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How do I buy a used car?

Category Buying a Car

My car needs to be replaced and I am going to need to purchase a moderately priced used car. To buy a car in my price range, I will probably have to buy one through the "want ads". Does anyone have any tips for getting the right car at the right price? I am a single mom who doesn't know much about cars.

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January 29, 20030 found this helpful

Here's on older request on a similar topic.

Can I get a decent car for $1,000?

http://www.thri … f000513.tip.html" rel="nofollow" target="new">http://www.thri … f000513.tip.html

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January 29, 20030 found this helpful

Samarins.com has a checklist you can take with you when you search for a used car...

http://www.sama … k/checklist.html" rel="nofollow" target="new">http://www.sama … k/checklist.html

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January 29, 20030 found this helpful

http://www.samarins.com/history/" rel="nofollow" target="new">http://www.samarins.com/history/

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January 29, 20030 found this helpful

Carfax.com has a service to check a cars history. It appears to cost 14.99 per report. Or you can order unlimited reports for 19.99. http://www.carfax.com/" rel="nofollow" target="new">http://www.carfax.com/

Has anyone used this?

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January 29, 20030 found this helpful

Cars.com has some useful information...

http://www.cars … wtobuyindex.tmpl" rel="nofollow" target="new">http://www.cars … wtobuyindex.tmpl

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May 7, 20040 found this helpful

You can look for the car you want in your price range and request that you be able to take it to a mechanic of your choice for a general inspection.

Not all, but some places will do an inspection for free or for a minimal cost. This isn't always a guarantee you won't have ANY problems, but they can check the obvious areas you may encounter problems with and let you know what it may cost you to fix.

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March 5, 20050 found this helpful

Someone else sent in the following info ...

Carfax.com has a service to check a cars history. It appears to cost 14.99 per report. Or you can order unlimited reports for 19.99. http://www.carfax.com/

Has anyone used this?

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We bought a truck and a car from dealers and if you request a Carfax they do it for free! They don't volunteer this information! We would not buy a car without it!

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March 5, 20050 found this helpful

Check with the Automobile Association. Here in Canada it`s CAA.I find them to be very helpful

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Anonymous
March 5, 20050 found this helpful

I'll give you the same advice I gave my own daughter. She didn't listen and is having all kinds of problems now. Don't buy the first car you look at and don't buy with your emotions. Just because a car looks sharp, doesn't mean it will run as good as it looks. She even checked it out on carfax, but all that told her was the car had never been in an accident and had never been in a flood. Look for oil leaks, listen to the engine, does it knock or ping, whine or whistle? If so let it go. Try everything including the heater, air conditioner, radio. Check lights, horn etc. If the mileage is over 100,000 mi. Forget it. Make sure there's enough tread on the tires, so you won't have to make a major investment on tires right away. If possible try to buy a one-owner. Alot of small car dealers get their cars from auctions, that means some dealer couldn't sell them because of their condition. TAKE YOUR TIME!

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March 5, 20050 found this helpful

I bought my daughter's first car (she paid me back ;-)) from an individual. It was an excellent car, and I wish I had one like it now. It was a Chrysler Le Baron. and a one-owner car. I learned about the car from a newspaper ad. The car was exactly as described in the ad. I t hink it is rare to see someone describe a car in "excellent condition" when it is not.

The lady we bought the car from had an "emotiional attachment" to the car, which I understand, perfectly. She asked Kelli--my daughter--if she would take good care of the car, and of course we assured her that we would.

I think-- most of the time--you can judge, quite accurately, if a person is being honest with you about the condition of the car, and of course, we checked out everything.

As far as getting a decent car for $1,000? I would say if you are very lucky, you may. I would definitely take someone with me who knows about cars.

Good luck!!

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