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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!