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How To Be Sure That The Car You Are Interested In Hasn't Been On The Bottom Of Lake Ponchatrain

Oct 12, 2007
When you have found a car you are interested in, first and foremost you need to get a Carfax history report at www.carfax.com. All you need is the vehicle identification number (VIN) off the car itself. Automobile companies began assigning VIN numbers in 1981. It is a unique 17-digit code that identifies a lot of data about that specific car. The average person won't know how to decipher the VIN number, and honestly, who really wants to? This is what Carfax will do for you - decode the VIN and tell the history of that particular car. The VIN appears on all automobiles, in the dashboard on a metal strip. You can likewise observe the VIN inside the driver side door on a factory sticker, the passenger door, the trunk, the hood, and occasionally the engine and other major components have one, or it's engraved.

Automakers place VIN stickers on the major accident components like doors, engines, and quarter panels, which are removed from a car when it's stolen. If they turn up on another car, something is amiss; the car was stolen, or scrapped and rebuilt. Check, doors and panels make sure all VINs match.

When you input the VIN into the Carfax website, you will be presented all the data about that automobile including previous owners, whether or not the car has been wrecked, and a good deal more. This can be particularly helpful in ascertaining whether or not the owner is being honest with you.

You'll also want to find out what the fair market price is of the car by looking up its Kelley Blue Book value. Go to www.kbb.com and input the information about the car such as the year, the mileage, options like A/C, CD player, etc. This web site will tell you what you should look to pay for your used car.
You might be able to do this before you even go to look at the car. See if the seller will give you the VIN over the telephone so you can do your homework before you drive the car. Then you will be amply prepared to begin negotiations.

It's significant to note here that you should never rush into a car deal if you are not at ease with doing so. Some sellers may try to coerce you by telling you that there are many other people interested in the car and you had better move quick if you really want to own it. While that may very well be true, you should be totally sure that this is the car you would like to commit to. If the car gets sold to someone else, there will always be another automobile out there, so don't be pressured.

As a matter of fact, it's YOU who needs to be tough with the seller. After all, you're going to be paying for the car, so you need to get the best bargain you can. Despite what you have been told, you can negotiate at car dealers as well. With a private seller, negotiating is much easier. They know what their bottom line price is - the trick is getting them down to it from the asking price!
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living with his beautiful wife and family in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about cars as well as car care products at http://www.5starshine.com
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