Army

September 20, 2012

Follow some simple steps to avoid trouble when buying a vehicle

Capt. Nate Mealy
Office of Staff Judge Advocate, NTC and Fort Irwin

Buying a new car is an exciting process. It is a serious one too. Not only does it lead to a potentially long-term financial obligation, but also requires you to wade into a system where many sales professionals capitalize on your lack of knowledge to profit more from the sale. This most often occurs through the financing process, where you end up paying thousands of dollars extra for a car loan that would have cost substantially less from a bank or credit union. If you follow the basic rules outlined here, you can protect yourself when you buy your next car.

  1. Leave yourself time for the process. Researching the model of car you want, the dealer you want to work with, and the company you want to finance your auto loan will take time, often weeks. Be patient and always plan at least two trips to a dealer before you sign anything.
  2. Investigate the car’s history. After getting the car’s relevant information from the title (which the dealer should have), use the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (www.nmvtis.gov) to research the car’s accident and service history. This service draws from a larger database than Carfax. Also, feel free to contact the car’s prior owners (noted on the title) to ask them about what the car has been through.
  3. If used, investigate the car’s current mechanical condition. Take the car to a trusted mechanic for review.
  4. Research what the car should reasonably cost. Ask friends, neighbors, family members, and/or chains-of-command what they think a reasonable price should be. Call competing dealerships for their opinion. Check Autotrader, the Kelly Bluebook, Edmunds, www.cars.com, etc. for pricing.
  5. Shop for your loan. This is very important. Often, banks and credit unions will offer better terms on car loans than dealers. For example, a bank might offer you seven percent interest on a loan, whereas a dealer might offer 17 percent. That is a difference of thousands of dollars over the course of the loan. Dealers do this because they sometimes get a significant cut of the profits gained from the interest charged by the financing companies with whom they work. Be wary of this; know the cost of the credit prior to stepping foot on the car dealership lot.
  6. Read all contract documents and check that all numbers and promises are accurate and in writing. Before you sign paperwork, read and understand it. The Legal Assistance Office wants to help you with this. You can bring any and all car buying documents, and we will help you understand the terms.
  7. Be sure that you take physical possession of the car’s ownership documents, or in the case of new cars, photocopies. In order to own a car, make sure the title has been signed and handed over to you. If the car is new, make sure that you either get the Certificate of Origin or you see the dealer apply and sign for it. When purchasing a new car, even if you cannot walk away that day with the Certificate or Origin, at least get copies of everything the dealer uses to apply for it.

If you have any questions about, or want assistance buying a car (e.g. getting a contract reviewed before you sign it), please stop by building 288, Fort Irwin’s Legal Assistance Office. We are here to help!




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photo by Spc. Denitra Halford, 11th ACR Public Affairs

Ready and Resilient team building

Photo by Spc. Denitra Halford, 11th ACR Public Affairs The 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment commander, Lt. Col. Shane Celeen, congratulates his Soldiers after they took the top trophy in the Commander’s Cup challen...
 
 
Spc. Denitra Halford

Celebrating National American Indian Heritage Month

Spc. Denitra Halford Samuel Martinez, a Cheyenne Dancer, performs at the National American Indian Heritage Month observance here, Dec. 3. The event celebrated the history and culture of the American Indian culture. The Fort Irw...
 
 

Serving here: making a difference in something larger than yourself

Command Sgt. Maj. Noe Salinas and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and was able to spend time with friends and family during opportunity leave. The New Year will bring many challenges; we hope that all are well rested and reenergized as 2015 begins. We are very proud of the job that Soldiers,...
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Cantonment burros moved to wilder pastures

Gustavo Bahena Louis Andreas, lead wrangler with Bureau of Land Management at Ridgecrest, Calif., oversees three burros moving toward a trailer, Dec. 4. Six burros – three females and three males – trotted off a trailer and...
 
 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

Sharing holiday cheer with military, community leaders

Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC (Left to right) Aide-de-camp 1st Lt. Daniel Bukema, Kim Creed, and National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Maj. Gen. Ted Martin. Martin presented Creed with a commemorative medal he hand-c...
 
 

News Briefs January 9, 2015

Now through Jan. 28 Enrollment for Theater Arts Drama Club by SKIESUnlimited. Parent Central, building 109, or webtrac.mwr.army.mil. Ages 8-18. Session 1, Jan. 13-29, $30. Session 2, Jan. 29-March 31, $112. Class held at Ingalls Rec., building 361, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-5 p.m. Must be enrolled to audition, Jan. 29, for production of “Frozen,” which...
 




One Comment


  1. […] High Desert Warrior » Army 11 mins ago by in Fort Irwin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the | RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. […]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin