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Ernest Alexandrov
Ernest Alexandrov

What To Ask A Dealer When Buying A Used Car


3. Where did the used vehicle come from? Used cars can come from a variety of sources: directly from new car dealer trade-ins or demos (see above); from auctions (either wholesale or within a dealer franchise network); from rental car fleets; and from other new car dealers. So whether the used car you are interested in is sitting on a new franchise dealer lot or in an exclusive used car dealership, knowing where the vehicle came from is key to obtaining an accurate maintenance history.




what to ask a dealer when buying a used car



5. Has the dealer done any service on the used vehicle? Some used cars can sit for weeks and months on a dealer lot. So, regardless of the service history of the used vehicle you are considering, the current dealer may have had to do some repairs or scheduled maintenance since the car or truck originally arrived in their hands. This is important information to get, as any recent work done on your vehicle means fewer costs to you in the future.


8. Will the dealer offer a discount if you buy the used vehicle with cash? While dealers make money off the finance products they sell, most still prefer a cash purchase. So ask what the discounted price of the car would be if you skipped the traditional financing route and bought the vehicle in cash.


A vehicle sitting in the classifieds or on a dealership lot may have many stories to tell, as long as you know what questions to ask when buying a used car. Shopping for a used car can seem like a challenge, and you're not alone if you feel this way. Arming yourself with strong questions could help you know what you're getting into.


When shopping around, don't be afraid to grill a salesperson. Off the bat they may lack answers, but that's nothing a little digging on their part can't solve. What about questions to ask when buying a used car from a private party? The good news is that private-party sellers may know more about their cars than dealers do. After all, they've probably been driving the vehicle for a while, and in some cases, they may even have owned it since new.


While you can't expect a salesperson to know the history of every vehicle on a big lot, it's always worth asking them what they know about the car. Maybe they handled the trade and can provide some hints about how the previous owners used it. Or they can tell you if it was acquired, as so many cars are, at a dealer-only auction.


Before you decide a car is worth seeing in person, there are numerous questions to ask yourself when considering all aspects of a used car. The more information you have on hand, the better buyer you will become and the more confident you can be in making your decision.


Asking about the condition of the vehicle is a great question to ask when buying a used car. If there are pictures available to view, make note of them so that you can access any damage should you decide to see it in person.


If you want to get an idea of how your new vehicle may age, ask the dealer if they have a used version on hand for a test drive. Try to get an earlier model within the current generation, and pay attention to how it drives, any noises or smells and the wear and tear on interior finishes.


Most car dealers who sell used vehicles must comply with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Used Car Rule. In fact, car dealers who sell, or offer for sale, more than five used vehicles in a 12-month period must comply with the Rule. Banks and financial institutions are exempt from the Rule, as are businesses that sell vehicles to their employees, and lessors who sell a leased vehicle to a lessee, an employee of the lessee, or a buyer found by the lessee.


The Used Car Rule applies in all states except Maine and Wisconsin. These two states are exempt because they have similar regulations that require dealers to post disclosures on used vehicles. The Rule applies in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.


You must post a Buyers Guide before you display a vehicle for sale or let a customer inspect it for the purpose of buying it, even if the car is not fully prepared for delivery. You also must display a Buyers Guide on used vehicles for sale on your lot through consignment, power of attorney, or other agreement. At public auctions, dealers and the auction company must comply. The Rule does not apply at auctions that are closed to consumers.


When buying a used car from a private seller, you will have a greater opportunity to have more questions answered. The seller knows the vehicle personally, having owned it and driven it. Ask as many questions as possible about the car's ownership history and existing condition. You should also review the vehicle history report thoroughly and not only rely on what information the seller provides verbally.


Are you selling the car as is, or is it under warranty?If you purchase your used car from a car dealership, then having a warranty offers you peace of mind. However, do not be too quick to sign the dotted line because of a warranty offer. Read the warranty terms to determine exactly what it covers and how likely it is that you may use it. Car dealers know how to close a sale and may not always take you through the fine print.


Has the car been in any accidents?Don't necessarily pass up on buying a used car if the current owner or vehicle history report indicates that it has been involved in a minor or moderate crash. That means it's less likely to have once been declared totaled.


How firm are you on the price?Once you're serious about buying the vehicle, it's time to negotiate the price of the car with the current owner. When you go to the dealership to buy a new car, you haggle, and there's no reason you shouldn't ask a seller to take less on a used car.


When you buy a used vehicle, the dealer must certify, in writing, that it is "in condition and repair to render, under normal use, satisfactory and adequate service upon the public highway at the time of delivery." The dealer certification covers the entire vehicle except items that would be obvious to the customer before the sale, such as torn upholstery, missing hubcaps, etc. The vehicle also must have all safety equipment and emissions controls required by state and federal laws for the vehicle's model year.


For a used vehicle purchased from a New York State registered dealer - the proof of ownership is the Certificate of Title (MV-999), or a transferable registration for 1972 and older models, signed over to the dealer, and the dealer's Certificate of Sale (MV-50) showing ownership transfer to you. The dealer must complete, and you must acknowledge by signing, the appropriate odometer and damage disclosure statements.


Used cars are sold through a variety of outlets: franchise and independent dealers, rental car companies, leasing companies, and used car superstores. You can even buy a used car on the Internet. Ask friends, relatives, and co-workers for recommendations. You may want to call your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General (AG), and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to find out if any unresolved complaints are on file about a particular dealer.


An alternative to buying from a dealer is buying from an individual. You may see ads in newspapers, on bulletin boards, or on a car. Buying a car from a private party is very different from buying a car from a dealer.


For new and used cars, when obtaining financing from the dealer, the dealer must give you a Notice to Vehicle Credit Applicant. This shows the credit score that was used by the dealer, the name and contact information of the credit-reporting agencies and their range of all possible credit scores.


According to auto industry analyst firm Cox Automotive, 40.9 million used cars were sold in the U.S. in 2021, up about 10 percent over 2020 numbers. That number included 22.2 million sales by consumers to dealerships and online retailers like Shift and Carvana. Used car sales are expected to remain high this year, with Cox predicting 2022 numbers at 39.3 million used vehicle sales, with 22.1 million by consumers selling to dealers and online retailers.


This information provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions regarding the purchase of a used car. It specifically covers the purchase of used cars and light trucks from a licensed dealer.


I bought a used car from a dealer and now I've changed my mind. Can I return the car and get my money back? Under most circumstances you cannot return the car only because you have changed your mind. While products sold to you at home (door to door) may be returned within 3 days if you change your mind, Maine law does not allow a "cooling off" period for sales taking place outside of the home, such as used cars purchased from a dealer.


I put a deposit on a used car but did not take delivery. Is the dealer required to return my deposit if I change my mind? It depends on the dealer's policy. While Maine law does not require that the deposit be returned, it does require the dealer to provide you with a written copy of its deposit policy. Therefore, it is important to ask about the deposit policy and read all documents carefully before you place a deposit on a used car.


What does the dealer have to tell me about a car that I wish to purchase? Maine law requires a Used Vehicle Buyer's Guide be posted on a used car's window with the following information:


Is the dealer required to give a 30-day warranty on used cars? No. Maine law does not establish a set warranty coverage (other than state safety inspection warranty) or time period that a dealer must provide for a used car. Maine law also does not specify what items and terms a warranty will include. Many times a dealer will have standard written warranty coverage. Review any written warranty carefully to determine the length of the dealer's warranty and the items covered for your used car. These will be listed on the express warranty section of the Used Vehicle Buyer's Guide. 041b061a72


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