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Tis The Season For Smart Used Car Buying

Be Armed With The Facts Before Purchasing A Used Car This Holiday Season

The holiday season is in full gear which means people are trying to find the perfect gift for the one they love. In addition to holiday shopping, its often a good time to consider buying a car before the end of the year. But, before you purchase that used car, make sure that you are armed with facts so that you are not purchasing one with undisclosed damages.

A new law this year went into effect that required California car dealers to provide a government report known as NMVTIS (National Motor Vehicle Title Information System) to used car buyers. While NMVTIS does report some information such as if the vehicle has been a total salvage, it does not report important safety information such as, flood damage, accidents that don’t require salvage or total loss brand, frame damage or airbag deployment.

It is essential to receive the most accurate and complete information about the used car you are about to purchase. This critical decision means the safety for whomever you are purchasing the used car for. 

Here are a few tips to follow this holiday shopping season:

#1: Do your research. Surf Internet used car listings and research professional new car road test reviews and user reviews from people who’ve driven and owned the model or models you’re interested in. This will help give you an idea of what you want.

#2: Ask the seller for a commercially available vehicle history report. There is a big difference between the government mandated report NMVTIS (National Motor Vehicle Title Information System) and commercially available reports such as CARFAX and AutoCheck. It is necessary to make sure you are receiving all the information available on your car. Therefore, it’s best to ask the car dealer for other comprehensive vehicle history reports and not only rely on NMVTIS that provides limited information.

#3: Get an outside opinion. Have the car checked out by a mechanic before making any purchasing decisions. Make sure that the mechanic is someone that you trust and be sure to test drive the car under varied road conditions.

#4:  Ask questions! Make sure when you are purchasing a used vehicle that you ask questions and inquire about the vehicle’s history. Do not assume that the government report has all of the accurate information regarding the vehicle’s history such as flood damage, airbag deployment, structural damage and open recalls.

#5: Know the facts! The truth is that this new law gives consumers a false sense of security. Dealers are required to provide the government report but this report does not provide a detailed vehicle history. Make sure that when you go to make the big purchase of buying a used vehicle that you are informed on every aspect of the car. Purchasing a car that has previous damages could be a huge safety risk for whomever you are purchasing the vehicle for. Be an informed consumer by knowing the facts and knowing your rights.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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