? Buying a Used Car
Before you start shopping for a car, you’ll need to do some homework. Spending time now may save you serious money later.
Think about your driving habits, your needs, and your budget.
You can learn about car models, options, and prices by reading newspaper ads, both
display and classified.
There is a wealth of information about used cars on the Internet: enter "used car" as the key words and you’ll find:
1) Additional information on how to buy a used car,
2) Detailed instructions for conducting a pre-purchase inspection, 3) Ads for cars available for sale, among other information. 4) Research the frequency of repair for various models 5) Maintenance costs for various models.
You have two choices: pay in full or finance over time.
If you finance, the total cost of the car increases. (You’re paying for the cost of credit (Interest) and other loan costs).
You’ll also have to consider
1) How much you can put down,
2) Your monthly payment,
3) The length of the loan, and
3) The annual percentage rate (APR).
(Interest Rates are usually higher and loan periods generally are shorter on used cars than on
new cars.) .
Shop around, compare offers, and negotiate the best deal you can.
Beware! about advertisements offering financing to first-time buyers or people with bad credit. THERE ARE USUALLY MANY HIDDEN CHARGES
If you decide to finance, make sure you understand the following aspects of the loan
agreement before you sign any documents:
The exact price you’re paying for the vehicle
The amount you’re financing
The finance charge (the dollar amount the credit will cost you)
The APR (the cost of credit, expressed as a yearly rate)
The number (YEARS) and amount of payments
The total sales price (monthly payments plus the down payment)
USED CAR DEALERS
Some dealers try to attract customers with "no-haggle prices," "factory certified" used cars, and better warranties. Consider the dealer’s reputation when you evaluate these
ads.( Ask friends and adults about dealership)
Dealers are not required by law to give used car buyers a three-day right to cancel.
The right to return the car in a few days for a refund exists only if the dealer grants this
privilege to buyers.
Dealers may describe the right to cancel as a "cooling-off" period, a money-back guarantee, or a "no questions asked" return policy.
Before you purchase from a dealer, ask about the dealer’s return policy, get it in writing and read it carefully.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a Buyers Guide in every used car they offer for sale.
The Buyers Guide must tell you:
Whether the vehicle is being sold "as is" or with a warranty
Percentage of the repair costs a dealer will pay under the warranty
That spoken promises are difficult to enforce
To get all promises in writing
To keep the Buyers Guide for reference after the sale
Have the car inspected by an independent mechanic before you buy.
Pre-Purchase Independent Inspection
It’s best to have any used car inspected by an independent mechanic before you buy it.
For about $100 or less, you’ll get a general indication of the mechanical condition of the
An inspection is a good idea even if the car has been "certified" and inspected by the dealer
and is being sold with a warranty or service contract.
A mechanical inspection is different from a safety inspection. Safety inspections usually
focus on conditions that make a car unsafe to drive. They are not designed to determine the
overall reliability or mechanical condition of a vehicle.
If the dealer won’t let you take the car off the lot, perhaps because of insurance
restrictions, you may be able to find a mobile inspection service that will go to the dealer.
If that’s not an option, ask the dealer to have the car inspected at a facility you designate. You will have to pay the inspection fee.
Private sellers generally are not covered by the Used Car Rule and don’t have to use the
You also can ask the seller if you can have the vehicle inspected by your mechanic.
Private sales usually are not covered by the "implied warranties" of state law.
If you have a written contract, the seller must live up to the promises stated in the
Warranties and service contracts may not be transferable.
Before you buy the car, ask to review its warranty or service contract.
Whether you buy a used car from a dealer, a co-worker, or a neighbor,
follow these tips to learn as much as you can about the car:
Examine the car yourself using an inspection checklist. You can find a checklist in many Internet sites that deal with buying a used car.
Test drive the car under varied road conditions—on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic.
Ask for the car’s maintenance record.
Talk to the previous owner, especially if the present owner is unfamiliar with the car’s history.
Have the car inspected by a mechanic you hire.
If a car manufacturer backs your warranty, contact the local representative of the