Always Get a Vehicle History Report
These reports will show you if the vehicle has ever been in an accident, reported stolen, been flooded, or totalled.
Nowadays, most dealers already provide a free vehicle history report on all of their used cars, but if you're shopping private party , you may have to pay for the report yourself.
The cost for a CarFax report is $34.99. AutoCheck sells their reports for $29.99.
Both services obtain information from thousands of public and private data sources including state title and registratrion records, auto auctions, rental car agencies and police departments.
Most dealers prefer to use AutoCheck when purchasing their vehicles at auction.
Keep in mind these history reports are not fool-proof. If an accident was never reported, they will not know about it - so don't assume the car is good to purchase just because it comes back with a clean history report.
The reports are meant to be used only as the first step in your investigation process. Always get a used car thoroughly inspected by a trusted mechanic before purchasing.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid