When buying from an individual, pay no cash until you have obtained a title.
Try to find a car that has had a special rubberized undercoating treatment available
in this part of the United States. During the winter, salt is put on the roads to
melt the snow, and cars that are not treated tend to have problems with the body of
the car rusting.
This video from SUNY Buffalo gives some helpful tips about driving in winter.
Take any car you are considering buying to a trusted mechanic or auto diagnostic service
before you make a final decision. If the car does have some problems, ask the mechanic
the approximate cost of repairing any defects. Minor problems, which can easily be
repaired, can be used to negotiate a lower price but a car with major problems should
Check the guarantee, make sure you know what is and what is not covered and compare
Discuss the price with the seller. Do not assume the listed price is the price you
are required to pay.
Once you have found one or more cars that interest you, call the Better Business Bureau
and ask them for information about the dependability of the automobile dealerships
with which you are dealing. The Better Business Bureau keeps a record of consumer
complaints and this information can be helpful. You can reach the Better Business
Bureau at 1-800-828-5000. Be very cautious about buying a motor vehicle from a dealer
with a significant record of complaints.
There is a very popular web site, http://www.carfax.com , which provides vehicle history information using the unique 17-character vehicle
identification number (VIN) found on vehicle dashboards and title documents. The information
may include Title information, including salvaged or junked titles, Flood damage history,
Total loss accident history, Odometer readings, State emissions inspection results,
Number of owners, Service records, and Lien activity. This is a membership-required
web site which demands a membership fee of $20-30.
Be very careful and avoid buying a flood-damaged car. Be advised that there was a
huge flood in the Binghamton area in June 2006.