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Used Car Buying Tips

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Used Car Buying Tips

Vela Paan
13 May 2009


When it comes to that time that you could really do with a new car, the dealer prices can really put us off. Some cars nowadays can end up costing us a small fortune, meaning that many of us just cannot afford it anymore. The good news is that purchasing a used car can really help to save you money - and you can still find a great little machine if you know what to look for. Here are a few tips to help you make that decision.

The main places you will find used cars available to purchase are at the dealership or from the owner of the car direct. If you are looking at the dealers then most of their used cars will have been for trade ins of those wanting to upgrade. The good thing about doing it this way is that these cars will have been inspected by a mechanic, and may even come with a limited warranty period.

If you are buying directly from the owner then it is your responsibility to make sure the car is up to scratch. Arm yourself with some important knowledge before you start searching for a car, and you should be able to find one that runs well and meets your needs.

If you are wondering whether you need to have a used car checked out by a mechanic before you buy it then this depends on a number of factors. If you do not know anything about cars yourself then it may be worthwhile paying for a mechanic to go over it. However, they may not be able to check it quickly enough for you. Not only this, but the owner might not even want you to take it to a mechanic. If this is the case then you should simply walk away from the deal, as there is strong evidence to suggest that there may be faults with the car.

Buying your used car directly from the owner can be a great deal, or it can turn out badly. However, you can always protect yourself by being able to recognize the clear signs. Do your homework about the car you are thinking of buying. The owner should be able to provide you with most of the facts that you need, which you can then use in your own research. Use internet websites that will let you know average car prices for your area to make sure it is worth the money. And if you are buying a car from someone in another state, check out to see if the average values differ from your own home state.

Take into account all of the advice given above and take a little while to do your homework. If you do then you will be armed with an approximate guide to the worth of your car, as well as a number of important facts. Always check facts including the mileage as these can have a huge impact on the value. Once you do, you can ensure you are getting your money's worth.


Another way to find a used car is finding through Car Auctions and Auto Auctions websites.

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