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Character Protects the Life

  • Date Submitted: 10/12/2010 06:55 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.5 
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Buying a Used Car
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A Consumer Guide from the Federal Trade Commission

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Buying a Used Car

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
1-877-FTC-HELP

ftc.gov

FOR THE CONSUMER

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efore you start shopping for a car, you’ll need to do some homework. Spending time now may save you serious money later. Think about your driving habits, your needs, and your budget. You can learn about car models, options, and prices by reading newspaper ads, both display and classified. There is a wealth of information about used cars on the Internet: enter “used car” as the key words and you’ll find additional information on how to buy a used car, detailed instructions for conducting a pre-purchase inspection, and ads for cars available for sale, among other information. Libraries and book stores also have publications that compare car models, options, and costs, and offer information about frequency-of-repair records, safety tests, and mileage. Many of these publications have details on the do’s and don’ts of buying a used car. Once you’ve narrowed your car choices, research the frequency of repair and maintenance costs on the models in auto-related consumer magazines. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Vehicle Safety Hotline (1-888-327-4236) and website www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov gives information on recalls.

Looking for a used car? Start by doing some homework. What you learn now may save you serious money later.

PAYMENT OPTIONS
You have two choices: pay in full or finance over time. If you finance, the total cost of the car increases. That’s because you’re also paying for the cost of credit, which includes interest and other loan costs. You’ll also have to consider how much you can put down, your monthly payment, the length of the loan, and the annual percentage rate (APR). Keep in mind that annual percentage rates usually are higher and loan periods generally are shorter on used cars than on new ones. Dealers and lenders offer a variety of loan terms and payment...

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