Thursday, July 7, 2016

Nine Safest Cars on the Road

Whenever you put your loved ones behind the wheel or in the car for any trip that they may make, we want them to be as safe as possible.

Click this link to find out which cars are the safest cars on the road.

Source: autoblog.com

Poorly-Selling Cars in September, 2015

Click Here to find out which cars made this list and why. Most car makers make many model cars that sell extremely well, but there are a few that sell so poorly.

Source: autoblog.com

The Least Reliable Cars in America


Click Here to read the post in Autoblog.com and you will see the cars that are least reliable and you may not want to purchase them as your personal family car.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

How To Buy A New Car and Avoid Scams

Using our advice and tools, you'll get a great deal that is still more than fair for the dealership. If you aren't prepared then prepare to get ripped off, it's that simple. People have no problem taking weeks to plan a vacation, but don't spend a few hours doing research before they buy a $30,000 car. You will be able to save a ton of money if you follow our advice.

The Best Price Doesn't Mean You Got a Good Deal

A good deal means that you were treated fairly and the dealership made a reasonable profit. The most important thing you will read here on CarBuyingTips.com is to make sure that you don't just focus on the final price. Dealers will play the "Cash Flow Shell Game" so they can rip you off while making you think you are getting a good deal. An example:
  • They give you a very low price
  • Finance manager sneaks in fees
  • The dealer undervalues your trade-in
  • Your loan APR is increased
The buyer in this example thought they were getting a good deal because of the low price, but they actually got ripped off. We will explain all of the tricks to look out for and teach you how to avoid becoming a victim. To save the most money make sure you read the whole site. Don't just read half and think you have all the facts.
Begin by getting the lowest price using services like TrueCar, CarClearanceDeals andEdmunds. Don't stop there, if you miss one valuable topic on CarBuyingTips.com it can cost you thousands of dollars. Make sure not to be a "monthly payment buyer" and only look at what your payment will be - that is the worst thing you can do. Doing this or becoming a "trade-in buyer" is exactly what the dealer wants and you will play right into their hand. Once this happens you will get ripped off, I guarantee it!

When is the best time to buy a car?

There are two "best times" to buy. The end of December is a good time. Everyone is out buying XMAS gifts, leaving dealer lots void of customers, motivating them to cut prices and break year end sales records. Another good time to buy is July through October as dealerships sell off cars at lower prices to clear space for the new models.

All Prep Work Can be Done from Your PC, Tablet or Smart Phone

The last time I bought a new vehicle I was able to do all my homework without leaving my house. Back in the "old days" you would waste hours at many dealerships. Luckily the internet was invented so now you don't have leave the comfort of your couch. There are many great sites that allow you to relax, research and get quotes. Once you have determined the dealer with the best price, you take all of your research to them and calmly negotiate the best deal.
cars in a row
Exclusive to visitors of our site, try the CarBuyingTips.com Car Buying Service. It gives you special friends and family pricing, leverages volume buying power of large companies, employers, or membership groups. Choose your car and configure options online. You will get an instant price quote from a local dealer in the network. If you don't enjoy haggling, you'll love our car buying service.

Invoice Prices, Rebates and Incentives

As you follow this guide you will find that there are a few critical pieces of information that you will need to make sure you are getting a great deal. They are invoice price, rebates and incentives. We will cover these in more detail later but you should know that when talking about rebates and incentives there are some that are well advertised and some that are "secret" between the manufacturer and the dealer.
The most important thing to remember about the invoice price is that it is not the amount the dealer paid for the car. We will show you how to calculate what the dealer actually paid later in this guide.

What are secret incentives?

Secret factory to dealer incentives can be $1,000-$6,000 in addition to known rebates! Because of these secret incentives, if you buy a car at invoice, the dealer earns thousands more. You should haggle over this incentive, as many dealers willingly give up all or part of this incentive, making your cost lower.
If you want the most accurate, complete and up to date data for these three important items, I'd recommend buying the data as part of the FightingChance package. They will also make somebody available to talk to if you have questions about anything that comes up as you go through the purchase process.

Competition Gets You the Best Deal

Enter the dealership armed with "The Folder" that I will talk about in Chapter 3. Once they see that you are prepared it will work to your advantage. The deal will now proceed on your terms, not theirs. Don't enter a dealership without having multiple price quotes or you'll overpay by thousands. Commissioned salespeople fear "The Folder" because they know you did your homework. They rely on uneducated car buyers who don't do any research before they go shopping.
Top Recommended Car Price Quote Sites
TrueCar takes the haggle and hassle out of new car buying. Using their service you will get a Guaranteed Savings Certificate that will lock your price. This approach is perfect if you don't like dealing with all the normal negotiating hassles.
Get a Hassle Free Price from TrueCar.com
CarClearanceDeals.com searches clearance pricing from their network of dealers to get you the cheapest price. Use their simple form to select the make and model and start saving. Remember to get quotes from the maximum number of dealers to give you the upper hand.
Get a Quote from CarClearanceDeals.com
Edmunds.com offers the largest dealer network, offering you better choices when buying a car. Edmunds allows you to select dealers within 50 miles of your zip code and avoid dealers that you don't want to deal with.
Get A Free Price Quote From Edmunds.com
Cars.com gives you free, no-obligation quotes from up to 3 dealers. Just select your make, model, color and options. Getting quotes from multiple dealers pressures dealers to give you a discount.
Get a Quote from Cars.com
CarsDirect.com lists your purchase price online instantly with better prices than dealers and cool 360° views. As you check off options, the screen shows invoice price, MSRP and your low CarsDirect price.
Get A Free Price Quote From CarsDirect
The CarBuyingTips.com Car Buying Service lets you get a guaranteed price quote without leaving your house. This exclusive program leverages volume buying power of large companies, employers and membership groups to get you a low price on a new car.
Get Started with the CarBuyingTips.com Car Buying Service
Autobytel has 20,000 dealers, they give you free no hassle low price quotes, list car prices and dealer cost.
Get a Quote From Autobytel
California PlateRoadster Concierge Service for California Residents will get you a great price and handle everything for you. They will deliver your car to your home. The service is only available in California.
Buy a Car Using Roadster

Use Competition for All Aspects of the Deal

Competition also works to get you the best rate on your loan. The dealer is not the only one that can finance your car, online lenders are available. Once approved you will have a check in hand and know your interest rate before you even set foot in the dealership. You can use your low rate to negotiate with the dealer or use your online financing if they won't match or beat the online rate. We will cover this topic in more detail in our chapter on auto loans. Remember, price is only one component of a complete deal.
TrueCar gives you a great baseline on pricing. Check the curve to see how your quotes stack up to what other have paid. If the TrueCar price is better, print out the Guaranteed Savings Certificate and head to the dealership for a hassle free deal. Remember, you still have to pay attention to the other aspects of the deal that we discuss.
screen shot of truecar

Warning About Car Dealership Advertising

The number one goal of any car dealer is to get you in the door. If you aren't there they can't pull any tricks or scams on you. They hire the best advertising and marketing companies to come up with ads to get you there.
Optical Illusion
Advertisers spends millions in psychological wording research to trick you. Take a look a the image to the right. You thought it said "I love Paris in the Springtime" right? Wrong! See the extra "the"? It really says "I love Paris in the the Springtime." Your brain tricked you. Advertisers rely on your brain to trick you so they don't have to lie.
Pay very careful attention to the fine print when it comes to advertising. When you see a TV commercial it is impossible to read it unless you are watching on a DVR and you can pause it. I don't know why it is legal for them to put these legal statements in such a small font and displayed for such a short time that no human can possibly read it.
When an ad says 1.9% APR, look for the "*". The fine print will say "with approved credit only" or "qualified buyers only." The 1.9% reels you in. You must have perfect credit to get the 1.9% rate. Most people will not qualify. Other scams you may hear:
  • "We'll Get You Out Of Your Current Lease No Matter How Much You Owe!"
  • "We'll Pay Off Your Loan No Matter How Much You Owe!"
  • "We'll Give You $4,000 For Any Trade-In!"
  • "Don't Make A $5,000 Mistake!"
  • "No Reasonable Offer Will Be Refused!" (Except yours, because it's unreasonable)
In the examples above, the dealer is not doing you any favors, they want you to buy a car from them at full MSRP. They also want your trade-in so they can give you $4,000 below market value and resell it for a higher price. Sometimes an ad can make you think that trading in a car relieves you of your loan or lease obligation. It does not!
This important fact gets many buyers into trouble. You are actually taking on increased debt when you thought you were dropping one debt for another. They lied to you in their ad, they are not doing you any favors. They are piling on more debt. It's a very clever trick, but now you're onto them. Next time you hear those ads, you'll know what they're up to. The ads should be worded "We'll get you out of your current car, then roll what you owe plus penalties into your new car purchase so you can pay off 2 cars!"
Don't trade in a car you owe money on. Aside from adding to your debt, you are inviting other problems. Since the dealer doesn't care about your finances, it is possible that they don't pay the bank on time and this can lead to penalties for you.

How Car Dealers Profit From New Car Purchases

You think new car dealers have just one way to coax money out of you when car buying? Thank you for playing. Some new car dealers convince you to spend so much, you didn't know you were taken for a ride! Car buyers who brag of high trade in value were asleep at the wheel leaving money on the table in other parts of the deal.
  1. Offers you $3,000 to $4,000 below market price for your trade-in
  2. The new car purchase price when buying a car
  3. Marking up the rate they give you for new car financing
  4. Environmental package extras and new car extended warranties
The dealership is always trying to maximize their profit. Of course they should make a fair profit on the deal but they shouldn't rip you off. They trick you into a bad deal using what I call the "Car Dealer Cash Flow Shell Game™"

How The Car Dealer Cash Flow Shell Game™ Works

Let me teach you how the game works. Cash spent buying a car pours into buckets. For the best deal you want the most for trade-ins, discounted MSRP, low APR, no extras and few fees. Here's what you and I want:
Trade-In
+
Selling Price
+
Interest Rate
+
Add Ons
- Insurance
- Rust Proof
- Sealant
+
Extra
Fees
- Prep
- Admin
=
Dealer's Profit
$$$$
The car dealer has other plans. This is what the dealer wants:
Trade-In
+
Selling Price
+
Interest Rate
+
Add Ons
- Insurance
- Rust Proof
- Sealant
+
Extra
Fees
- Prep
- Admin
=
Dealer's Profit
$$$$
The dealer low balls your trade-in, charges full MSRP, high APR on the auto loan, high profit extras, dealer prep and ad fees and ends up with a huge profit. If you have bad credit they'll lie and say that credit life insurance is required, get more profit and call you 2 weeks later to tell you financing fell through and you need to come up with $2,000 more. A similar abuse of the situation occurs if you're upside down on your current auto loan.
If they know you're a trade-in buyer, they give you what you want for your trade-in. But look what else they do. They jack up the car buying price to MSRP, pile on extras and fees. The amount of cash involved doesn't change, it gets shuffled around the buckets.
Trade-In
+
Selling Price
+
Interest Rate
+
Add Ons
- Insurance
- Rust Proof
- Sealant
+
Extra
Fees
- Prep
- Admin
=
Dealer's Profit
$$$$
Here's a good one. They bait you with 0% or a low APR. But then they jack the price to MSRP, low ball your trade-in, pile on fees and dealer extras. Note again that their profit is still the same large amount.
Trade-In
+
Selling Price
+
Interest Rate
+
Add Ons
- Insurance
- Rust Proof
- Sealant
+
Extra
Fees
- Prep
- Admin
=
Dealer's Profit
$$$$
The folks here at CarBuyingTips.com hope you had fun playing the Cash Flow Shell Game for buying a new car.
Dealers have perfected this system over decades. The odds are in their favor. Don't get me wrong, dealers have the right to be profitable. You should know how the game is played, so it can be played fairly and they can make a fair profit while you get a good deal.
In this guide I'll show you how to prevent losses in these areas. You have enemies to overcome including fear of the unknown. We'll turn that fear into a target rich environment of opportunities for a successful new car purchase.
Try to shop where salespeople are not on commission, but on a salary. They still want top dollar, they just don't have commission fever. Some no haggle dealers give good deals, while most do not.
You should shop in a competitive market. Make your offer as shown on this site, bounce it off all the car dealers and even "No Haggle" dealers will bite. Many "No Haggle" dealers have a "low" price on the windshield that you find out later included the rebate, so they actually charged you (MSRP - Rebate), which is no bargain. Dealing with a fleet manager can be helpful, since they are not on commission. If you make an appointment, show up, it's bad business if you don't. Good salespeople like an informed consumer because the process will be more efficient.
No matter how good the deal is that you negotiate with the salesperson it can always turn bad quickly in the "F&I" (Business) Office. Make sure to pay attention to everything in this guide so that you don't fall victim to this common occurrence.

Source: carbuyingtips.com

Monday, May 2, 2016

10 Tips For Haggling Over A Used Car

Start the Countdown
 
Before you grab those car keys ask yourself if you're getting the whip for the best price imaginable.
Before you grab those car keys ask yourself if you're getting the whip for the best price imaginable.
InnerVisionPRO/Thinkstock 
 
Haggling — some people love it, some people hate it. People who like it tend to enjoy the feeling of pushing for a great deal. People who hate to haggle like getting a good deal, but let's be honest: The entire process can be uncomfortable because typically the things we buy have a clear price with no room for negotiation.
One exception to the rule of set pricing is cars, and used cars have even less clear pricing than new cars do. When it comes to used cars, the price can vary due to the year, make and mileage of the car, as well as what features it has and the area you buy it in. The last thing that can impact a used car's price is the negotiation. Botching this part of the process can lead to paying more than you should. Use our ten tips to haggle your way through a great used car deal.

10: Do You Even Want to Haggle?

We know, it's weird to start out a list of used car haggling tips with one that implies negotiating may not be the way to go. The thing is, not everyone likes to haggle over used car prices and not everyone is good at it. If you don't want to do all the research and preparation needed to negotiate a good price on a used car, you're not going to do a great job haggling and could end up paying way more than is fair for a used car.
Deciding not to negotiate doesn't just mean showing up with a blank check. A number of used car dealerships, like Carmax, offer no-haggle pricing that's fair. Buy a used car from a dealer like that and you may not get as low of a price as you would have otherwise. But, it will save you some stress.

9: Set a Target

Once you decide you actually want to negotiate the price of a used car, you need to set a target. You should do this before you start car shopping, so you don't waste your time looking at cars you can't afford. Having a clear target price is the best way to anchor your negotiations because it will keep you focused and ensure that you don't allow the seller to push for more money than you can pay.

To figure out your target price, look at your budget and see what kind of car payment you can handle each month. If you're paying cash for a car, you can just decide how much of your money you want to use. You can find a ton of online calculators that will take your monthly payment and tell you the used car price you can afford. Once the target price is set, you'll know what number to aim for in your negotiations.

8: Find the Right Car

With a target price in hand, start searching for used cars that fit your budget. Finding the right used car and learning all you can about it is a key part of used car price negotiations. Once you've decided on the make and model, as well as the model years you're willing to buy, dive deep into all the features and options the car has available. You'll also want to research common repair issues and any recalls the automobile has been subject to. Having all that information can help you haggle and gain a better price. You need to know as much about the car as the seller does.

Before you even take a look at the car, have the right price in mind.
Before you even take a look at the car, have the right price in mind.
Creatas/Thinkstock

7: Know What's a Good Price

Let's say you've decided you can spend $15,000 on a used car and found the exact make, model and year you desire. It fits your budget and is the one you want, so it must be a good price, right?

Not so fast. Just because you can afford to pay $15,000 for the car does not mean that's a good price for it. In fact, the auto may be worth much less than $15,000, and paying that price for it would be throwing some of your money away. So should you do?

There are a number of tools available to shoppers to help determine if a used car price is fair or not. Kelley Blue Book is one of the more established and popular used car valuation sites. Newer sites like CarGurus and iSeeCars also track used car prices so you can make sure you're paying a fair price for a used vehicle.

6: Know What a Good Price is for Your Area

Used car prices depend a lot on the area the car is being bought and sold. Big four-wheel drive trucks, for example, are in higher demand in northern rural areas than they are in southern cities. If you're shopping compact cars in an urban area where there's a high demand, you'll need to adjust your negotiations to reflect that the seller probably can get other offers for the car. Unfortunately, you're going to probably pay more. If, on the other hand, you're haggling over an all-wheel drive crossover in an area that doesn't see a lot of snow, you'll have the upper hand because demand for that kind of vehicle will be low.

As you research used car prices, look for regional variations. Setting your target price based on the national average of the car you want to buy could throw a wrench into your haggling. You could end up offering more than you should or too little for your area and stall the haggling process before it even gets started.

5: Know the Impact of Mileage and Options

Compared to used cars, new car pricing is easy because all new cars have the same number of miles: basically zero. They also have a set price for their features and options. Two used cars that are the same year and make, for example, can have vastly different miles on them and different features.

Before you negotiate on a used car price, understand how mileage impacts used car prices. The more miles a car has, the less you should pay. Similarly, a fully kitted out used vehicle with all the bells and whistles will command more money than the same model with just the basics. If you don't need a lot of car tech, you can score a deal by looking for a stripped down model. Also, if you are looking at buying an automobile with a lot of miles on it, you can use that to try and get the seller to lower the price. Look at the prices on cars of the same make and model with similar mileage to bolster your case.

4: Where You Buy Impacts What You'll Pay

Part of haggling the price of a used car is understanding the seller's costs. While you're trying to get the best deal, the seller is trying to make the most money. When you're dealing with a private seller, you can often get a lower price on the same car because a private seller doesn't have a lot of costs associated with selling. On the other hand, a dealership has to pay for things like utilities, staffing costs, advertising and other overhead. Keeping the seller's costs in mind will make you a better negotiator because you'll be able to understand where the other side is coming from. You'll also be able to shop around for the seller with the right combination of price and services for you.

The inspection is arguably the most important part of the used car buying process.
The inspection is arguably the most important part of the used car buying process.
fotoedu/Thinkstock

3: Use the Inspection to Your Advantage

You want to have any used car you're thinking of buying professionally inspected not only to make sure you're not buying a lemon, but also to give you some potential leverage in negotiating the price. The inspection can turn up issues with the car that you may decide are too severe and you just want to walk away from. The inspection can also turn up small issues or potential issues (like a part that may soon be worn out) that you can take back to the seller to get them to lower the price. If, for example, the inspection finds that the air conditioner will need a charge, you can ask the seller to lower the price to reflect the fact that the car will need repairs soon.

2: Do It in Writing

Part of the reason people don't like haggling is because it can feel uncomfortable. That's something that a lot of car sellers and dealers are counting on. They negotiate all the time so they're likely more comfortable doing it than you are.

One way to lessen the discomfort is to negotiate via email or text message. This can help you keep some of your emotions out of the process and just focus on the facts. You'll buy time to think about what the seller is offering and to consult your research to make sure you're getting a fair deal. It's a lot easier to walk away from a bad deal when the seller isn't right in front of you. Also, you'll have a record of the agreed-upon price if you ever need it.

1: Be Nice!

This last tip is for both buyers and sellers: be nice! Many people go into used car price negotiations feeling adversarial. The seller (or the buyer) isn't out to get you. They're just trying to get the best deal for themselves — just like you are. When you're negotiating, be polite. Don't diss the seller or the car. Stick to the facts about what the car is worth given its condition, mileage and the area you're in. Look at used car price haggling as less of a competition and more as a process for getting both people to a deal that they're happy with. With the right attitude and plenty of research to back yourself up, you'll be haggling like a pro in no time.

Source: auto.howstuffworks.com


10 Red Flags For Used Car Buyers

Rusting is one of those issues that fundamentally ruins a car.
Rusting is one of those issues that fundamentally ruins a car.
mrdoomits/Thinkstock 
 
Buying a used car is a smart financial decision. In short, you get a car for less money than buying new. What you trade savings for, however, is the protection a new car offers. New cars come with protection because ... well ... they're new. No one's messed with them, their parts haven't worn out yet and nothing's happened to them.

Used cars, on the other hand, have histories. And while most used cars are fine, there are a number of issues used cars can have that make buying them a waste of your hard-earned cash, instead of a smart financial choice. Luckily, there are some pretty clear signs of when you should walk away from a used car.

10: Excessive Rust

Almost anything on a car can be fixed or replaced. The question is, should it be? When it comes to excessive rust, the answer is often no. While rusted out body panels can be replaced, it's expensive and time consuming. Rust on the frame means that the frame —the very bedrock of the car — is rotting away. Replacing a car's frame, even if you just replace part of it, is expensive and runs the risk of weakening the car overall. While some rust is to be expected on a used car, look out for excessive rust with bits of metal flaking off, and avoid cars with rust in key areas. Let's put it this way: some rust on the floor pan is OK, but if Fred Flintstone could drive the car, you're better off walking away.

9: Funk in the Trunk

Buying a stinky car seems like a bad idea from an olfactory perspective, but a trunk with a set-in funk can also be a sign of larger issues. Avoid used cars with musty, moldy or mildew-y interiors as this is a sign of possible flood damage. When a car suffers flood damage, most insurance companies consider it a total loss because the water damages almost every system, from mechanical to electrical to even — you smelled it — the carpet. Trying to fix a flood-damaged car will quickly eat up any money you saved when you bought it.

8: New or Mismatched Paint

A freshly-painted accent wall in your living room is a good idea. On a car, however, you want all the paint colors to match, and fresh paint isn't always a selling point. Like new or mismatched carpet, new or mismatched paint is an indicator that repairs have been made, which could mean that the car was in an accident. While some accident damage can be repaired, other accident damage can make owning that car a headache and a seller that's trying to camouflage accident damage is not someone who you want to deal with. Take a close look at any used car with fresh paint or paint that isn't quite the same on all the body panels of the car.

More Red Flags for Used Car Buyers

Warning lights should be an immediate tip-off that the car has some secrets left to be told.
Warning lights should be an immediate tip-off that the car has some secrets left to be told.
amstockphoto/Thinkstock

7: Warning Lights

We've all driven around for a week or two with the check engine light on in our car. After all, if the car is running it's easy to overlook a light on the dashboard. And, sometimes those lights do come on because of a bad sensor or because we didn't tighten the gas cap enough.

Still, if you're looking to buy a used car that has a dashboard that looks like a Christmas tree, that's enough of a red flag that you should reconsider. Sure, the lights could be on for a minor reason (again, that tricky gas cap), but they also could be on because of a bigger problem. If you really love the car, a trusty inspection from an independent mechanic can tell you if those lights are something to be concerned about.

6: New or Mismatched Carpets

Another tell of a possibly flood-damaged car is when the carpet doesn't match the drapes. Unscrupulous sellers will sometimes replace a car's carpet to get rid of the stinky tip off that the car was flooded. While new carpet could be a plus in a used car, it's not something most owners typically replace, so if you see it, be sure to grill the seller about it. There are other ways to check for flood damage, like a water line in the engine bay. A car that has been totaled due to flood damage should also have this fact noted on its title. Even if you can't tell for sure that a car has been in a flood, if you suspect that it has, it's best to just float on by and find a better one.

5: Control-Freak Seller

Anyone who is selling a car wants to show it in its best light, but buyers should beware of a seller that tries to control every aspect of a test drive — or one that doesn't consent to a test drive. On a used car test drive you should put the car through its paces. Drive it in a number of different situations (merging on the highway, highway speeds, stop and go traffic) and on a number of different roads so you know what it's like to live with. Beware of sellers that try to control the route or prevent you from using certain systems — the radio, air conditioner or heater — during your test drive. They might be hiding a serious flaw with the car.

4: An Anti-Inspection Seller

Getting a prospective new car checked out by an independent mechanic is just good sense. While you'll spend money ($150 or so) on the inspection, avoiding a used car lemon is more than worth it. Any upstanding used car seller should consent to having the car inspected by someone you choose. If the seller refuses to let you have the car inspected or insists you use their mechanic find someone else to buy from. Having a car inspected is a routine part of buying a used car, so sellers who refuse it may not be on the level. That's a deal you can feel good about walking away from.

If the price of your potential ride is too low, there's probably something fishy going on.
If the price of your potential ride is too low, there's probably something fishy going on.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

3: A Very Low Price

You're probably wondering how a low price can be a red flag. A low price is a killer deal right?! While maybe, once in a blue moon, someone finds a high-quality used car with no issues at an absurdly low price, the odds of that happening are pretty gosh darn low.

More often than not, a super low price on a used car indicates that the seller wants to unload it quickly and is hoping that the vision of the dollars you'll be thinking about saving are enough to blind you to the other issues the car has. Unless you're willing to invest your savings on repairs — possibly costly ones — on the new-to-you car, stay away from used cars with prices that are much lower than similar models.

2: A Bad Title or No Title

When it comes to cars, possession isn't nine-tenths of the law. You need a car's title to prove you own it and are legally able to sell it. If you're working with a used seller who doesn't have a title for the car you want to buy, stay away. Also beware of fake or improper titles. A car title is an official document issued by the state the car is owned in. It should have a state seal and other anti-counterfeit measures on it. When inspecting the title, make sure the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on it matches the VIN on the car, and that the name on the title matches the name on the seller. If you buy a car with a bad title, it could turn out that you're not the rightful owner of the car — which means you just threw your money away.

1: Outstanding Recalls

Being described as "outstanding" is usually a good thing, but not when it comes to automotive recalls. Automotive recalls are issued by the car's automaker (sometimes after an order from the federal government) when something is wrong with the car. Many recalls are issued because of defects that could compromise the car's safety. Fixing recalls is done at the automaker's expense, so someone who hasn't had a recall on the car taken care of may have neglected other maintenance issues. To find out if a car has outstanding recalls, you can enter its VIN at safercar.gov. From there, you'll be able to see what recalls the car was subject to. The seller should then provide proof that the recalls were taken care of.

Source: auto.howstuffworks.com