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Search ShoppingSpot or Google |   Great Must-See sites   |   Read Articles and Lists | Find answers
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ShoppingSpot > Buying a Used Car

Buying a Used Car

Shopping for a used car is no easy feat. If you want a safe and reliable car at a good price, you'll need to do your homework.

For Sale

Before you begin shopping, know what you are looking for. Do you need a vehicle to get you safely from point A to point B, regardless of looks? Or are you looking for a particular make and model that you can only afford used?

Once you determine your needs, you must select a source. The Better Business Bureau lists a number of sources for used cars, including less traditional ones like car rental agencies and banks. The site also provides checklists of important things to note in the lot and on the road. The Federal Trade Commission outlines dealers' legal responsibilities and explains the warranty process.

Avoiding Lemons

There are a number of ways to avoid getting a sour deal on a used vehicle. One simple way is by using CarFax's free lemon check. Type in the vehicle identification number (VIN) and your zip code, and CarFax will let you know whether there is a lemon law record for the vehicle. The site will also tell you whether there are any vehicle history reports for the car, but you will have to pay to view them. The reports cover state title and registration records, as well as some maintenance records and damage reports. If a seller has been upfront with you about a car's history, you may not have to order the complete history report.




You can also check The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site or call 1-800-424-9393 to find out if a vehicle has ever been recalled by the manufacturer for safety defects.

Once you've checked the car's service record, you should have it thoroughly examined by a mechanic or car buff neighbor.

Market Value

A number of sites can help you determine the fair market value of a used vehicle. Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book are the most well known car buying guides. Car Wizard is another option for new and used car data.

Other Sites to See

  • AutoTrader
    This site's inventory of more than 1.5 million used cars is updated daily.

  • The Woman Motorist Used Car Buying Guide
    Full of useful information for women and men. Articles cover everything from the cost of owning a used car to negotiating a good deal.

  • Donating Your Used Car to Charity
    If you're ready to get rid of a used car that's too beat up to sell, consider a tax-deductible charitable donation. This guide from the Better Business Bureau will help you get started.

  • Autoweb
    Research, buy, finance, maintain, sell or enjoy your vehicle.




       --- A. Harris



    View more articles, lists, questions or trivia.

 
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