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Used Car Buying Tips-Purchase Experience

Used Car Buying Tips-Purchase Experience

By Jeff Youngs, February 24, 2012
1. Consider buying a certified pre-owned vehicle. Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle programs typically select used vehicles in excellent condition with low mileage and put them through a rigorous set of inspections recommended by the manufacturer. CPO vehicles often come with additional warranties from the manufacturer and/or special services for breakdowns, such as 24-hour roadside assistance. Always check the warranty thoroughly before purchasing a CPO vehicle and be aware of any maintenance services offered under the program.

2. Ask to see the CPO inspection report. During the certification process, CPO vehicles are typically tested on more than 100 factors-including the engine's mechanical condition, electrical system, tires and wheels, and a road test-to ensure high quality. Ask your dealer to see the actual inspection report of a CPO vehicle you are considering to confirm that all inspection steps were meticulously followed.

3. Check with your dealer for special financing offers. Special financing rates are sometimes offered to buyers as part of a CPO program, so be sure to ask your dealer what may be available on the certified pre-owned vehicle you are considering.

4. Ask your dealer to provide a vehicle history report, or plan to purchase one, if necessary. Vehicle history reports are an inexpensive way to check the track record of any used vehicle. Vehicle history reports provide customers with a detailed record of the repairs, accidents and recall data within the lifetime of a used vehicle. If your dealer does not offer a free vehicle history report, or you're buying from a private seller, one can easily be purchased online from Web sites such as AutoCheck or Carfax.com. For approximately $20, these reports serve as a wise investment to ensure your peace of mind regarding your vehicle purchase.

5. Consider visiting both independent and manufacturer franchised dealerships. Most manufacturer franchised dealerships outperform independent used-vehicle dealerships in terms of sales, but when dealing with lower-mileage used vehicles, customer satisfaction with independent dealerships are indeed competitive with regard to price and the paperwork/finance process.
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