspection while they're at the dealership or a private seller's residence is rude. You shouldn't feel that way, and you should do as much investigation as necessary to make you feel confident that you are making a good buy. Remind yourself that you are making a purchase of hundreds or thousands of dollars. You absolutely have the right to investigate and examine every part of the vehicle to ensure it's in proper working. It's important that you are aware of any repairs that the vehicle will need in the near future.

Tip #4 Always Bring the Car to a Mechanic

Even if the seller can furnish you with a mechanic's statement that the car is in tip-top shape, always take the vehicle to your own mechanic to have it checked out. It never hurts to get a second opinion, and, unfortunately, some sellers and mechanics are not honest and will present you with a false statement of the vehicle's condition in order to make a sale. Always do your own independent research.

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This article was brought to you by Southside Auto Auctions. For more information about affordable Used Car sales, visit us at http://www.southsideautoauctions.com.au/ .

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