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Buying a used car? Here are some tips.

So you are in the market for a “new”, yet used car. Well, we at American Accord want to help protect you from a potentially costly mistake. We have compiled a brief list of tips to take into account before agreeing and handing over your hard earned money.

  1. The first tip when buying a used car is to determine your budget. This will help you narrow down your choices making you less susceptible to promotions and “deals”. This will also help you calculate your monthly payments, if financing. If you do plan on financing, consider getting a loan from your local bank. You may find that they may have lower interest rates when compared to the car dealership or manufacturer.
  2. Ask the right questions. When you meet with the owner, inquire about the car’s ownership history, maintenance and the current condition of the car. You may be surprised, but humans lie. We know you knew that but hopefully that sarcastic sentence will help remind you to double check someone’s claim. The owner may be gifted with a silver tongue turning a lemon of a car into lemon-aid. Write down the VIN number (usually located on the driver’s side door or dash) and you can get a report online for a small fee.
  3. Whether you are purchasing from a dealer or private owner, ALWAYS take the car for a test drive! During the drive, listen closely for any noises of potential trouble. It is a good idea to drive on hills (we know it is hard to do in Naples), highways and in stop-and-go traffic. You’ll get a better feel for how it drives and decide if you feel comfortable driving it.
  4. After negotiating a price, it’s time to close the deal. Before you negotiate (see tip 5 below), make sure the car is priced fairly. You can find out what it is worth on a vehicle valuation website such as Kelly Blue Book. After a price is set, you should never pay a private seller with cash. If something goes wrong and there’s no paper trail, it may be tough to get your money back. Along with the car, the previous owner should provide the title, a dated receipt for the sale signed by you and the seller and a spare key if available. Also make sure to research the rules in your state regarding how the seller should transfer the title for the vehicle to you.
  5. Call your American Accord insurance agent prior to committing to purchase and or taking possession of the car. What if making this purchase increases your insurance rate blowing your budget out of proportion? Don’t get caught off guard, know how much this new/used car will actually cost you each month. Once this suggestion is met, then it is time to inquire about the process to insure the new car.

From everyone here at American Accord – good luck and happy shopping!

Looking for a New Motorcycle? Don’t forget about Insurance Coverage!

Since you’re in the market for a new bike, here are a few tips to help you when making a decision on your new ride.

The first and most important question to ask yourself is to get you grounded in reality thus from making an expensive mistake. What type of riding are you looking to do? A sport bike may get you excited, but there is a good chance you’ll never need that kind of power commuting to and from work.

Get the Bike’s Service History

The seller may not have that, but request it just in case. This will help you understand what kind of service has been recently done on the bike and what yet may need to be done. Also ask for an owner’s manual and factory toolkit if available. Alternatively request one directly from the manufacture or locate one online. The Devil is in the details.

Prepare your Documents

You can’t legally ride a motorcycle without a bike license. Take the motorcycle safety course in your area if you’ve never owned a motorcycle and purchase a DOT-approved helmet before your first ride.

Test Drive

Pick a day with dry roads to test the bike. Don’t forget your bike license and helmet! If at a dealership, be prepared to sign an insurance waiver; if private, be ready to leave your license with the seller as security. Start slowly on the bike to get used to how it feels and responds.

Insure the bike with American Accord Insurance

If you buy a bike, don’t ride naked! Protect your ‘tail-pipe’ with reputable insurance from American Accord. Call or visit one of our local agencies near you to learn more!