USED CARS - HOW MUCH TO PAY? AUTOMOBILE DISCOUNTS - BUYING, LEASING

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Buy a new or used car and save $1000s; avoid repair ripoffs.
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4.0 USED CARS - HOW MUCH TO PAY? AUTOMOBILE DISCOUNTS - BUYING, LEASING

Determine how much you can afford.

Then subtract these guesstimates:
You can afford.............$5,000
Mechanic to inspect(2 cars)..-150
Initial repairs..............-500
Sales tax/title..............-350
-------------------------------------
Look to pay: $4000

As a rule of thumb, you can finance 85% of the Blue Book value of your next used car. 15% must come as a cash down payment or from your trade-in.


4.0.1 WHICH CAR TO BUY?

Choose a common car, one that is easy to repair and easy to find parts for. Be flexible; with a used car you need to select from what's available. Avoid exotic cars. NEVER buy a car that has been in an accident.

The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue lists "reliable used cars" starting at $2000 and "used cars to avoid." NEVER even look at cars on their list to avoid. The issue also includes comprehensive frequency-of-repair charts for most vehicles in the last seven years. ALWAYS look at these charts when considering a particular model. They tell you the areas that a mechanic should look at closely. Also look at the lists of good and bad cars in The Used Car Book.

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4.0.2 HOW MUCH IS A CAR WORTH?

Prices can vary considerably in different parts of the country. Mileage and condition are important.

Edmund's Used Cars Prices & Ratings gives you benchmark figures for just about any used vehicle in the last ten years. It includes a chart that shows what to add/subtract based on the car's mileage. You should try to buy for a bit above the listed wholesale price, the seller will want to sell for a bit below retail.

Edmund's price is an estimate only. The next step is to get local publications with ads for used cars. Convenience stores frequently carry local publications with hundreds of car ads, including pictures. Also look in the classified ads of the newspaper. Write down in a notebook the make, model, price, mileage, equipment and needed repairs. Call sellers with cars in good condition at reasonable asking prices. (You'll bargain them down).

4.0.3 WHO TO BUY THE VEHICLE FROM

Individuals sell about half the used cars available and usually offer the best price. If you are buying a late model car, you might want to get it from a dealer with a warranty; read the warranty carefully.


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| Gasoline discounts, 19 tips | Drive your automobile one more year | Discounts on homeowners and automobile insurance | How To Complain | Simple Easy Prevention of Auto Theft | How To Bargain, Negotiate and Haggle |

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