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 Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office

Thank You Vietnam Veterans

Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office Alexander Primero, pictured with wife Delia, served two tours with the U.S. Army in Vietnam during 1968 to 1971. They both attended the 50th Vietnam Veterans Commemoration ceremony...
 
 
candles

Choosing to act, intervene for fellow humans

At the ceremony, a lighting of seven candles remembered the victims of the Holocaust. The Fort Irwin community honored the annual Days of Remembrance observance with a ceremony here, April 8. The national commemoration period t...
 
 
Officer_Camara

Texting, speeding, high beams – a reminder for all drivers

California Highway Patrol Officer Ryan Camara California Highway Patrol public information officer Ryan Camara was interviewed by the installation’s Public Affairs Office. His comments are supplemented with related highway sa...
 

 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

Soldiers, community in Denim Day Walk support victims

Photo by Guy Volb, Public Affairs Office National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin, his spouse Lean Martin, and NTC staff led the procession through several streets on Fort Irwin. Leadership, So...
 
 

News Briefs May 2015

May 3-9 is Public Service Recognition Week By The Partnership for Public Service Celebrated the first full week in May since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week is a time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. Our theme for PSRW 2015 is...
 
 
JesusAguilar

Bringing smiles to people’s faces

Jesus Aguilar (right), Burger King employee, serves a customer his breakfast. BEST Opportunities job coach Angelika Felix was coaching Aguilar on his second day of work after an accident resulted in the amputation of his right ...
 




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