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Used Not Abused: Shopping For A Used Car

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

With gas prices escalating and escalating, many people may be considering trading in their 8-cylinder Escalade for something smaller, more cost-effective and fuel-efficient.

In fact, it seems like the trend is bending toward public transportation and used cars. But, when it comes to pre-owned vehicles proper knowledge and preparation is KEY.

1. Read and research: Not only should you look up stats and reviews for the vehicle you are considering but also check out consumer report and Lemon-Aid guides. Also, do some Internet research and ask around as well.

2. Budget your time and your money: You’ll want to make a timely decision AND one that will be cost-effective to. Find out what new models of the same vehicle are going for and do a cost comparison of both new and used similar cars. And, don’t forget to do some research on The Net as well as checking with your insurance company to determine the going value of the vehicle.

3. Shop around: You want to choose your vehicle and your (car) dealer wisely. Experts suggest giving yourself enough time to test drive at least three vehicles or you are interested in. Look into reputable new-car dealers who also sell used cars or search out private sales. And, they suggest avoiding used car lots, unless the place comes highly recommended. Keep in mind that in most cases you’ll likely get a better deal if you make your purchase from a classified add instead of paying a dealer’s markup; just be sure to bring one or two other people alone when going to a stranger’s home.

4. Proof Before Purchase: Get a vehicle Maintenance record for the car. Also make sure to take down the VIN number, the long serial number inside the care near the bottom of the driver’s side of the windshield and check it out on line or via a local automotive protection agency.

5. Do a thorough inspection: Experts suggest proceeding with extreme caution, especially if a car seems “too clean”, you are viewing in the rain or at night (which they claim are major no-nos). Check the care inside and out and don’t forget to step back and look at the wheels, making sure they are aligned and face forward; that the tires match; the sidewalls aren’t worm; that the wipers, horn and lights work; and don’t forget to check for bumps, scratches and other cosmetic problems.

6. Test it out: Once you’ve found something that you like, it’s always best to take it our for a spin, otherwise known as a test-drive. Experts suggest heading for the highway to see how it responds and to see if it pulls or chatters. And, make sure to keep the radio off, and that the seller doesn’t distract your attention by repeatedly talking to you. Remember, you need to focus on the driving and the car.

7. Ask the experts: Have the vehicle inspected and make sure to bring it to a qualified and trusted mechanic. And, in addition, have them give you their opinion and view of the vehicle

8. Bargain a little: Never let the seller see you sweat. In fact, be prepared to walk away during negotiations. Remember, cars are always marked up, and a dealer will never make a deal at a loss, so haggle for a low as you can go.

Long Island Technology Articles > Used Not Abused: Shopping For A Used Car

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