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7 things to know when buying a used car

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Used car prices are at their lowest levels in 4 years due to an avalanche of used cars coming off 3 year leases, but how can you snag a great set of wheels for the lowest prices possible?

Here are 7 savvy showroom strategies to save you big bucks.

Tip 1: Narrow the search

Narrow down your search to a few makes and models, and then do a little research.

"Look to see what's the maintenance costs are involved with having that car for the amount of years you would be looking at," John Giamalvo of Edmunds.com said.

He says some more expensive cars could be cheaper to maintain. Their website offers a free service called "true cost to own."

Tip 2: What's left on warranty?

"See what might be remaining on that car warranty. In today's day and age you have some warranties that are 5 years and 60,000 miles some as high as 10 years, 100,000 miles," Giamalvo said.

Tip 3: Maintenance costs

Ask if a dealership will toss in pre-paid maintenance to pay for some of the vehicles service.

Tip 4: Test drive technology

Also, take the car and it's technology for a test spin. "Go through the navigation, the station - just go over the car because with new cars technology there are so many things you can do with it," salesman Stu Coleman said.

Tip 5: Research fair price

Eliminate haggling by determining the fair price for the car. Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds both offer online databases for free.

Tip 6: Mechanic check

And two last "must-do" tips - ALWAYS have a licensed mechanic check out the car.

Tip 7: Vehicle history

Finally, get a vehicle history report.

"Just so you know if there's any history of damage to the car and you'll see the maintenance record also," Giamalvo said.

For more information, please visit Edmunds Quick Guide to Buying a Used Car.

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