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A Quick Guide To Buying A Used Car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

A Quick Guide To Buying A Used Car

Dennis Villela
September 13, 2013


If you don't have enough money to buy a brand new car, you should consider buying a used car. Although you won't get the mileage you would with a new car, you have a means of transportation.

Unfortunately, when it comes to used cars, you have to do some homework to ascertain that it is in good condition. Way too many people have bought lemons because they did not check a car's condition before they bought it.

The first thing that you want to know is the condition of the engine and the body. If you are not familiar with the insides of a car, get an independent mechanic to check it out for you. He should check both the engine and the body to confirm that they are in good condition.

Part of this evaluation involves getting a report that shows a history of the car. This includes a VIN number. A VIN number, or Vehicle Identification Number, is a unique number given to each vehicle on the road. You can use it to check the history of the car from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and other such databases.

The report should also show how often the car was serviced by the previous owner. Cars that are regularly serviced are in better condition. Find out if the car was in an accident - this increases the chances of the car failing on you.

If everything works out, it is time to go for a test drive. Drive the car yourself and see how it moves and how it feels. Go where you can drive fast to see what it's like when it is going at high speeds. Also, test on different terrains to know the condition of the suspension.

It is now time to talk about payment options. If you have straight cash, you can hand it over right there and drive off with your new car. Most people don't have straight cash; if you don't, find out whether the dealer has financing options that allow you to pay for your car over a period of time. Many dealers offer this option. If you are dealing with one who doesn't, talk to your bank. So long as you have a good credit history, they should be able to give you a car loan. Be careful about interest rates - all financing options have an interest component and you want to choose a low interest option.

Dealers have the choice to accept a car that is returned within 3 days of purchase. Look for a dealer who offers a guarantee of some kind so that in case you get home and realize the car is not what you thought it was, you can return it.


If you want to learn more, on what a Vehicle Identification Number exactly is for example, visit this website...



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