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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)

Do a Car VIN Number Search here or learn more about VIN law below.

Reporting requirements.

Vehicle Identification Numbers VIN:
Reporting 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: 49CFR565.6




Sec. 565.7 Reporting requirements.

The information collection requirements contained in this part have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and have been assigned OMB Control Number 2127-0510.

(a) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has contracted with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to coordinate the assignment of manufacturer identifiers. Manufacturer identifiers will be supplied by SAE at no charge. All requests for assignments of manufacturer identifiers should be forwarded directly to: Society of Automotive Engineers, 400 Commonwealth Avenue, Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, Attention: WMI Coordinator. Any requests for identifiers submitted to NHTSA will be forwarded to SAE. Manufacturers may request a specific identifier or may request only assignment of an identifier(s). SAE will review requests for specific identifiers to determine that they do not conflict with an identifier already assigned or block of identifiers already reserved. SAE will confirm the assignments in writing to the requester. Once confirmed by SAE, the identifier need not be resubmitted to NHTSA.

(b) Manufacturers of vehicles subject to this part shall submit, either directly or through an agent, the unique identifier for each make and type of vehicle it manufactures at least 60 days before affixing the first VIN using the identifier. Manufacturers whose unique identifier appears in the fourth section of the VIN shall also submit the three characters of the first section that constitutes a part of their identifier. (c) Manufacturers of vehicles subject to the requirements of this part shall submit to NHTSA the information necessary to decipher the characters contained in its VINs. Amendments to this information shall be submitted to the agency for VINs containing an amended coding. The agency will not routinely provide written approvals of these submissions, but will contact the manufacturer should any corrections to these submissions be necessary. (d) The information required under paragraph

(c) of this section shall be submitted at least 60 days prior to offering for sale the first vehicle identified by a VIN containing that information, or if information concerning vehicle characteristics sufficient to specify the VIN code is unavailable to the manufacturer by that date, then within one week after that information first becomes available. The information shall be addressed to: Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, Attention: VIN Coordinator.

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