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10/4/2012 - Five things to keep in mind when car shopping for used cars


Used car buyers should do their research.

Car enthusiasts may already be aware that obtaining auto insurance for a used vehicle is typically cheaper compared to what it costs to insure a new one, but there are several other things to take into consideration before putting money down on a used automobile, according to AutoTrader.com.

1. Will the car be suitable for everyone that will use it? For example, if the used automobile is for more than one person, the vehicle information website says buyers should make sure it's functional for everyone. For example, if small children will be going along for the ride with their parents, ensure that child safety seats can be easily installed.

2. Are there any discounts to take advantage of? While car buyers may find their used vehicle is cheaper to insure, they can start saving before they fill out that paperwork, AutoTrader.com emphasizes. Individuals should ask their car dealer if there are any promotional programs that they're offering, as manufacturers often include incentives for buying a used vehicle. Asking about these deals may enable drivers to get a six-month trial offer for a roadside assistance subscription package, for instance.

3. Learn about the vehicle's background. Something else car shoppers should do prior to buying their next vehicle is to check a vehicle history report. These reports can enable prospective buyers to know where the vehicle has been, what mechanical issues it's had in the past and whether they can expect problems to occur at some point during ownership

4. Don't pay attention to the monthly expense when bargaining. After settling on the best vehicle, individuals often get hung up on what the monthly expenses will be when negotiating a fair price with a dealership. But AutoTrader.com and OnStar say motorists should instead focus on the actual price of the car, as monthly payments can be lowered at any time simply by extending their loan period. However, this should only be done if absolutely necessary, as a longer loan period will actually wind up costing consumers more due to the interest rate.

5. Stand firm. AutoTrader.com cautions buyers that even after they've settled on a price, dealers may try to offer them extras that may seem appealing. While there's nothing necessarily wrong with accepting these if they seem worth the extra money, motorists should not be afraid to stand their ground and respectfully decline.


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