Consumer Tips

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Automobile Buying Tips

When buying a new or used car, it is important to get all promises and representations in writing. Consumers should never buy a car on impulse or in response to high pressure sales.

Do your homework:

  • Ask the dealer for a title history, Carfax®, or e-autohistory.com.
  • If you learn the name of a prior owner call and inquire about the car.
  • Have the vehicle inspected.
  • Ask about and check for prior damage or mechanical problems.
  • Ask friends and family when selecting a reputable dealership.
  • Carefully examine the vehicle for prior damage.
  • Carefully examine extended warranties and the costs associated with them.  Remember they are optional, not mandatory.
  • Inspect the vehicle to determine actual mileage.

Special tips for buying a used car:

  • Check out the car’s repair record, maintenance costs, and safety and mileage ratings in consumer magazines or online. Look up the “book” value, and be prepared to negotiate the price.
  • Buying from a dealer? Look for the Buyers Guide. It’s required by a federal regulation called the Used Car Rule.
  • Make sure all oral promises are written into the Buyers Guide.
  • Ask for the car’s maintenance record from the owner, dealer, or repair shop.
  • Test drive the car on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic.
  • Have the car inspected by a mechanic you hire.
  • In Kansas, “as is” sales of vehicles to a consumer are prohibited by law absent an agreement showing the vehicle was sold to the consumer with their knowledge of a defect or defects which became part of the basis of the bargain between the parties. (This is a limited exception to ‘as is’ sales under K.S.A. 50-639(c).)

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