Used Car Book 2000, The (Used Car Book 2000-2001)

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9780062737137: Used Car Book 2000, The (Used Car Book 2000-2001)

The Used Car Book is the best way to ensure you get a good deal on a used car and avoid the nightmares of hidden repairs and added costs. Jack Gillis' information and advice help transform one of your biggest purchases into one of your best decisions.

Long known as the most consumer-oriented car buyer's guide and completely updated, The Used Car Book 2000-2001 has maintained the classic simplicity that for 12 years has led hundreds of thousands of car buyers to the best choices among the over 40 million used vehicles sold each year. While other car guides offer only manufacturer's specifications, The Used Car Book 2000-2001 sifts through the claims, the facts, the specifications and, with unique performance measurements, evaluates 1991-2000 cars, minivans, and SUVs. Jack Gillis once again proves why he is America's most sought after consumer expert on cars.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Jack Gillis is Director of Public Affairs for the Consumer Federation of America. Previously, he spent three years with the U.S. Department of Transportation, where he was responsible for developing the government's automotive information program. An expert on consumer affairs, he is Contributing Correspondent for NBC's Today Show.

Madison Avenue magazine once said "Jack Gillis is out to change the way Americans buy their cars." And he was.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Part One: Finding Them and Checking Them Out

Understanding the Classifieds/8

Checking Them Out/9

Questions for the Owner/10

Inside Checklist/11

Outside Checklist/14

Under the Hood/18

The Test Drive/20

Avoiding Odometer Fraud/24

Mechanic's Checklist/26

Safety Checklist/27

Crash Tests/28

Safety Defects and Recalls/29

The key to finding a good used car is being able to predict its future performance--and the best way to do that is to know how the car was treated and what problems it had in the past. That's why a trusted friend can be the best source for a used car. Among other things, you'll get an honest answer to the question, "Why are you selling it?"

Your chances of finding a good used car depend on where you look. There are five main sources: new car dealers, used car dealers, rental car companies, private sellers and used car superstores.

New Car Dealers: Buying a used car from a new car dealer means that you will probably pay more for it. However, many dealers keep only the best cars for resale and generally have a wide selection, especially of the higher priced models. In addition, most new car dealers will give you a written warranty. But beware: These warranties are usually full of loopholes in the dealer's favor.

Another benefit of buying from new car dealers is that most have service facilities. This increases the chance that the car was inspected and repaired before being offered for sale. If you trust the dealership and know that it has serviced the car regularly, then a new car dealer can be a good source for a reliable car.

Tip: Used cars of the same brand as the new cars that the dealer sells are your best bets. Dealers can't get parts as easily and as inexpensively for cars from other manufacturers, and they are less likely to make repairs before reselling the car.

Used Car Dealers: You can usually get lower prices on an independent used car lot than from a new car dealer. However, the majority of cars are sold in "as is" condition. Even if a used car dealer offers a warranty, it's often extremely difficult to get repair costs covered.

Another problem with buying from used car dealers is that they often get cast-offs, either from new car dealers or at auctions. In fact, they rarely know the history of the cars they're selling. Also, most used car dealerships do not have service facilities, so they have done little, if any, work on the cars. Many times used car dealers sell cars from lease fleets, taxi companies, or police departments--cars that have excessive wear.

Tip: The longer a dealer has been in the same location, the better your chances are of getting help should a problem arise. Because used car dealerships tend to be transient, it's best to find one that has been in business for at least five years at the same location.

Rental Car Companies: During the past few years, rental car companies have been reselling vehicles from their rental fleets to consumers. Contrary to popular belief, cars sold by the rental car companies haven't necessarily been "driven into the ground" by careless renters. For the most part, these cars are used by business people who simply drive from the airport to a meeting and then back again, or by renters who use the cars on longer trips.

Many rental companies have facilities that resemble new car dealerships. They generally offer late models (12 to 18 months old) that have high mileage (an average of 23,000 miles). There are advantages to buying from a rental car company:

You have access to the maintenance history of the car.Problem cars tend not to be sold through the rental dealerships.The cars have had regular maintenance work. There is generally a good selection.You don't negotiate the price.

On the other hand, buying from a rental car company means buying a late model car with high mileage. Also, these cars tend to be loaded with options, which adds to the overall price. (In general, prices at rental car companies tend to be slightly higher than a private seller's prices.)

Private Sales: One of the best and most common ways to buy a used car is from a private owner. The owner will often accept less than the car's retail value, because he or she doesn't have the overhead and expenses of a dealer. Also, buying from someone you know is the best way to get honest information about how well that car was cared for. On the other hand, buying a car from a private source usually requires a lot of running around in order to compare cars.

On a private sale, you should always call the seller before going to see the car. Asking the right questions over the phone can avoid some wasted trips. (See "Questions for the Owner" on page 10.)

One problem with buying through private sellers is determining whether the seller is truly an independent individual selling a single car, or is actually a pro masquerading as a private seller. Don't be afraid to use your intuition, and if you're in doubt, ask to see the title of the car. If the name on the title doesn't match the name of the seller, ask questions.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Inc. Gillis & Associates
Published by CollinsRef (2000)
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Jack Gillis; Ashley Cheng; Ailis Aaron
Published by Harper Resource (2000)
ISBN 10: 0062737139 ISBN 13: 9780062737137
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