buying cars http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9506/all en-US The Best and Worst Things to Buy in October 2012 http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october-2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6336996727_7541702eda_z.jpg" alt="Halloween decorations" title="Halloween decorations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>October is a strange month for shopping, since we're now within a stone's throw of the biggest shopping event of the year: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-about-black-friday">Black Friday</a>. It's smart to to put off most purchases until the attention-grabbing deals start flowing in next month.(See also: Shopping Calendar: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <p>But there are still notable sales that are unique to this fall month. And in between sipping pumpkin-flavored drinks and carefully planning the perfect costume for an upcoming Halloween party, consumers are likely to do a bit of shopping. So we've mined the extensive <strong>dealnews</strong> archives of sales, coupons, and individual products from the past few seasons to guide you in your quest for the most savvy purchases in October. Here's what we found.</p> <h3>Modest Costume Deals Before Halloween</h3> <p>Sure, the best time to buy a Halloween costume starts November 1. But you'll still see decent sales on costumes the week before the holiday, with numerous stores also offering stacking coupons to sweeten the deal. For example, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s932/Buy-Costumes?eref=wisebread">BuyCostumes</a> offered a coupon that took an extra 20% off items early in October last year, but mid-month (as well as the week before the holiday), the store increased that discount to an extra 30% off, which applied to a sale that took up to 85% off. Look to <a href="http://dealnews.com/s774/The-Childrens-Place?eref=wisebread">The Children's Place</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s2414/Diapers?eref=wisebread">Diapers.com</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1365/Hot-Topic?eref=wisebread">Hot Topic</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/s469/Joann.com?eref=wisebread">Joann Fabric</a>, among others, for pre-holiday discounts. Of course, don't wait too long, otherwise you'll have to deal with expensive expedited shipping in order to receive your getup in time.</p> <p>After the holiday, shoppers can go pretty much anywhere and find clearance sales that discount both costumes and decorations. Unless you fear that you'll grow sick of the standard witches and broomsticks, stock up on cheap decorations post-holiday and can store them for next year. Expect discounts of 50% to 90% on themed items.</p> <h3>No Hot Deals on Cold Weather Apparel</h3> <p>Although chilly weather has started to blanket some of the country making winter apparel seems like a savvy investment, the sharpest discounts on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c202/Clothing-Accessories?eref=wisebread">cold weather apparel and accessories</a> won't come until January. If you just can't wait until after the New Year, you should at least try holding out until November for the best deals. Around Black Friday a wealth of apparel retailers will offer their best coupon of the year, which may take a full 50% off or more &mdash; an excellent discount on current-season items. Expect to see such a coupon from retailers like <a href="http://dealnews.com/s777/American-Eagle-Outfitters?eref=wisebread">American Eagle</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s636/Aeropostale?eref=wisebread">Aeropostale</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s3153/Nautica?eref=wisebread">Nautica</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s2012/Abercrombie-Fitch?eref=wisebread">Abercrombie &amp; Fitch</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s273/Express?eref=wisebread">Express</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1715/Lands-End?eref=wisebread">Lands' End</a>, Dockers, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s756/Ann-Taylor?eref=wisebread">Ann Taylor</a>, and more.</p> <h3>Deep Discounts on Denim</h3> <p>While September is a good time to find denim deals, so too is October, as retailers continue to try to move the styles they'd hoped to sell during Back to School season. Last year, we saw Editors' Choice worthy discounts from <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1491/Levi?eref=wisebread">Levi's</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s2509/Lee-Jeans?eref=wisebread">Lee Jeans</a>, Target via its <a href="http://dealnews.com/b1554/Mossimo?eref=wisebread">Mossimo</a> line, <a href="http://dealnews.com/b34511/MNRKY?eref=wisebread">MNRKY</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/s461/Armani-Exchange?eref=wisebread">Armani Exchange</a>. We also saw moderate sales on jeans from retailers like <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1887/Lucky-Brand-Jeans?eref=wisebread">Lucky Brand</a>, Express, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1758/New-York-Company?eref=wisebread">New York &amp; Company</a>, American Eagle, and more. Just keep in mind that you could potentially get as good or a better discount on remaining denim styles by waiting for that aforementioned Black Friday coupon.</p> <h3>Hold Off on New Electronics</h3> <p>We're so close to Black Friday that, if you can help it, you should avoid buying electronics and new devices. There's of course no guarantee that <a href="http://dealnews.com/c142/Electronics?eref=wisebread">wish-listed electronics</a> will see those famed rock-bottom prices during Black Friday weekend, but across many electronics categories, we see the best prices of the year in November and especially around Black Friday weekend.</p> <p>Most people are aware that this is a trend for TVs and budget laptops, but select digital cameras, media players, and home theater components could also see their best prices of the year in just a few short weeks &mdash; before they're replaced by newer models next year. We also recommend holding off on most <a href="http://dealnews.com/b13/Apple?eref=wisebread">Apple products</a> too; although the brand doesn't exactly see &quot;fire sale&quot; prices on new items at any point during the year, Black Friday weekend is a chance for resellers to make some of their largest discounts on current-generation Apple products.</p> <h3>No Hot Cookware Deals</h3> <p>In preparation for the biggest cooking holiday of the year, you might want to round out the items missing from your cookware collection. But wait until November and you could see about 25% more <a href="http://dealnews.com/c201/Home-Garden/Kitchen?eref=wisebread">cookware and appliance deals</a> overall. Even better, there will be double the number of Editors' Choice offers as well, which of course means some of the best prices of the year. In years past, you could get your mitts on discount cookware, cutlery sets, bakeware, and small appliances from stores like <a href="http://dealnews.com/s288/macys?eref=wisebread">Macy's</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s313/Amazon?eref=wisebread">Amazon</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s510/Sears?eref=wisebread">Sears</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s2334/Oneida?eref=wisebread">Oneida</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/b9406/Williams-Sonoma?eref=wisebread">Williams Sonoma</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1009/Kohls?eref=wisebread">Kohl's</a>, and more. This uptick in high-caliber deals will continue into December, albeit with a slight drop off.</p> <h3>End of Season Sales for Garden Plants</h3> <p>While dealnews tends to specialize in the things that make your garden grow, rather than the things that are actually growing in it, our research shows that October is a good month for investing in shrubbery, floral bulbs, and other plants that have a shelf life. According to LifeHacker, &quot;If you have a cellar or other area to store plants over the winter, you can <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5736625/the-best-times-to-buy-anything-in-2011">jump in now and get these items very cheaply</a>.&quot;</p> <h3>Get Auto Deals on Last Year's Models</h3> <p>Likewise, we certainly don't list cars on our site, but many reliable sources state that October is a good month to get a discount on a new car. New models are released in September, and dealerships begin to get anxious to move cumbersome stock items throughout September and October. According to Forbes, you can <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/12/shopping-discounts-fall-lifestyle-style-sales_slide_5.html">save 10% to 20% or more this month</a> on a new-to-you car. The car experts at Edmunds.com also suggest <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/best-new-car-leftovers-for-2012.html">buying a model that's &quot;about to be discontinued or redesigned.&quot;</a> They warn though that these cars will depreciate much faster than those that are newly released, so this tactic is best suited to people looking for a long-haul purchase.</p> <h3>No Power Savings on Big Appliances Yet</h3> <p>Conventional wisdom says to buy large appliances in September and October, because this is when manufacturers like <a href="http://dealnews.com/b410/LG?eref=wisebread">LG</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/b422/Maytag?eref=wisebread">Maytag</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/b2120/Whirlpool?eref=wisebread">Whirlpool</a> debut their new models. However, according to our archives, you'll see at least double the number of Editors' Choice deals on these items in November. Moreover, there will be more than twice as many deals in November that discounting <a href="http://dealnews.com/c304/Home-Garden/Appliances?eref=wisebread">washers, dryers, vacuums, and the like</a> from department and home improvement stores.</p> <h3>HDTV Deals on High and Low End Sets Begin to Ramp Up</h3> <p>Traditionally, Black Friday is the best time to get an <a href="http://dealnews.com/c159/Electronics/TVs?eref=wisebread">HDTV deal</a>, whether you're in the market for a main set for your living room or an additional set for the bedroom. That said, we're still a few weeks away from the main event and if you simply can't wait, there are some deals to be had today.</p> <p>On the high-end side, we have seen <a href="http://dealnews.com/c560/Electronics/TVs/LCD-TVs/55-LCD-TVs?eref=wisebread">55&quot; 3D LCD HDTVs</a> hit a rock bottom price of $949. Although it was a one-time deal in August, we wouldn't be surprised to see this price-low again. Overall, for high-end 3D 55&quot; TVs, look for prices between $949 and $999. If 3D is still too expensive for your blood, <a href="http://dealnews.com/c504/Electronics/TVs/LCD-TVs/42-LCD-TVs?eref=wisebread">off-brand 42&quot; sets</a> have been seeing impressive lows as well. All summer we've seen prices on these sets comfortably under $300. This includes sets from manufacturers like Westinghouse, Seiki, and TLC. Rule of thumb &mdash; look for deals from $230 to $290.</p> <h3>Prices on Ivy Bridge Systems Continue to Drop; Windows 8 on the Horizon</h3> <p>October promises to a be an interesting month for <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops?eref=wisebread">laptop deals</a>. We predict an abundance of deals on mainstream <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops/f15/Core-i5?eref=wisebread">15&quot; Core i5 Ivy Bridge systems</a>, which had already hit an astonishingly low price of $400 in September. Though with the release of Windows 8 in late October there's a chance we'll see an <a href="http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/myriad-of-windows-8-hybrid-devices-revealed-at-ifa/">uptick in prices</a> as new <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/Readers-Declare-They-Want-Hybrid-Windows-Tablets-But-at-What-Cost-/572039.html?eref=wisebread">hybrid laptop/tablet</a> models are released.</p> <p>As tempting as they may seem, we recommend avoiding these hybrids as they'll demand a premium price. In addition, many of them could potentially suffer from first generation problems as they are a new breed of laptops whose hardware mixes the ultrabook with a tablet. Instead, we recommend looking for deals on Ivy Bridge systems with very-capable 15&quot; Core i5-based system with prices ranging from $400 to about $450.</p> <p>Set up dealnews <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread">email alert</a> now to keep abreast of any and all of these best buys in October. And for more price trend information, check out dealnews' <a href="http://dealnews.com/pages/resources/consumer-research?eref=wisebread">consumer shopping research page</a>.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a href="http://dealnews.com"><em>Dealnews</em></a><em>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Can&#039;t wait for Black Friday? Check out the best and worst things to buy in October! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october-2012">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-minute-diy-halloween-costumes">Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year">Are You Spending Too Much on Halloween This Year?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/halloween-is-over-now-go-and-buy-your-costume">Halloween Is Over. Now, Go and Buy Your Costume.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-were-spending-more-on-halloween-costumes-this-year">5 Reasons We’re Spending MORE on Halloween Costumes This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying cars costumes electronics Halloween jeans Tue, 02 Oct 2012 10:00:42 +0000 Dealnews 954831 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways My Clunker Is Smarter Than a Hybrid http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-my-clunker-is-smarter-than-a-hybrid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-my-clunker-is-smarter-than-a-hybrid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clunkers.jpg" alt="Clunkers" title="Clunkers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve always been slightly amazed how the new car market is so readily embraced. I know it takes all those new car buyers to allow us used-car shoppers the luxury of so much inventory. I just want to stay in the ranks of the latter, not the former.</p> <p>Most people realize buying new often makes little financial sense, yet they justify it through a whole host of rationalizations. Even the federal government jumped on the bandwagon last year by suggesting we all needed to grind up our clunkers and buy new instead &mdash; for the sake of the national economy and the environment, no less. Was the result a whole fleet of new fuel-efficient cars on the road, or increased consumer debt and the loss of thousands of serviceable older vehicles? At the risk of sounding like I suffer from an acute case of sour-grapes, I&rsquo;d like to explore just seven ways in which my old clunker may be a smarter choice than even the newest hybrid. (See also: <a title="How to Cut Car Ownership Costs" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs">How to Cut Car Ownership Costs</a>)</p> <h3>1. Fuel Efficiency Isn&rsquo;t Always Green</h3> <p>By some estimates, more than 25% of a car&rsquo;s carbon dioxide emissions come from the manufacturing process (this can include design, testing, building, marketing and shipping). Since my used car has already gone through the manufacture and transport phase, it produces no new demand for automobiles and therefore, no additional environmental demand. Even though it only gets 22 miles per gallon on a good day, driving it responsibly arguably produces less pollution than purchasing new. If going green is truly driving (pun intended) your purchase, this consideration should give you pause.</p> <h3>2. Steep Depreciation</h3> <p>Though the jury is out on the long-term depreciation rates of hybrids, most new cars lose as much as 20% the minute you wave goodbye to the dealer. Where else can you lose $0.20 on every dollar with just a signature and a click of a belt buckle? If you aren&rsquo;t paying for the car outright, add finance charges to the mix and remember, all this delightful financial devastation is occurring to after-tax dollars &mdash; dollars that won&rsquo;t be around to invest. That&rsquo;s four major hits for every buck spent: one hit from the tax man (payroll tax and sales tax), one hit from depreciation, one hit from the finance company, and one last blow from the loss of earning power of each dollar tied up in your new purchase.</p> <h3>3. Premium Rates</h3> <p>Even if you&rsquo;re paying for <a title="Auto Insurance" href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">comprehensive insurance</a> on a used car now, premiums go up for later-model automobiles. Hybrids are no exception; more complex engine systems and batteries mean higher repair costs and higher <a title="Auto Insurance Rates" href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance-rates">insurance rates</a>. Of course, full coverage is mandatory if you have a car loan &mdash; the bank wants to protect its investment. But used cars that are paid-off can be covered by liability insurance only (based upon comprehensive insurance costs vs. auto replacement cost calculations). Being able to control your insurance costs can make driving used even more fiscally prudent.</p> <h3>4. Higher Registration Costs</h3> <p>The fees and formulas vary from state to state, but typically, licensing and registration costs are directly related to the value of your car. Much like insurance, higher car values equal higher rates.</p> <h3>5. Higher Repair Costs and Repair Standards</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever bought a new car only to get a scratch or windshield chip a few weeks later, you know that newer cars compel us toward a higher standard of perfection. People are more likely to keep a new car as pristine as possible for as long as possible, and those little touch-ups and repairs tend to cost more too. My old Volvo has a <a title="How to Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply" href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">door ding</a>, some weird stain on the hood, and the plastic trim is bleaching out. Besides a compulsive cleaning and wax-job every few months to make it shine, I live with these road wounds happily.</p> <h3>6. The Phenomenon of &ldquo;Incestuous Affirmation&rdquo;</h3> <p>This is really just a fancy term for keeping up with the Joneses. It suggests that any major new purchase sets in motion a whole slew of buying activity within a close network of people (friends, coworkers, family, etc.) by affirming the behavior of one member. This ripple effect is felt from the least capable of affording new to the most capable and creates a slight uptick in unspoken standards within the group.</p> <h3>7. New Peripheral Expenses</h3> <p>From add-ons to upgrades, new cars increase standards and raise monetary output. Of course your baby needs premium gas, a hand-buffing each week, and a GPS system. And what about that monthly fee for satellite radio now that first year of free service has expired?</p> <p>Now, many of these same principles can be applied to any purchase where there&rsquo;s a reasonable choice between new and used. But our nation has such a love affair with the automobile and such a cultural acceptance of the resulting debt that it begs a bit of special exploration. What are the new economic realities that make buying new less attractive? Are we really in the same position our parents were when they traded up every few years? How do car companies entice us with nickels before the purchase only to damn us with dollars afterward?</p> <p>Granted, none of the points above explore the amazing safety advancements that some new cars feature. I would never put a price personal safety or begrudge a car purchase with this as the primary motivator. But with such a wide range of later model used cars available, it doesn&rsquo;t have to be an either/or proposition. All else being equal, each blemish and bump on my used car is masked by the dollar signs I see behind them &mdash; the dollars I save by keeping it in good working order and running smart for as long as possible.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Kentin Waits. Kentin has worked in web marketing for 13 years and run his own eBay business for 10. In 2009 he published two articles for Backwoods Home Magazine and is currently working on a page-a-day desk calendar on the topic of financial empowerment.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-my-clunker-is-smarter-than-a-hybrid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/better-cars-are-not-the-answer">Better cars are not the answer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-drive-one-of-the-10-smallest-cars-ever-made">Would You Drive One of the 10 Smallest Cars Ever Made?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">6 Ways to Drive a Hybrid or Electric Car on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-sharing-why-own-when-you-can-just-share">Car Sharing: Why Own When You Can Just Share?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gas-efficient-driving">Gas Efficient Driving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Green Living buying cars clunkers hybrid cars Mon, 03 May 2010 14:00:04 +0000 Kentin Waits 59683 at http://www.wisebread.com Seven Tips For Buying a Second Hand Car and Walking Away Happy http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-buying-a-second-hand-car-and-walking-away-happy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/seven-tips-for-buying-a-second-hand-car-and-walking-away-happy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/buying a second hand car.jpg" alt="used car" title="used car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">I got burned recently buying a second hand car. It doesn’t help that I was in a foreign country (and was struggling to grasp the local policies), and in a hurry to boot. But even if you are buying a car on your own turf, there are generally a few good rules of practice:</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Visit your local Vehicle Registration Office before you sign on any dotted lines</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">Yup. You may have to stand in line and deal with what seems to be a worldwide inefficiency that comprises government offices. But you can also arm yourself with information as to your rights, the requirements of the seller, and various obscure laws. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">In Australia for example, I discovered a Vehicle Information Package that the seller can (but is not required to) provide the buyer with. It contains information about all the previous owners of the car, as well as possible liens and accident/stolen vehicle reports filed. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">In some places this is mandatory, which is also something good to know. A seller trying to save a few bucks by not getting the report may end up sticking you with not only the cost of getting the report when you try to register your new wheels, but the nasty surprise of what’s in it. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Get under the car</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">Even if you will get your shirt dirty, and don’t really know what you’re looking for, get under the car. Anybody can see if there is a gaping rusted out hole in something, or if there are leaks that should be addressed. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Besides which, it makes you look like you know what you’re doing, which will put a shady seller on guard. </p> <p>   <br /> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Take it on the highway</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">While test driving your potential wheels-to-be (we don’t have to tell you to test drive it, do we?), take it on the highway if at all possible. Cruising residential streets will only give you a partial picture of how the car drives. Get it to highway speeds and you may discover a terrible rattle or shake, or misalignment that could be dangerous but that would be missed in a general mechanic’s safety check.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Test everything</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">And I mean everything. All windows. All doors. Trunk latches. Key holes. Seat adjustments. Seat belts. Lights. Wipers. Turn signals. Radios. Dash functions. Odometers and speedometers (a pitiful lesson learned from personal experience). There’s nothing worse than buying a car, and then experiencing the slow and agonizing discoveries that your new wheels really aren’t all that new, nor are they fully operational. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Take it to a mechanic</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">I’ll admit, I’m the first person to want to skip this step. It’s costly, it takes time, and I don’t have a mechanic I trust. And if you are buying the car in a place where a safety or road-worthy certificate is required, you don’t need to also run it by a mechanic, do you? </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Yes. Yes, you do. Personal experience: The mechanic who checked off the car I bought as being road-worthy (a certificate obtained by the seller more often than not, read: they work for the seller, not you) managed to miss the simple fact that the odometer doesn’t work. So much for the low mileage on the car I purchased. </p> <p>  <br /> <h3><strong>Negotiate</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">Most sellers price their car expecting to be talked down at least a little bit. So try to talk them down. The worst they can say is no, at which point you can decide if you still like the car enough to accept their asking price. There’s no harm in <a href="/how-to-get-a-discount-every-time" target="_blank">asking for a discount</a>. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Trust your instincts</strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText">When I was buying my little piece-o-junk, there were some small warning bells going off in my head. Although the couple seemed very nice, there were a few times when their stories didn’t match, or they contradicted themselves during our negotiation period lapsing a few days. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I managed to find excuses for every contradiction though, without addressing them. Maybe I was afraid of confrontation, or maybe I just wanted this deal to work. Either way, I’m stuck cleaning up the mess. And if I had heeded my instincts, I might have walked away and saved myself a bunch of heartache. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">It bears noting that if you are purchasing a second hand car from a dealership, there are often <a href="/my-car-is-a-lemon-what-now" target="_blank">rules in place</a> to protect you if the car is a lemon. But with a private sale, much of the liability (or at least the pain of eliciting justice) rests in your hands. Do the right thing, and you’ll end up having a car you love, not one you can’t stand. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">What tips or personal experiences do you have for our readers on buying a second hand car? </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-buying-a-second-hand-car-and-walking-away-happy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-battery-warmers">The 5 Best Car Battery Warmers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-can-score-a-great-deal-on-a-new-car">5 Times You Can Score a Great Deal on a New Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-winter-tires">The 5 Best Winter Tires</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping buying cars buying second hand cars buying used cars Thu, 31 Jul 2008 04:30:23 +0000 Nora Dunn 2284 at http://www.wisebread.com