Table of contents
Chapter 1: Getting started
Chapter 2: Shop till you drop
Chapter 3: The buying experience
Chapter 4: The leasing experience
Chapter 5: Financing the deal
Chapter 6: Insuring your vehicle
It's always possible to get burned when shopping for a used car. One popular scam involves piecing together one car from several wrecked cars and then passing it off as a clean used car.
But the Internet and services like Carfax.com have made it easier to check out a car's ownership history and whether it has been in any accidents. Unless you want to lay your money down and roll the dice, never buy a used car without getting a report using the vehicle identification number, or VIN. If a seller refuses to give you the VIN, run away from that deal. Or if the VIN report says the car is blue and the vehicle you're looking at is white, be very suspicious of stories about the color change. Look inside door jambs, nooks in the trunk and wheel wells for signs of the original color. The seller may have switched VIN plates to pass off a lemon-law buyback or salvage vehicle.
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Two-thirds said they distrust car mechanics, citing overcharges, recommendations for unnecessary services and previous bad experiences with repair shops.
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