Saturday, July 28, 2012

Buying an used car in California

Planning to buy an used car & wondering how to buy & what are the steps/procedure you need to follow to buy an used car ... you are here at the right place, here in this post I am sharing my experience of buying an used car, it might be helpful especially for a new person to California, US.

* First thing decide what is your budget & what kind of car you are looking for. If you don't have enough money, then go for finance. Off course the interest rates will depend on your credit history. If you don't have a good credit score, then you might end up paying high interest rated. Credit Unions might give you better interest rates even though if you don't have the credit history. Here are the links of few popular Credit Unions in California ..
https://www.techcu.com
https://www.starone.org/home/home

* Next thing is to do some research on the cars based on your budget, the following websites have a very good research tools which will also give you the possible price at your zipcode, for both new or used cars.
http://www.kbb.com
http://www.edmunds.com
http://www.cars.com

* Now you would have got a fair idea on what could be the price of a car of your requirement, next thing is to look for ads. Craigs list is one popular website where a lot of people would have posted an ad for selling a car. Even in kbb or edmunds or yahoo or any other auto related websites have the ad postings for used cars.
http://www.craigslist.org

* Search for ads which matches your requirement & budget. Make a list & do the basic check over the internet, like see if it has any salvage title, seller would have mentioned if there is any, or you check it by pulling the history of the car. Check the photos & finally shortlist few of them, call them up & make an appointment to meet & check the car.
Pulling Car History:
http://www.carfax.com
http://www.autocheck.com

* Check the smog history. In California, usually the seller is supposed to provide the smog check certificate which should be no more than 90 days old. Here is the website to check the smog history of any car ..
http://www.bar.ca.gov/pubwebquery/Vehicle/PubTstQry.aspx

* Get all the details of the car by asking questions to the seller, here are some questions that can be asked ..
http://www.carbuyingtips.com/questions.html

* On the day of the appointment (Preferably day time), you can either take (hire) a mechanic (Local mechanic or AAA service) with you to the seller to get the car inspected or you can leave the copy of your DL with the seller & take the car to any mechanic/car shop or dealer. Looking at the inspection report, you can make a decision on whether to proceed with this deal or not. Also if there any minor things, do get an approximate quote to get them repaired & negotiate this price with the seller.

* After purchasing the car, you need to transfer the title to your name. Its always better to go to the DMV with the seller & get the title transferred. Check the below link for what you need to do after purchasing an used car with a private party ..
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/vr_info.htm#BM2522
Don't forget to check the video on where to sign for title transfer.

* One last thing is to take an auto insurance for your car. There are lot of auto insurance companies, the best ones I would suggest are ..
http://www.farmers.com
www.aaa.com

* Before leaving make sure you have the following things ..
- Car keys (2 sets for some cars & 3 for generally luxury cars)
- Certificate of title signed by seller with odometer reading
- All service records & user manuals
- Smog certificate
- Spare tyre with jack
- Any special tricks you should know about the car


Now you are all set to enjoy your new car, drive safely !!