Tips & Advice
How long does it take to get the title of a used car?
Ideally, when purchasing a used car, you should have the title in hand before driving off in the vehicle. While the laws vary from state to state, many states stipulate that buyers shouldn't take ownership of a used car unless they've received the title.
Keep in mind that even if you've paid for a used car, you don't really own it unless you're in possession of the title. And you can't be sure if the person selling the car is the rightful owner unless you've seen the title.
Can a used car be driven without plates?
State laws dictate that cars tapped for road use should have visible license plates. However, many states have provisions that give drivers a couple of months to obtain plates for cars that have been recently purchased or leased. This allows you to legally drive your newly purchased used car even though it is without plates.
What are the disadvantages of buying a used car?
There are a couple of disadvantages of buying a used car. The first has to do with reliability; since used cars have been previously owned, they might be less dependable than new cars in certain circumstances. Also, new cars come with generous warranty coverage, which isn't offered with many used cars. Manufacturer-backed certified pre-owned cars are the exception to this rule; these used cars come with warranty coverage that is comparable to that offered by by new vehicles.
What are the benefits of buying a used car?
Buying a used car provides a huge financial benefit to car shoppers. New cars can lose nearly 20 percent of their value to depreciation after just one year of ownership. For this reason, even a one-year-old used car can be significantly more affordable than a comparable new model. Used cars also come with lower sales tax and registration fees, and they are less expensive to insure than comparable new models.
What are the benefits of buying from a used-car dealer?
There are certain benefits that come with buying a used car from a dealer. The dealer will typically handle all of the paperwork related to registration and title transfer, and the dealer will calculate applicable sales tax. This is a convenient perk, and it will save you time. Also, if you're looking to finance the car, the dealer may be able to provide you with affordable options.
If the used car is part of a manufacturer-backed certified pre-owned program, it will be sold with a warranty that can help shield you from expensive repairs. Also, certified pre-owned cars must pass a rigorous inspection to be included in the program, and this helps you avoid vehicles that might develop serious reliability problems down the road.
Are taxes due when buying a used car?
If you're buying a used car, you'll usually have to pay sales tax that's imposed by your state. If the car is being purchased from a dealership, the dealer will assist you with calculating the amount of the tax due. If you're purchasing from a private party, you'll have to make the calculation yourself.While most states charge sales tax on cars, a couple of states do not impose this tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Oregon, and New Hampshire.If a sales tax is charged, the rate can range from 2 percent to 7 percent.
What are some steps to take after buying a used car
- Take the car to the DMV to get it licensed and registered. This is required by law, so take care of this as soon as possible.
- Purchase auto insurance for the vehicle. The law also requires you to get insurance coverage for your vehicle, though you have leeway when it comes to the extent of your coverage. The good news is that insurance for a used car is less expensive than insurance for a comparable new vehicle.
- Take the car to a mechanic for a thorough inspection and tune-up. Ideally, you should have a mechanic give the used car a quick inspection prior to purchase to see if there were any major problems lurking. Now it's time to have the car inspected and serviced in a more comprehensive way. During this service visit, filters and fluids can be changed if necessary, brakes can be checked, and minor repairs can be made. This will ensure that your newly purchased used car is safe and ready for road use.
When buying a used car, what is a reasonable number of miles it should have?
It's a good idea to seek out cars that have less than 100,000 miles; overall, the less miles a car has, the better. Also, keep in mind that city miles produce more wear and tear than highway miles, due to the stress that stop-and-go traffic can put on a vehicle. For this reason, a car that's acquired most of its mileage in city driving will often tend to be in poorer shape than a car that's spent most of its life on the highway.
How much should you haggle for a used car?
You can save money by haggling for a used car, but to do it successfully, it's important to have a sense of what similar cars are selling for in your region. This will give you an idea of what kind of price you can ask for in your negotiation with the car dealer. Sites such as Edmunds and True Car provide pricing information that you can use to get an idea of what used cars are selling for in your neighborhood.