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 How do I buy a used car

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Posts : 193
Join date : 2011-01-09

PostSubject: How do I buy a used car    Sat May 07, 2011 1:43 pm

How do I buy a used car

From a dealer or from private owner
Many people ask me to recommend a place where they could get a good reliable used car without being ripped off. As far as I can see there is no such a perfect place - good cars and lemons sold everywhere and everywhere you can be ripped off.
Here are few possible choices:
1. New car dealership
New car dealers always have one-owner trade-ins or lease returns with all maintenance records and chances are high that you can find there accidents-free well maintained used car in a good shape. But these cars are usually more expensive and still there is no 100% warranty that you won't get a lemon.
2. Independent used car dealership
At independent used car dealership cars are usually cheaper, but more chances to get ripped off or get a lemon hidden under "this week special" or something like this. Plus, more used cars possible have the odometer rolled back.
3. Private owner
Private owners usually sell used cars cheaper, and they are more flexible on price. The best scenario would be if it's first original owner of the car and all the maintenance records available. But be aware, if you're buying a used car "as is" means there is no warranty and in most cases if the car breaks down even very next day, you can do nothing about it. Buying from private owner you should make sure that the person is the real owner of the car, and the car has no liens or any other legal obligations. If you want to know how transfer an ownership, how to register the vehicle, or how to check it for liens, contact your Vehicle Registration Office
Buying from an Auction
It's highly not recommended to buy a car from an auction unless someone knowledgeable can inspect the car for you and the history report doesn't show anything bad.
Why? Because, since in most cases used cars are being sold "as is", an auction is a good place to sell vehicles that otherwise will be difficult to get rid of. Which means among the repossessed vehicles, theft recovery, etc., there are many lemons, such as those reconditioned after serious crashes or others with expensive-to-fix problems.
How to read ads
Here is the list of some abbreviations I found in various car ads:
E-test - Emission test.
Cert. or Fully Cert. - Safety certificate
Fac wty. - factory warranty
5 spd. or stn. or stan. - manual (5 speed) transmission
Air or A/C or Aircond - air conditioner
$4500/best or $4500 o.b.o - $4500 or best offer
alum. whls or alloys - alloy wheel disks (rims)
hback. - hatchback
wgn. - wagon
PW, PS, PL - Power windows, Power steering, Power lock
Loaded or fully loaded - means the car has many power accessories; PW, PL, PS, etc.
150K - 150,000 miles or km
This week special! - usually means that no one wants to buy this car
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