Use Your Head When Buying a Used Vehicle


The cost of acquiring a vehicle often drives people to contemplate buying a used vehicle. Saving money is fine but minimizing headaches is even better. Apply these tips in your search for a used vehicle:

□ Purchase a full Autocheck vehicle history report or Carfax report for the vehicle.

□ Review the Consumer Reports Buying Guide, Car and Driver magazine, or another similarly reputable source in learning about your vehicle.

□ Research websites such as www.edmunds.com, www.nada.com, and www.kbb.com in negotiating the vehicle price.

□ Ask the seller for all vehicle service and maintenance records.

□ Avoid Internet-only sales or other transactions where you do not see the vehicle in person prior to purchase.

□ If buying from an individual, demand to see the original vehicle title.

□ Hire a mechanic or vehicle inspector to check the vehicle. Have the inspector provide you with a written inspection report and use it in your negotiations with the seller.

□ Get all promises of repairs, warranties, and vehicle service in writing.

□ Have the seller state in writing if the vehicle has ever been salvaged, flood damaged, reconstructed, or damaged in a collision.

□ Obtain vehicle financing through your bank or financial institution. Avoid seller-financing.

□ If you are dealing with a vehicle dealer, ask for at least a 30-day warranty. Get a written warranty signed by the seller specifically identifying all vehicle systems that are covered.

□ If you buy a vehicle “as is”, strongly consider getting an extended warranty.

□ Get a sales contract signed by you and the seller that lists the following: full names and addresses of you and the seller(s); vehicle year, make, model, color, and VIN number; date of purchase, odometer reading, purchase price and all taxes and fees paid (and by whom); interest rate and all financing terms.

For more resources and information on vehicle issues visit the O’Neal Law Office Free Information Center at www.oneallawoffice.com/Information_Center.shtml.  If you experience vehicle fraud, vehicle repair problems, wrongful vehicle repossession, or other vehicle-related problems contact Attorney John O’Neal at (336) 510-7904.

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