2009 Winter Auto Guide
A close up of a black, white and red gear shift
7 key steps to buying a used car

At the dealer
5 of 8

Stay focused. There may be dozens of vehicles other than the one that you are specifically interested in that seem to fulfill your needs. Resist the urge to get sidetracked.

Although a dealership might charge more than a private owner for the same car, it may offer some sort of 30-, 60- or 90-day limited warranty on used cars, or even some sort of exchange policy. Also, the dealer is equipped to make most repairs and reconditioning you might request prior to buying the car.

When reliability is an overwhelming concern, many brand franchised dealers offer used cars that are manufacturer-supported certified preowned. These programs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but they all involve the dealer checking a variety of areas of the vehicle and making repairs or reconditioning where needed. The manufacturer then issues a limited warranty. This adds to the cost of the used vehicle, but the peace of mind might be worth it.




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