Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How To Purchase A Used Car

Purchasing a used car can be a risky proposition for a variety of reasons. For starters, unless you buy a certified used car, then you really have no idea how well of a condition the car is in and even if you buy a used car from a dealer, you can't be sure that the car won't die the minute you sign the contract. Another issue is false mileage readings and previous accident history. Although there are services that can help you address this problem, you need to make sure you are aware of them and use them. To help you, I'd like to tell you step by step how you can decrease your chances of getting ripped off and increase your chances of finding the used car of your dreams.
The two most common places to buy a used car are at car dealerships and in newspapers, although eBay is becoming very popular as well. If you are dealing with a private owner, you should always ask for a CARFAX vehicle history report, which will tell you the vehicle's mileage and accident history. If the owner is unwilling to show this to you, then the chances are very high that they have something to hide, at which point you should walk away. Most car dealerships will offer this without any hassle, but again if they refuse, then you need to walk away.

The second thing that you need to do is to try and trace the owner history as far back as possible. Knowing how many owners have owned the car will be great help in making your decision. If there have been a lot of owners, then it will be difficult to know the overall condition of the car or could signify the car has had a history of problems. If a vehicle has had very few owners then it is much more likely to have been treated well and sold in good condition.
If you are buying from a private owner, you will definitely have a hard time getting a warranty from them, but you can always purchase an aftermarket warranty from another company. However, at a minimum you want to make sure they have kept and maintained vehicle service records. Car dealerships often provide a minimum of a 1 year warranty, although often you can find one up to 3 years. Try to find a car with the longest warranty possible in the event that there is a hidden problem.
Lastly, make sure you check the used vehicle's value in the Kelly Blue Book, which should offer both private and dealer values. You are much more likely to get a fair price if you know what the car is worth beforehand.
Buying a used car can definitely be a very risky proposition if you don't know what you are doing, but if you are armed with the tools necessary to do it right, then you are much more likely to end up with a steal rather than a dud.

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