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Locating Used Cars

Good sources of used cars include private owners, new and used car dealerships, rental car companies, auctions, and auto brokers.

Private owners: Many used cars are sold by private parties. Often, these cars are the most reasonably priced, but they also don’t have warranties. Do your research. Ask friends, neighbors, and relatives about used cars that they know are for sale. If you buy from people you know, you should be able to find out more about a vehicle’s history. Watch for cars with “for sale” signs in the windows. Look at newspapers, classified ads, and bulletin boards. Keep in mind that cars that are closer to your geographical location are generally easier to inspect and evaluate. Use Internet sites, such as www.Autotrader.com, www.Classifieds2000.com, and www.Usedcars.com to help you. Still follow the procedures for buying a new car that were discussed earlier, including getting a Carfax report on vehicles you are thinking of buying.

New and used car dealerships: New car dealerships may also be a source of used cars. Dealerships often keep trade-in vehicles on their lots if they think they can resell them. Dealerships may be an attractive option for buying a used car because they sometimes offer special deals or warranties that are not available from private sellers.

Rental car companies: Other used car lots are run by rental companies that are trying to sell vehicles that have just come off leases. Some of the cars sold on these lots may be backed by warranties as well. For newer used cars, part of the manufacturer’s warranty may still be in effect.

Auctions and auto brokers: For those who know how to evaluate vehicles, auto auctions are a place where vehicles can be purchased for a reasonable amount. The risk with auto actions and auto brokers is that once a vehicle is purchased, there is no warranty or guarantee. The rule of thumb is caveat emptor, or buyer beware.

You may also want to look into purchasing a used car through auto brokers, who for a fee (usually around $500), will find the make, model, and year of car you are looking for and purchase it at an auto auction.


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