- Remember that there is no three-day cooling-off period or cancellation rights when purchasing a new or used vehicle. Once you sign the contract, you own the car and are obligated to make all payments.
- Buying a car is a negotiated transaction. Actually its several distinct negotiated transactions, including: Buying a car; Selling your trade-in; Arranging for financing; and Potentially buying other products and services such as vehicle protection packages, extended service contracts, etc.
- Know how much your trade-in is worth by checking the Kelley Blue Book or the National Auto Dealers Association Used Car Pricing Guide available at your bank or local library.
- Know how much you can afford to spend before you go shopping and compare financing terms between the dealers' bank and credit union.
- Information on actual dealer cost is available through Consumer Union or The Car Book, available at most libraries. Used car wholesale and retail prices are available through the Kelley Blue Book and the NADA Used Car Pricing Guide.
- Take a thorough test drive. Operate the vehicle as you would in normal use.
- Always have used vehicles thoroughly inspected by an independent mechanic of your choice prior to agreeing to purchase the vehicle.
- Get all promises in writing. Read and understand every document you sign. Don't sign anything with blank spaces. Your signature binds you contractually to make all payments.
- Check out the history of used vehicles by requesting the name and address of the prior owner from the dealer. Dealers are required to provide it to you if you are a prospective purchaser.
- Buying a car "as is" means you, not the dealer, are going to pay for the repairs.