Getting your money's worth when buying a used car

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Getting your money's worth when buying a used car can be a challenge - especially around push salespeople.

Consumer Reports has compiled a checklist of what you need to do when walking in a dealership.

"Understand going in that salesmen will try to take advantage of information you give them - like how much you can afford, or if you are in a rush to buy, so never reveal anything," says Consumer Reports Auto Editor Jon Linkov.

Do your research. Look for reliability ratings from sources like Consumer Reports' used-car marketplace. Find the true value of the car you want to buy by checking condition, mileage, age and equipment levels.

Don't rely on dealers for that information - get a car report through CarFax or Autocheck - online tools which can help alert you to possible odometer fraud of damage - or if a rebuilt or salvage title was ever issued. To make sure no fraud of crime is associated with the car, run the Vin number through the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

It is also important to check for recalls - or will tell you if there are any safety-related defects or problems.

"Once you've done your homework, state your price. If the seller won't budge, don't be afraid to walk away. You'll see how quickly you'll be given a price you can live with," Linkov adds.

Lastly. Before you sign the contract, take the car to a certified mechanic - not just an oil change shop. IT is worth shelling out the $100 or so it will cost for an inspection.
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