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A car's history report along with a good warranty policy can serve as a means of preventing the purchase of a lemon. Not every car buyer can quantify the extra cost of a certified pre-owned (CPO) car. Various resource sites on the Internet will provide the history of a car and detail any recalls. Review the difference between a non-certified and versus a certified pre-owned (CPO) car:
Used non-certified cars are less expensive than CPOs – the cost of the certification process coupled with the warranty coverage makes CPO vehicles more expensive than non-certified used vehicles.
Certified pre-owned vehicles pass a series of safety inspections and come with warranty coverage for a specified period depending on the terms of the policy. Unfortunately, not all vehicle certifications are completely accurate and complete.
Regardless of the type of used automobile a consumer purchases, the car's history may identify any underlying problems or discrepancies in the dealers sell.
Do not expect all the sordid details of your prospective car's history to be mentioned on a certified vehicle.
In extenuating circumstances, a car may have concealed accident damage that is not disclosed. Quite often the certification of salvaged or rebuilt vehicles renders the warranties invalid.
A car's history in an accident may not be fully disclosed in a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle. As a result, it is important to take the following steps before finalizing any purchasing decisions:
1) Run the VIN number to review the car's history
2) Comprehensively review the details of the certified vehicle to confirm that you are getting your money's worth
3) Do not rely on the dealership's certified claim, order a vehicle inspection on your own
4) Review the fine print of the CPO agreement because many warranties exclude accident coverage.
Even though, CPO programs have compliance standards, the guidelines vary from car dealership to car dealership.
A good vehicle history report should tell a story about the background of a used car. The automobile's previous circumstances and experiences should help you make a viable purchasing decision. Quite often, car buyers have sought out to purchase a vehicle to determine that the title was not transferred. A car report will identify not only any titles issues but any of the following information – that may serve as a warning sign not to buy the car:
Any major previous accidents or fire damage
Rebuilt parts or replacement part
An evaluation of the odometer
Salvaged or Auctioned
Contrary to popular belief, digital odometers can be rolled back.
On the digital odometer, a flash chip called an EEPROM will store the current mileage reading of a vehicle.
Rolling back the chip is a matter of removing the chip and reprogramming it. Fortunately, CarFax.com maintains an accurate vehicle report on the vast majority of cars. A vehicle history report is generated when the following actions transpire:
The transfer of the title
Inspections of the car
As a result, be sure to conduct a vehicle report from CARFAX to determine of the mileage event shown corroborates the current mileage.
To protect a consumer's investment, it's in their best interest and responsibility to determine a car's history or the true condition of the vehicle they plan to purchase.
Obtaining a car's history is a matter of ordering a report from Web sites that conduct vehicle research. Although, a good report does not guarantee that a car does not have other mechanical problems, these reports can alert the prospective owner of any specific problems associated with the vehicle model.
A car's history and a certified pre-owned (CPO) program can make a consumer feel confident about buying an almost new vehicle. The car history alone may not include every single mechanical problem. As a result, manufacturer certified pre-owned CPO programs are more thorough than the programs offered at car dealerships because they follow specific guidelines. Just about every auto manufacturer operates a certified pre-owned CPO program with defined standards:
-- Eligibility of the car based on its history and age
-- A safety and inspection procedure
-- Warranty Coverage
-- The terms and guidelines of the warranty policy
As many certified pre-owned vehicle owners have expressed customer satisfaction of their car purchase, certification should not replace the comprehensive inspection of a mechanic and a car history of the make and model.
In light of the recent natural hurricane disasters, numerous cars were impacted by flood damage.
If you are shopping for an affordable used car, be sure to conduct a vehicle report. Here is a list of hurricanes that overwhelmed the south, east and gulfs of the United States. Make sure these recent major natural disasters do not transcend your vehicles history report:
2005 - Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, New Orleans)
2004 - Hurricanes, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne
2001 - Tropical Storm Allison (Texas)
1999 - Hurricanes Floyd and Irene (East Coast)
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|