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Tip #4 - Maintain Complete Vehicle Maintenance Records

Documenting the work that has done on your car is extremely important. You should never leave the car dealer without a detailed statement of what was done to your car. This written proof is integral towards keeping a well documented history of your car for future reference. Therefore, always insist on receiving a copy of the work orders for your records. Having these records on hand will make selling or trading in your car much easier later on.

FAQ #3 - What is a "Lemon?":

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a lemon as: "One that is or proves to be unsatisfactory…" (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 2nd College Ed., © 1985). However, in an attemptt to further define such a broad definition, the Lemon Law defines certain situations which entitles car buyers to their money back or a replacement car. Simple said, any defect or nonconformity, or combination of defects, which is not repaired within a reasonable number of attempts or a reasonable amount of time, may entitle the car buyer to lemon law relief.

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Tip #3 - When buying or selling a used car:

When selling a vehicle, don't let a stranger take it for a test drive alone. If a prospective buyer wants to take the car to a mechanic for an appraisal, volunteer to deliver and pick up the car to a known mechanic shop. When buying a used car, be certain that the seller's name and address are verified, and be sure that the VIN on the registration is the same as the one on the car. Also make sure there is not a lien (loan) on the vehicle.


FAQ #5 - Online Car Buying

A few websites allow you to actually purchase a new or used car without leaving your home except for a trip to a dealership to pick up the car after the sale is finalized. Most of the sites that offer online car buying can quote you a price upfront - there is no waiting for a dealer to get back to you. Some sites allow you to complete financing documents at home before going to the dealer. The best part is that many car prices listed online are lower than the posted prices at the car dealership. The dealership will honor the lower price, giving you a much better deal without negociating.


US VIN Code Law (Courtesy of NHTSA)

Learn about your Auto VIN Number here or learn more about VIN law below.

General requirements.

Vehicle Identification Numbers VIN:
General requirements
Code of Federal Regulations
Title 49, Volume 5, Parts 400 to 999
Revised as of October 1, 2000
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
CITE: 49CFR565.4




Sec. 565.4 General requirements.

(a) Each vehicle manufactured in one stage shall have a VIN that is assigned by the manufacturer. Each vehicle manufactured in more than one stage shall have a VIN assigned by the incomplete vehicle manufacturer. Vehicle alterers, as specified in 49 CFR 567.7, shall utilize the VIN assigned by the original manufacturer of the vehicle.

(b) Each VIN shall consist of seventeen (17) characters.

(c) A check digit shall be part of each VIN. The check digit shall appear in position nine (9) of the VIN, on the vehicle and on any transfer documents containing the VIN prepared by the manufacturer to be given to the first owner for purposes other than resale.

(d) The VINs of any two vehicles manufactured within a 30-year period shall not be identical.

(e) The VIN of each vehicle shall appear clearly and indelibly upon either a part of the vehicle, other than the glazing, that is not designed to be removed except for repair or upon a separate plate or label that is permanently affixed to such a part.

(f) The VIN for passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks of 4536 kg or less GVWR shall be located inside the passenger compartment. It shall be readable, without moving any part of the vehicle, through the vehicle glazing under daylight lighting conditions by an observer having 20/20 vision (Snellen) whose eye-point is located outside the vehicle adjacent to the left windshield pillar. Each character in the VIN subject to this paragraph shall have a minimum height of 4 mm.

(g) Each character in each VIN shall be one of the letters in the set: [ABCDEFGHJKLMNPRSTUVWXYZ] or a numeral in the set: [0123456789] assigned according to the method given in Sec. 565.5.

(h) All spaces provided for in the VIN must be occupied by a character specified in paragraph (g) of this section.

(i) The type face utilized for each VIN shall consist of capital, san-serif characters.

Go to our VIN numbers section to learn more about VINs. Go to our Free VIN Check section to get a free VIN check.


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