CUPS Federal Credit Union An Employee Benefit of the Sisters of Providence Health System
Used Car Buying Facts
High prices on new cars and trucks have driven many potential customers out of the new car showrooms and onto used car lots. That's not hard to understand when you consider that a new car has risen in average cost 70% over the last decade, while median family incomes and consumer price index for the same period have risen only 40%.
If you're in the market for a used car, we can help you! We want
you to be a smart shopper, get the best loan rate from us, and the best deal for
your money. Check your trade-in as well as the "new" used car book value at:
Don't buy someone else's problems! The Center for Auto Safety has estimated that manufacturers are forced to buy back about 50,000 lemons a year - about $1 billion worth of new cars. The FTC is looking into a number of cases where dealers subsequently sold these cars to unsuspecting consumers and did not disclose their previous history. Here's how to avoid it happening to you:
Check the mileage. If it's low, wonder whether the previous owner ditched the car because of problems. Ask the seller to prove any claims that the car was returned for trivial reasons, or was a repossession.
Check the label. Give pause if you're told a car is an executive, brass hat, demonstrator, program, or resumed vehicle. These aren't always problem cars, but you should insist that the sellers support such claims in writing.
Check the warnings. Carefully read all disclosures on the car's window stickers, door frame, title, and contract. Look for any reference to defects such as factory buyback, manufacturer buyback, or warranty return.
Check the past. Request and review the car's service history
and note frequency of problems and gaps in records. Study the title, it gives
the name of the previous owner - contact them. Vehicles transferred from another
state are tougher to trace. For $20. Carfax, (800) 346-3846, provides
searches on 265 million title transfers.
Check the car. Before you buy any used vehicle, have an independent mechanic assure you that it's sound. Ask your mechanic to check if all of the model's safety recall work has been done. Autofax, (800) 777-4481, provides quick printouts of reported problems for a given model and year for $20.
Other things to ponder as you search for that new-to-you car is what
size vehicle do you really need? Vans and trucks are nice, and convenient when
you need them, but how many times a month do you really need the internal space they
provide? Hauling around that extra room can cost a lot more than a sedan or
sub-compact will. What kind of mileage does this new vehicle get compared to
what you're getting now? Check the Website of Consumer
Reports Magazine for details on yearly maintenance costs, safety information,
and repair records.