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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Used Car Shopping Tips

Buying a used vehicle can be a great way to get a quality vehicle for a lower price. At the same time, the fact that the vehicle has a “past” can introduce some uncertainties. If you are shopping for a used car, there are steps you can take to help find a safe, reliable vehicle.  

Certification. Find out if the car you’re interested in is a certified pre-owned vehicle.  This is an attractive alternative to purchasing a new car. A certified pre-owned vehicle has met stringent guidelines set by the manufacturer and typically comes with a limited warranty. Each auto manufacture has slightly different certification procedures, so ask the dealer for information about the manufacturer’s pre-owned certification program.    

History. Every used car has a history, and you can get a CARFAX report by entering the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at A VIN is a 17-character unique number assigned to each vehicle.  It can be found on the dashboard at the base of the windshield and the driver’s side door.  All of the vehicle’s recorded history including repairs, odometer readings, accidents and title information are documented using the VIN.  However, only accidents and repairs that are reported or performed by a professional mechanic will be recorded in this history. 

Condition. Find out how the car runs. When you take the vehicle for a test drive, ask if you can drive it overnight.  Prove you’re insured and agree in writing that you won’t drive for more than 100 miles.  Also, ask the owner to let you take the car to your mechanic.  It’s wise to have someone you trust check the vehicle and evaluate any repairs it may need.

In recent years, prices for used cars have increased.  It is important to make sure you have extra funds for any immediate repairs.  Community Financial Credit Union offers great low rates on Auto Loans.  Find out more at one of our convenient branch locations.   

Posted by: Community Financial
Community Financial Members Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, full-service financial institution owned and governed by its membership.

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