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HOW TO BUY A CAR
Don't fall in love with a vehicle until you have done a little homework.
Do this homework before you pick the type of car you like.
- Find out about recalls and bulletin history.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety — Vehicle Ratings.
- Defects, recalls, crash test results, etc.
- Check the retail price.
- Check the title history using the VIN#.
- Cost of owning a vehicle by year, make and model.
After you have narrowed it down, talk it over with the shop you use and get their feedback.
You usually get more information about a vehicle when you buy straight from the owner. You usually get a better deal on vehicles that are 1–3 years old.
Once you have found one you like:
Ask for receipts of maintenance history.
Walk around the car, check paint, body panel gaps for evenness, chips, dents, stains in seats or carpet, funny smells, etc.
Have the car checked out by an Independent ASE–CERTIFIED technician. This means not from the dealership you may be buying it from! The technician will be able to tell if the vehicle has been well maintained or had any water or flood damage.
Never ever buy a used vehicle based only on what the seller tells you. Get an educated second opinion. It is money well spent. We have horror stories from very good clients that have bought vehicles that have been rolled, flooded, needed a $6,000 transmission and on and on because they got in a hurry and skipped the inspection part.
There is no law that requires a seller to buy back a bad vehicle you have purchased. You must do all the upfront work to protect yourself.
If they make it seem like it is a BIG inconvenience for them to part with the car to have it checked out — move on.
If the deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is. We're not saying there aren't good deals out there, just get it checked out before you give over your hard earned money!
Feel free to call us with any questions about this process.
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