Buy a Used Car

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Buy a Car the Web Way

When buying or leasing a car, impulse is your enemy. Given the financial commitment required to buy a car, a purchase not shown proper consideration could leave you regretting your decision for a long time. Luckily, the Web's resources are perfect for getting you the information you need and moving that perfect car from the showroom floor to behind your garage door. For a Spanish-language version of the Guide, click here.

Advice and Overviews on Car Buying

Online or off, your success when buying a car depends greatly on your preparation. Good research ... read more »

Buy a New Car

Whether it's luxury, performance, economy, or reliability you crave, new cars bring you the latest ... read more »

Buy a Used Car

If thoughts of buying a used car conjure up the stereotype of a cheap suit-clad salesman equipped with aviator sunglasses, Hawaiian shirt, greasy hair, and a greasier mustache, the last thing you're itching to do is make a trip down to your local dealership. Relax. Buying a used car has never been easier. With the aid of your trusted friend the Internet, you can exert mastery over the car buying process by conducting vehicle history reports, checking and comparing Blue Book values, and browsing listings until you find the ride that's perfect for you.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • To reiterate a point from the "How do I buy a new car?" section, most quality car Web sites have equally good listings for both new and used cars. For that reason, a number of our Picks from the previous section appear again here.
  • When buying a used car, begin by assessing the car's value by comparing the asking price with the Blue Book price. After you've test-driven your potential car, but before purchasing it, be sure to check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and get a vehicle history report.
  • A vehicle history report is a record of an automobile's service, ownership, and odometer history. Each car's VIN allows such records to be compiled in a central database and to be accessed when a prospective buyer needs them. For more information on why you should order a report and where the information in it comes from, see the sections at the bottom of this page from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Below we recommend two sites that can give you free vehicle history reports.
  • AutoNetUSA has a five-step new and used car buyer's guide you might find useful.

Dulcinea's Picks

For a buyer's guide ...
To learn the recommended value of a used car ...
For vehicle history reports ...
To buy a used car ...
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Lease a Car

Leasing a car is similar in nature to renting an apartment: you inhabit it for a set period of ... read more »

How to Finance a Car

Unless you're sitting on a hefty savings account, buying a new or used car means taking out a loan. ... read more »

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