Vehicles

New & Used Cars

Buying a Used Car
Just like we would a potential mate, we need to find out everything possible when considering buying a used vehicle. Here are some pointers to avoiding buying a lemon.

Once you find a car you are interested in, go to a dealership. Ask questions and take a test drive. Is it driving okay? Does everything seem to be working? Is the car pulling in one direction or another? Is the steering wheel squealing? Do you feel any resistance? Is it shifting okay? Are there any strange noises or smells? Stop the car and turn the ignition off – observe the car and sense if anything is amiss. The car should purr like a little kitten.

Get a mechanic’s recommendation before you purchase. Most dealerships allow the car to be gone for several hours up to one day.

Inspection checklist:
  • Look over the car in daylight or in a well-lit spot.
  • Make sure the body is in good condition. Look for signs of gaps between the panels, or signs of rusting. Do the doors open and close okay?
  • Look inside and check out the wear on the entire interior, as well as checking the mileage.
  • Pop the hood into the “Great Unknown” and look for signs of leakage around the connections. Check out the fluids – the transmission fluid must be pinkish and subtly sweet-smelling.
  • Now, slide under the car. Here, look for signs of leaks, rust or holes.
  • Check the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) found on the dash (under the windshield), on front of the engine, in the door jamb and maybe even in the trunk or on the back wheel. The VIN is a series of numbers and letters that will give a little history about the car. Every time the vehicle was in an accident, the VIN number will have been recorded. If the VIN numbers do not match in the different areas in which it can be found on the car, then at some point in time the car may have had some replacement parts. Do your research and walk out a winner.
Check out the DMV website for your state for a more comprehensive what-to-look-for checklist.

Researching the car’s history is imperative to finding out how many times it has been in the shop for maintenance and repair. Used Car Leasing and Warranties

Most banks don’t lend money to cars that are older than 4 or 5 years.

Women-Drivers.com offers some very useful information about buying a new or used car. If you aren't in the best credit situation financing a vehicle can be a little difficult. Fret no longer! There are now many resources to get a car loan with bad credit so take your time and find the right financing option that fits your budget.


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Leasing
Leasing may be a good option if you are the type of woman that likes to have a new car every two or three years. You will always have a payment, but you may have less vehicle worries. The lease monthly payments are established by projecting the depreciation of the vehicle and adding the interest rates and fees. There are two types of leases, open and closed.

Some things to consider when leasing are:
  • Mileage has a limit (often 12,000 - 15,000 a year), and if exceeded, there are penalties.
  • The maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle is a strict one, with no customization allowed.
  • The possibility is very real that you will actually pay more by leasing the vehicle, than by buying it outright.
  • BUT...the automobile is always under warranty.
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of leasing a vehicle, check out these additional resources:
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