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Take Care and Caution When Buying a Used Car

2014-09-01 Used Cars For Sale San Diego

A recent undercover crime bust turned up a Sacramento, California dealer who had tampered with the speedometers on more than 100 vehicles which he and his accomplice had sold to customers, amounting to theft by false pretenses. The DMV found one car had been misrepresented by some 150,000 miles. These are the sorts of scams that the wary buyer has to look out for, and they point out the need for consumers to take time to do research on the cars they are buying, even having them inspected by an independent mechanic if possible.

There are some important details that the car shopper should be aware of before signing on the dotted line. He or she should check a vehicle pricing guide, newspaper ads, and the like to find the true value of the vehicle. Internet sites, for example Used Cars For Sale San Diego, are often great tools for this kind of comparison shopping. A San Diego resident could quickly find, using a resource like this, details and asking prices on a a great many used cars in San Diego. New cars for sale in San Diego could similarly be investigated. Craigslist's cars and trucks by owner section is another popular choice and it is also used much by the mechanically inclined seeking replacement car parts. Anyone can easily post or search for vehicles on these types of sites, but just be careful to use common sense in dealing with strangers.

Besides price, look for the information on any safety and recall issued the car may have, ask about smog certifications, and check if the manufacturer's written warranty has expired. Full odometer disclosure is required at point of sale, and if you have any doubts about the validity, you might want to contact the DMV's Investigative Support Unit at 916.657.7244 or online at www.dmv.ca.gov. A look at the title is a must- be aware of the rules for out of state purchases and know the difference between "or" and "and" on a title. The former requires the permission of either owner, the latter of both, to legally sell the vehicle. Every dealer must give you a National Motor Vehicle Title Information System disclosure, and a private seller can be checked up on for a small fee by getting a title report from www.vehiclehistory.gov.

Before signing, be sure you understand the contract: it's payment terms, interest rate, fees and taxes charged to you, any dealership warranty and what it covers, etc. For a private sale, just inspect the condition of the car closely (bring a mechanical minded friend if you need to!) and be as sure as you can of what your are purchasing.

No one can guarantee that a fraudster won't get the best of you- those 100 plus victims had no idea that the speedometer had been turned back. But by doing proper research and knowing your rights and how to check on things for yourself as much as possible, you minimize the risks of being scammed.


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