Used Automobile Buying Tips Article


Buying a Used Car - Before you Start

Buying a Used Car

Before you start shopping for a car, you'll need to do some homework. Spending time now may save you serious money later.

  • Think about your driving habits, your needs, and your budget.
  • You can learn about car models, options, and prices by reading newspaper ads.
  • Libraries and book stores also have publications that compare car models, options, and costs, and offer information about frequency-of-repair records, safety tests, and mileage.

Once you've narrowed your car choices, research the frequency of repair and maintenance costs on the models in auto-related consumer magazines. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Auto Safety Hotline (1-800-424-9393) gives information on recalls.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

You have two choices: pay in full or finance over time.

If you finance, the total cost of the car increases. That's because you're also paying for the cost of credit, which includes interest and other loan costs. You'll also have to consider:

  • How much you can put down,
  • your monthly payment, the length of the loan, and
  • the annual percentage rate (APR).

Keep in mind that annual percentage rates usually are higher and loan periods generally are shorter on used cars than on new ones.

Dealers and lenders offer a variety of loan terms and payment schedules.

  • Shop around, compare offers, and negotiate the best deal you can.
  • Be cautious about advertisements offering financing to first-time buyers or people with bad credit. These offers often require a big down payment and a high APR.

If you agree to financing that carries a high APR, you may be taking a big risk. If you decide to sell the car before the loan expires, the amount you receive from the sale may be far less than the amount you need to pay off the loan.

If the car is repossessed or declared a total loss because of an accident, you may be obligated to pay a considerable amount to repay the loan even after the proceeds from the sale of the car or the insurance payment have been deducted.

If your budget is tight, you may want to consider paying cash for a less expensive car than you first had in mind.

If you decide to finance, make sure you understand the following aspects of the loan agreement before you sign any documents:

  • The exact price you're paying for the vehicle;
  • the amount you're financing;
  • the finance charge (the dollar amount the credit will cost you);
  • the APR (a measure of the cost of credit, expressed as a yearly rate);
  • the number and amount of payments; and
  • the total sales price (the sum of the monthly payments plus the down payment).

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • Can dealers/private sellers of autos contract away implied warranties by "no warranties - as is" provisions in the sales document?
  • when buying a used car from a private seller, do I have any recourse if not informed of major problems? Or lied to about known defects or damage.
  • Can the lessor or car dealership make you use one of their insurance companies
  • What are my rights if i put a car n my name as well as the insurance for a friend, but now he will not give the ins company his information for policy. A lien was also placed on title for my court fines so i cant transfer out of my name. I dont want ti be held responsible but he's avoiding my calls.
  • Does a used car dealer need to make sure a car will pass the VIN inspecton upon sellin a vehicle?
  • Is it illegal in the state of AZ to sell/transfer ownership of a used vehicle that has been repaired in an accident without disclosing specifics of vehicle repair history?
  • IF BUYING A CAR FROM A PRIVATE PARTY HOW IS THE TAXES APPLIED SO FOR EXAMPLE IF THE PRIVATE PARTY IS ASKING 4250.00 FOR A 97 DODGE CARAVAN, IS THE TAXES ALREADY ADDED IN OR DO I HAVE TO PAY 4250.00 PLUS TAXES AND IF SO HOW DO I PAY THE TAXES DO I PAY IT TO THE PRIVATE PARTY OR TO THE MOTOR VEHICLE WHEN I GET MY PLATES??
  • My car was repossessed and I was only 7 days late from the due date which was on the 15th and I have a 10 day grace period, is this a legal repossession? I also had my purse in the car and was not even able to get that out what rights do I have to get my personal belongings. Please help.
  • I just bought a used car private dealer but the car was sold from the mechanics used car lot. Today is the 4th day of ownership and now the engine is going out. I belive the guys mechanic knew it was going out and just wanted me to bring it back to get it fixed there. Is there anything I can do?
  • If your vehicle is repo'd, can they keep or charge you for your belongings that were in the vehicle?

STORIES

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FIND LEGAL HELP

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS

Documents

.pdf  Buyers Guide ReadSpeaker