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Buying a Used Car

In addition the money that you can save by buying a used car, there are several key advantages to buying a pre-owned vehicle. For example, if you have bad credit or no credit, a used car loan can help you establish or re-establish your credit history into a positive one. Used car loans are especially beneficial for students looking to establish a good credit history.

However, buying a used car is not easy, unless you are purchasing from a friend or family member that you can trust. The anonymity of buying a car you know nothing about, from a stranger, leaves a great deal of room for being taken advantage of.

Below are some tips that will help you obtain a pre-owned auto that is worth the money you are paying. We also suggest you read the car buying mistakes section.

Determine what kind of car you want!
We feature a comprehensive list of the most reliable used cars on the market.

Find out what kind of history the used car you are interested has even before you consider buying!
Getting a copy of the history of a car that you are interested in buying will eliminate the risk of buying a car that has been damaged in the past. You can obtain a vehicle history report from CARFAX. CARFAX has relationships with over 5000 different types of sources that will most likely be able to give you an accurate run of the car's past.

Have the car looked at by a mechanic!
Even if a CARFAX report says that the automobile has a flawless history, you need to have the car inspected by a mechanic prior to purchasing. One reason for having a mechanic look at a car is to look for damage that can be related to a past accident. If the car was involved in a crash and the crash was never reported in a police report, then there is no sign of this accident in a CARFAX report. A mechanic can look at the frame of a car and instantly tell you if the car has been in a bad accident or has flood damage. They can also easily spot any type of fluid leaks or engine corrosion.

Perform a title check before buying a used car!
Running a title check of a car will assure you that the mileage on the car is reported as correct. Believe it or not, digital odometers can be rolled back! Digital odometers will store the real mileage reading in a flash chip called an EEPROM. It is not hard for someone to remove the EEPROM and roll back the mileage without any signs of manipulation. However, when a car is inspected, traded in at a dealership or turned in from a lease, the mileage is checked and recorded. If the mileage of the car is less than what the title reports, then you know that the seller has rigged the odometer to report a lower, deceitful mileage. If this is the case, run from the deal!

Purchase a certified pre-owned car if you are buying a used car from a dealership!
Certified pre-owned vehicles are cars that have been put through a series of tests to determine whether or not they abide to manufacturer-set standards. Once an automobile satisfies these conditions, the manufacturer will put the car back on the market for sale. A warranty of certification comes with the purchase of a certified pre-owned car. You can learn more about certified pre-owned cars.

Purchase an extended warranty!
If you are buying a a car that is three or five years old, you need to buy an extended warranty to protect your investment. AAAWarranty offers great deals on warranties for used cars. If you do not have an extended warranty, you are risking great potential loss.

We recommend that you read the section on selling a used automobile if you are looking to put your car on the market.

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