Car buying tips
Published July 2015

Reliable Wheels

How to buy a dependable car

BYStaff
Buying a car can be a daunting task, especially buying a used car. But you are not alone. AAA Car Buying experts offer these four tips when buying a used vehicle:
 
1. Get a Vehicle History Report
Obtaining a vehicle registration report, such as one from Carfax or AutoCheck, can be a valuable resource, but it is not an infallible one. From these reports, you often can find how many owners the car has had, how often it was serviced, or if it has been reported accident-free. A report also can let you know whether a pre-owned car was a personal vehicle or part of a fleet. However, such reports could be incomplete — if a car was in a wreck but it wasn’t reported to an insurance company, there’s usually not a record of the accident or repairs. The reporting companies will explain the limits of the information and any guarantees they’re providing. National Motor Vehicle Title Information Systems reports, which cost a few dollars, should find vehicles sold through insurance salvage auctions, including clean-title wrecks.
 
2. Have the Vehicle Inspected
Just because a report is clean, it doesn’t mean that the vehicle is problem-free. Have the vehicle checked by a reputable repair shop, such as AAA Owned and Operated Auto Repair shop.
 
3. Take the Vehicle for a Test Drive
Make note of unusual squeaks or rattles. If a car pulls to one side or tracks poorly, then that might hint at previous damage. Check the backs of body panels and doorjambs for paint overspray, a signal that the car might have had bodywork. The smell of mildew could indicate water damage.
 
4. Check the Title
Inspect the title document. Look for any “brands” indicating that the vehicle had been wrecked, repurchased under a state “Lemon Law” program, flooded, or had any other problem. Verify the odometer statement against the reading in the vehicle.
 
Of course, you always have the option of enlisting the help of a professional when purchasing a used vehicle. AAA Car Buying, for example, can help you purchase a used vehicle, and will buy your trade outright. Plus, all vehicles in the AAA pre-owned inventory are inspected and meet AAA National quality standards.
 
For drivers who don’t want to go to the Motor Vehicle Division, AAA provides the most commonly used services relating to Arizona vehicle titles and registration, including exclusive pricing for AAA members.
 
By doing your homework and enlisting the help of a professional, your used car purchase won’t leave you feeling “used.”
  
Learn More
AAA simplifies the hunt for your perfect car with AAA Car Buying. You can test drive, finance, purchase, and lease a vehicle — all without ever stepping foot in a dealership. Visit AAA.com to find out how.
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