The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Don't Get Screwed - Used Car Expert Offers Valuable Buying Tips For Consumers


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Don't Get Screwed - Get Smart - RESEARCH

Avoid making common mistakes when shopping for a used car by being aware of the following used car-buying myths

June 14, 2006 -- Jerry Christopher of http://www.usedcarwise.com offers these valuable insights before starting your search of a used or pre owned automobile. Drawing from 26 years of automotive industry experience, he now helps people of all backgrounds and abilities to make smarter automotive-buying decisions. Avoid making these common mistakes when shopping for a used car by being aware of the following used car-buying myths:

MYTH: Iím buying a car known for its quality so I donít have to be concerned.

FACT: Even the best make and model, if not maintained properly or abused by the owner or drivers, will certainly cause major mechanical problems sooner or later.

MYTH: The owner provided me with maintenance records, so Iíll be safe.

FACT: First, you must consider the fact that these records may be fraudulent. Sellers are well aware of the importance of maintenance and though it is unlikely, records can be falsified. Secondly, bear in mind that thorough record searching involves more than just reviewing maintenance records. Checking the title, registration and even the warranty history are important steps to uncovering potential problems.

MYTH: Iím buying an extended warranty or service agreement; Iíll be covered if anything happens.

FACT: Although an extended warranty does offer some protection, itís important to understand that these policies donít cover every single component on a vehicle. Furthermore, the vast majority of warranties wonít cover pre-existing conditions or any problems that may be caused by a lack of maintenance or abuse.

MYTH: Iíll buy a carfax or other online report, this will tell me everything I need to know.

FACT: If we were to rank these in order of importance (which we arenít doing because they are all more or less equally important!), we would have to list this one near the top. These reports are contingent on various factors and on numerous agencies that provide this information; and even when the data is provided, the public (that means you) may not have access to it until after youíve purchased the automobile. In some cases, the information may never show up in an online history search. Obtaining an online history search is an important step; it should be considered as just thatÖ a step in the process.

MYTH: Iíll have my mechanic check the car over; that should eliminate potential problems.

FACT: Obviously, an important step. However, the person checking the car may not be familiar with everything to look for. For example, he/she may not know how to find hidden paint or body repairs or to spot flood damage indicators. Itís also unlikely that he or she will do a proper test drive (See Below), and they certainly wonít research history records.

MYTH: My sales person is taking me for a test drive, I donít need to drive it any more than that.

FACT: A ďspin around the blockĒ or a quick ride up the highway is not enough time and/or miles to determine potential problems. A proper road test can be somewhat of a lengthy process, in itself. It includes both hot and cold driving for a minimum of 25 miles over various road surfaces.

MYTH: Iím buying a certified pre-owned car; I donít need to do anything else.

FACT: While you do have some advantages with a CPO vehicle, the procedures and qualifications these cars go through leave a lot of room for mistakes Even worse, a dishonest dealer can classify a car as certified even though it didnít pass the guidelines. Think it doesnít happen? Consider this true story: A high line luxury dealer sold numerous cars as ďcertifiedĒ when in fact they didnít even have their inspections performed. When the Manufacturer caught them, the dealers were forced to contact their customers and to recondition the cars to bring them up to standards. They were given a slap on the wrist and are still selling certified automobiles today.

MYTH: I live in area that wasnít involved with floods; I donít have to be concerned about buying a car thatís been flood-damaged.

FACT: Consumers who live in areas that havenít had any floods are, in reality, more subject to buying a flood-damaged car than one might think. Unscrupulous sellers ship these cars cross-country, hoping that unsuspecting buyers who live in places that are not prone to flooding will overlook the flood-damage inspection.

MYTH: Iím not very mechanically inclined and I donít know much about cars. I need to bring someone with me to help.

FACT: The communication age has brought many advantages to anyone seeking knowledge, whether itís about gardening or buying a car. Indeed, with a desire to learn and a willingness to invest a little time, you can learn just about everything you need to know about buying a used car.

For this very purpose,UsedCarWise.com has developed an informative and educational tutorial that can be viewed, either via the Internet or on a CD Rom. The information contained in the tutorial is specially designed to assist those who lack technical car-knowledge and teaches them ďHow To Buy A Used Car, the Smart Way.Ē

By arming yourself with used car knowledge and know-how, beginning with these myths and facts, you will greatly minimize your risk of buying a vehicle that will be more of a costly headache than a joy ride.

Founder, Jerry Christopher, has over 26 years experience in the automotive industry as vehicle technician, body shop manager, and service manager of new car dealerships. This extensive knowledge is now being shared to consumers in an effort to broaden their knowledge and minimize their risk of buying a used car thatís been wrecked, damaged or other wise unsafe. For more information about either the consumer or business to business services and products of http://www.usedcarwise.com please call 1 866 374 WISE (9473)