Used Car Buying

A lot of money can be saved when buying a used car. However, there are several factors that should be considered when planning to buy one, such as the history record of the car.

4,468 Questions
Car Buying
Used Car Buying

Is there a time period within which you can return a car if you decide you really didn't want it?

The majority of car dealerships across the United States do not have a three day return policy or cooling off period on new or used car purchases. "Buyer's Remorse" will not be enough to get you out of a vehicle purchase or return a car to the dealer.

Is an emotional response from a car buyer during or after buying a new or used car. Buyer's remorse can be feelings of depression, anxiety, fear or regret.

Car buying tip: Car salesman are very aware of buyer's remorse and know that it can be a deal killer. Do not let a car salesman or dealer manipulate or persuade you into signing a binding contract or any other paperwork until you're ready to buy the car.

Some car dealerships do have "3 day return policies." however these car dealerships will only honor their return policy if you have something clearly stated in writing.

Car Selling
Used Car Buying

How do you get a car dealer's license in Texas?

From anywhere in Texas, contact the Texas Department of Transportation or go to their Web site. If you plan on doing any financing or arranging financing you also need a license from the Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner. For a retail used car dealer, you must pay a $500 fee plus $45.30 per metal dealer plate desired (most small dealers only need a couple of these), obtain a $25,000 surety bond or have an irrevocable bank letter of credit for $25,000, and you must own or lease property with an office (seperate from and with no access to any residential living quarters on the property), at least 5 paved parking spaces, and a sign with six-inch letters. You must also have a working land line phone installed in the office, have a desk and at least two chairs, and there are other provisions to get your license application approved. For a wholesale license, you must have an office, but need not have specific parking spaces for the sale of vehicles on-site. But with that license you can only sell to other wholesalers or dealers. I think it may also be permissible to sell to out-of-state retail buyers, other states do this, but you may wish to check with DPS before trying that.

Car Buying
Used Car Buying

Where can you buy repossessed cars?

Here is a variety of advice:

  • If I were you I would check out your county for repossessions to be sold they generally sale for 2/3 of the loan value.
  • I would NOT buy a car that has been repoed. Simple logic tells me that the driver was NOT doing ANY repairs or even oil changes, before it got pulled away. In my years of experience doing vehicle repos, (yes I do know what I am talking about here) the number of outright clunkers was higher than 75 percent.
  • Junk on wheels is what we used to call them. Run to death and barely able to be driven. Buyer beware is what I say.
  • What if my truck worth 15k is repoed because I quit paying on the 20k loan. Then I buy it at auction because I know I took care of it? Heck, I could even dirty it up inside a little first so it will auction for less.
  • It won't work. If it was repo'd by a buy-here-pay-here lot, they'll put it back on the lot and certainly aren't going to deal with you. If it was taken by a bank or manufacturer's finance company, it is going to a wholesale auction where you need a dealer's license to bid. Some smaller credit unions or finance companies will sell their repo's in their parking lot, but that's just like the BHPH place - they aren't going to talk to you. Besides, you STILL OWE the difference between the loan (plus repo fees) and what it brings. It's cheaper to make your payments.
  • It's fine to buy a repo car if you take someone with you who knows a bit about cars. Where repo cars are sold is different from place to place. Try Googling your city and car auctions or else looking up auctions in the phone book.

  • Call your local Credit Unions and ask them if they have any vehicles for sale. Most of them do these days. These are high quality cars for good prices and you are buying from a reliable source. Credit Unions will also give you good financing terms to get the cars off of their books. You could search online or just open the phone book and start calling.
Car Selling
Used Car Buying
Georgia (US State)

How do you get an automobile dealer's license in Georgia?

Different states have different regulations on how to qualify for a dealers license. So its a good idea to check with your local DMV to check But generally speaking once you have a license from any state then that license is good anywhere in the states.

Car Buying
Auto Loans and Financing
Used Car Buying

Can you return a new car?

No. It is nothing more than a myth that the "Buyer's Remorse" or "Cooling Off Period", laws apply to the purchase of an vehicle of any kind, new or used. Those type laws do not apply to vehicle purchases in any state. Once you purchase a vehicle you own it. Also once you purchase a new vehicle it becomes a used vehicle the instant you drive it off the lot and is worth far less than before. Those type laws apply to unsolicited sales as in a door to door salesman or phone sales. The only way you could return a vehicle is if the selling dealer had such an offer as GM has done in the past, or if the selling dealer agreed to allow you to return the vehicle. Otherwise you are stuck with your decision to buy the vehicle.

Cars & Vehicles
Used Car Buying

How do you obtain an auction license in Michigan?

I would start by calling the Secretary of State.

Used Car Buying
Safe Driving Techniques

How do you park a stick shift?

With the shifter or transmission in the lowest gear. If in San Fransisco, you need to park with the front wheels pointed toward the curb. In soviet Russia, stick shift parks you. Pretty much anywhere you live it's best to put the car in reverse when parking it whether on a hill or not.

Cars & Vehicles
Used Car Buying
Aston Martin

What used car problems should you watch out for?

Used Car Problems to Look Out ForMost dealers will allow you to take the car to a mechanic for a "used car exam". You should always do this.

One major concern is odometer tampering. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that consumers lose billions of dollars a year to odometer fraud. Odometer readings may be rolled back or documents can be forged. Making miles disappear helps increase the car's value to the seller, but can mean increased maintenance and repair costs to the buyer.

In addition to odometer fraud, there are other significant events in a car's past that unscrupulous sellers may try to hide. Every state has laws designed to protect consumers from buying used cars that may not be road worthy. Consumers should be direct when asking sellers about a vehicle's past, and they should get a detailed vehicle history report. The person selling you a used car should provide a detailed vehicle history that answers questions to your satisfaction.

If the seller cannot provide a detailed vehicle history report, you can use the 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) to secure a history from either the state or a private vehicle history company. These companies have compiled data from multiple sources to help you get a better picture of the used car's past!

Other problems you may want to avoid include:

  • Damage Disclosure, Salvage & Rebuilt Titles. These titles are issued by states when the vehicle has sustained damage as a result of one or more incidents. States issue salvage titles when an insurance company takes possession of a vehicle as a result of a claim. This generally occurs after a vehicle has been declared a total loss. A state may issue a rebuilt title if a vehicle sustained damage and was rebuilt or reconstructed, then placed back on the road. States issue junk titles to indicate that a vehicle is not road worthy and cannot be titled again in that state.
  • Lemon Laws (Manufacturer Buyback Titles). "Lemons" are sometimes resold to consumers as used cars. The lemon laws were enacted to protect consumers from having to keep a new car that has recurring problems. If someone buys a new car with major problems, and the manufacturer fails to repair the defect in a certain amount of time, the manufacturer may be required to refund the consumer's money by buying the vehicle back. Unfortunately, some of the vehicles which are bought back are subsequently resold as used cars.
  • Flood Damage Title. States issue flood titles when a vehicle has been in a flood or has received extensive water damage.

Here are more answers and opinions from other FAQ Farmers:

  • A good rule of thumb when shopping for a used car is, no more than 12,000 miles a year for every year that a car is old (i.e a 2002 model should have a max of 24,000 miles on it, 2001, 36,000, etc.). The 12,000 miles rule is the national average for miles driven, according to the insurance industry. The reason for paying attention to the odometer is simple. Major components begin to fail with wear,i.e. mileage. The higher the mileage, the greater the probability that you will have repair bills. A 1-year-old vehicle with 38,000 miles on it is NOT a good deal! Keep shopping. The lower the mileage on a used vehicle, the better. The deals on gently used cars are out there. Your patience will reward you with reliable wheels.
  • You should always have a trusted mechanic look at the car, especially to check oil, trans fluid, steering fluid, spark plugs, etc. Pretty much what you would want is to have a tune up and see not buy a used car that is going to need a lot of mechanical work. Don't believe if a person tells you that all that is done, even if you see that paper work, it is to your advantage to have your mechanic look at it before you buy.
  • As I know my way around vehicles fairly well, I look at all sorts of things. If it is through a dealership, ask to put the car up on a lift and inspect the undercarriage. Look for impacts to the rocker panels (dents)(paint missing). Look at the tires. Not just the tread thickness, look at the outer and inner walls for bulges indicating bad cords. Look at the exhaust system, is it rusted and if so.. how bad? Are the shocks and struts showing signs of oil leakage or heavy rust? Any leaks? Fuel, oil, tranny fluid, brake fluid? Is the undercarriage very clean or is it fairly a mess?Look at the car, walk around it. Look at the body lines, where the door meets the fender. Are the gaps all the same. Does the hood gaps look good or are they touching in places or showing missing paint from touching? Signs of bad body work. Listen to the car on startup for any ticking noises. Smell anything like exhaust? or fuel? when it warms up, do you smell antifreeze? The list goes on but you get the point. Shop smart people, don't trust anyone and twice as much, don't trust a dealership.
  • You should be wary of all the problems you might encounter. This sort of thing is a common problem. We hear the same concern from a reader almost every day. It is the reason that all buyers of used vehicles should take it upon themselves to do a title search on the vehicle before buying
  • Find out if the car has unusual or complex systems that are expensive to maintain or repair. For example, instead of changing relatively inexpensive shocks or struts some air suspension systems require complete replacement and/or much more expensive parts. Some engines, transmissions, and other major components were installed for only a short time even in popular vehicles selling in large numbers. The model years or months with those limited run engines, transmissions, etc. should be avoided because parts will be expensive or even impossible to find.
  • One thing to check is the millage of a car, check history of the car cause millage can be tampered and so is the papers. Asking for an expert mechanic's opinion is a must too when buying a used car.

If a car in the State of Florida is considered a lemon then it has to be

stated as so on the title. What some dealers do is to ship the car to

another state and title it there. Then it will show a clean title.

Car Selling
Used Car Buying

When is the best time to sell a used car?

January thru March is a very good time. People are getting their tax refund checks and a number of them are looking to spend that money.

I would say March Thru June because parents are buying used cars for their children graduating from high school and college.

Car Buying
Used Car Buying

What time of the year is the best time to buy a new car?

  • When 'that' particular vehicle holds the least real value to the consumer vis a vis cost to the manufacturer. -pay attention projected yearly gas prices -look around you for mode-income (not average but the amount of income made most often in that area at that time of year). A lot of oilfield money means people can afford the sticker price on that SUV -think of the utility of the vehicle vs your 'attention' to it which salespeople pick up on: not many people are thinking in investing in a convertible on the cold drive to work. But on the other hand seeing one all toasty warm and shiny through the showroom glass flips a lot of psychological switches. Moreover, they are not only 'looking' but also 'expecting' a great deal. And thus are potential buyers or your 'competition' for that single car. -pay attention to the time of year that the new models come out: manufacturers have huge investments in specific lines of cars which must be cleared of their own accounting books. A certain bulk of money must be achieved within a frame otherwise cutting into future profits. Bad sales for example, effects investor confidence and thus projected economic growth. AS well, cars sitting on a lot is like money sitting in your pocket, -losing value. And finally, the new line needs access to the market. For example, if in 2005, Chevy consumers have 2 billion dollars in disposable income that could potentially go to buying Chevy's, GM would rather have that money directed to the 2005 Chevy. This means that if the bulk of 2004's haven't been sold, GM would be competing with not only Ford and Chrysler but also itself.
  • The best time in the winter because few people buy cars when it's cold. The salespersons are hungry for sales and will give you the best deal as long as you don't let their pushiness take over.
  • I agree, winter and end of the month are best.
  • You can get a good deal at the end of the month because dealers have a floor plan, which means they pay a monthly fee on each car if its still on the lot.
  • You get a better deal at the end of the year, because no one wants to buy a last year model.
  • But to be honest you can get a good deal any time you go to dealer. I used to work as a car salesman, so i know how all this works. Simple way to get a good deal is go to one dealer, get a number, go to another dealer tell him to do better but already drop a price a bit, like 15-20%. Then go to third and have them beat it. You have to show them that you are ready to buy so they spend time on you and give you a good real price.
  • The absolute best time to buy a car is at the end of December, between Christmas and New Years. Salesmen/women are usually paid "end of month" bonuses, but many also get "end of year" bonuses. That could mean 2 bonuses for the salesperson, so he/she will do whatever they can to put you in a car.
  • Buy on the last (2) weeks of the December. Who is thinking about buying a car when everyone's focus on Christmas? Trust, I did this and it worked out great. They were desperate.
  • I think there is no specific year, it depends on the market availability. Its best buy new car when its already paced out or not hot cause you can have for a cheaper price.
  • It depends on what deals are being offered and who you know. Any time is a good time if you can buy a car from a family member if they're a sales person of course.
  • If you don't have a lot for a down payment, GM's 72 hours of 0% finance charges was a great time to buy a car a couple of months ago. In late August/early September the end of year models are being cleared out, so it's also a good time to buy.
Car Selling
Used Car Buying

How do you get a used car dealer's license?

Used Car Dealer's Licenses

This will depend on your state.

For example, to become a licensed car dealer the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles requires a dealer applicant to take a six hour preparation class to become a licensed car dealer. There are 2 main types of dealers, retail or wholesale. Retail Dealers have more restrictions as liability which required more dealer insurance as well as a larger dealer bond, but retail dealer are the only dealers allowed to sell to the public. Wholesale dealers may only sell to other dealers.

The applicant must take the class and pass a 40 question test, then submit an application and a bond, then submit photos and pass an on-site inspection. Upon review the DMV inspector will review the dealer's application and then approve the tempory license. Often the largest struggle for those attempting to start a retail dealership is the zoning for the city or county to allow a dealership at the chosen location. Make sure that the location you choose is zoned properly and/or will be an acceptable location for a retail dealership. Rarely do wholesale dealerships struggle getting proper zoning permission from the government.

Once a would be dealer passes the test they must prepare for DMV approval from the inspector. To prepare the following tasks must be done. The applicant must produce 11 photos 1)building 2)outside sign 3)display area 4)office 5)business license 6)resale permit 7)telephone 8)inside signs 9)locked cabinet 10)checkbook 11)dmv dealer book

Then the applicant must submit: zoning approval letter, OL902 certificate of class completion, TSM888 business license resale permit ficticious name statement telephone listing livescan fingerprint card personal history questionaire completed dmv dealer application bond in the name of the owner / dealership.

Temporary license can be granted within 30 days permanent license can be granted within 120 days.

Here is more input and advice:

  • You may need to call your state tax office.
  • In Tennessee a person wishing to obtain a "Motor Vehicle Dealer's License" must apply for one through the State Department of Commerce and Insurance, Motor Vehicle Division. They have a list of requirements that can be printed from their website. Requirements include: having a building with office furniture and a business phone, a display area large enough for 15 vehicles, a sign, liability insurance, a garage facility or Service Agreement with a local repair garage, and a surety bond or letter of credit for $25,000. The Dealer License Fee for used cars is $200.
  • I am in the process of opening a used car dealership in California. You go to the DMV and get all the required forms. Go to the county office to apply for a business license and a fictious name permit. Then contact the Franchised Tax Board to get your resale #. Secure a $50,000 used car bond (each state is different). Secure your location because you have to show proof of lease to the DMV.
  • In California, you can't have two different dealerships with the same address if your thinking about sharing a place with another dealer. You can't share,a business address with any other type of business period. The front door of your office must be facing outside.
  • As far as I know, most states require a sales office and have a required size. Must be inspected by the DMV before a license is issued.. NC is now requiring a DMV training class that must be done before they will even accept an application.

Indiana wholesale dealers can get licensed by first renting an office in a complex already approved for this purpose by the Indiana Secretary of State. You do not have to be an Indiana resident to qualify for this license. In addition to the office rental you will be required to have a liability insurance policy for the business and a $25,000 Bond. There is no class but you will attend a one hour meeting with a state inspector. Occasionally the inspectors require an audit of your documents and will meet at your rented office. To find one of these facilities simply search for Indiana wholesale dealers and a number of brick and mortar properties come up. Careful though, there are scammers. Once licensed as Indiana wholesale dealers the licensees can register to buy and sell cars at auction in all 50 states and in other countries worldwide. The four license plates issued to Indiana wholesale dealers with this license are legal in all 50 states as well.

These Indiana licenses will only allow you to sell to other dealers and wholesalers ONLY. You cannot sell retail to the consumer from your home or on the Internet. Investigate any "licensing for a fee" with the dealer licensing board in YOUR state.

These Indiana companies don't really make that very clear. You could get in a lot of legal hot water by not knowing the laws in YOUR state for buying and selling cars in YOUR state where you are making transactions. The State of Indiana could also get involved if you violate the guidelines of your Indiana license. ALL state statutes (laws) level hefty fines and in some cases jail time for violations.

As an example; Wal-Mart may be have its corporation licensed in Delaware (most companies do) but it MUST follow the laws in all the states where it ACTUALLY does its business transactions. If it doesn't, any state where it does business will take action.

As a dealer doing transactions in a state other than the one you're licensed, you MUST do the same; i.e. follow the laws and licensing statutes of the state where the transaction actually takes place... the location of the product (car) being sold. Selling on the Internet does not absolve you from licensing in the state your doing transactions.

One of the Indiana companies has a "retail" package. You cannot use a retail license in Indiana to make retail transactions in your state if the vehicle is not located in Indiana. The Internet is not a place, its a form of advertising just as classified ads. Verify this with your state licensing board. Protect yourself.

Car Selling
Used Car Buying
Commercial Vehicles

What is a good affordable car for a teen driver?

Honda Civic or Accord

Toyota Corolla or Camry

Ford Focus or V6 Mustang

Mazda 3

Pontiac G6

Chevrolet Cobalt

Nissan Sentra

Toyota Camry
Car Selling
Used Car Buying

How do you get a car dealer's license in Maryland?

According to the Maryland State Motor Vehicle Administration: The State of Maryland requires that all those who sell more than five vehicles per year must be licensed as a dealer. Dealer Licenses are issued by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). The MVA charges a $500 dealer license fee annually. The State does require a dealer bond the amount of which is based upon the amount of vehicles sold.

Cars & Vehicles
Auto Loans and Financing
Used Car Buying

How long do you have after purchasing a new car to return if you decide you do not want it?

No, the minute you've signed the contract, the vehicle is yours. "Buyer's Remorse" is a myth pertaining to the buyer's supposed legal right to change their mind and return a vehicle after signing the contract. Not at all based in reality! This myth probably stemmed from a stipulation called the "Right of Recission" when refinancing a home loan, which allows the person refinancing a three-day "cooling off" period after signing the refinancing paperwork to change their mind and cancel the refi.


I can't speak for other states, but, in Texas, the Lemon Law only takes effect if the car has been in three times for the same problem within a specified time frame (6 months or a year, I think). Also, it has to be something that renders the vehicle inoperable or dangerous. In other words, if your stereo keeps going out, or your power window is broken, then Lemon Laws do not apply.

Personal Experience:

If you live in California and you sign any contract, you will be unable to return the vehicle. In a rare case, I practically begged the manager of a used car lot to unwind the deal. I told him that my wife purchased a car for me prior to my purchase of their car, but I was completely unaware of it. They finally let me out, but withheld a $40.00 documentation fee and a 2.9% credit card surcharge. $178.00 is better than a $6000 used car that I decided that I didn't want. Also, when I purchased the car, I left it at the car lot and told them that I'll pick it up in a matter of days. I guess the unwinding of the deal helped for the simple fact that the car never left the lot and I came back the next morning. It only took me one night to think about the deal and realize that I wanted out. The most important thing is to not let the sales person pressure you into signing anything. Don't listen to 'this car may be gone tomorrow,' 'this is as low as I can go,' 'you will not find a deal better,' etc. It's all bull. It will get you in trouble if you sign the contracts, but you later want out. THERE IS NO WAY OUT AND THERE IS NOTHING THAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. Everything is monitored and recorded from the minute you step on the car lot until you go to the back office to sign the 'nail in the coffin' contracts. Before you sign anything, go home and think about it. It will save you a lot of headaches. DON'T SIGN ANY CONTRACTS UNTIL YOU ARE COMPLETELY HAPPY WITH THE CAR!

Used Car Buying

Can you return a car you just bought in CA?

Maybe. It might be a good idea to talk to the person you bought the car from and/or contact a lawyer.

California has no general law that says you can cancel a car purchase just because you changed your mind.

However, for used cars costing less than $40,000, the seller is required to offer the buyer a contract cancellation option allowing them to return the car, and cancel the contract, within two days of purchase. The seller is allowed to charge an additional fee for this option, and is allowed to charge a small restocking fee (the amount that can be charged for the option and for restocking depends on the sale price of the vehicle) if the buyer chooses to exercise the option. They're also allowed to restrict the mileage you put on the car before exercising the option.

Sellers of new cars, and used cars costing $40,000 or more, do not have to offer this option, but I suppose they could if they wanted to. Check your contract to see what it says.

California has a lemon law allowing you to return a defective vehicle that cannot be repaired in a "reasonable number" of attempts (usually either two or four, depending on whether it's a safety issue or not). This is a bit different, because you probably wouldn't be able to discover/prove your car qualifies if you "just" bought it, but I'm mentioning it for the sake of completeness. The lemon law is not a complete do-over, because you can be charged for your use of the car (the amount you can be charged is the number of miles you drove it before first bringing it in for repair, divided by 120,000, multiplied by the purchase price of the car).

There's also a home-solicitation buyer's remorse law that gives you three days to cancel a contract if you enter into it somewhere other than the seller's "normal place of business." I'm not a lawyer and don't know exactly how this interacts with the lack of an automatic right to return a vehicle, but it's at least possible that if you bought one at a tent sale in a parking lot this could apply. Which is why the very first line of this answer suggests contacting a lawyer.

Also, there's no law that says the dealer has to allow you to return the car just because you changed your mind ... but there's no law that says they can't allow you to return the car, either. This is why it might be a good idea to contact them and see if they'll permit this. You should expect at the very minimum that you'll have to pay a restocking fee, which may be substantial.

Finally, there's always "voluntary repossession". This is where you contact the lender and make arrangements for them to repossess the car, but you offer to make it easy for them ("I'll drop it off at your office on Monday.") You'll have to pay the difference between the fair market value of the car and what you still owe on it (again, this may be substantial). In effect, you're "selling" the car to the lienholder.

Car Selling
Used Car Buying

How would you word a receipt form for selling a used car As Is?

Vehicle is sold as is, as shown, with all defects. No warranty is expressed or implied.

Then no warranty will be declared, and in the condition box(if there is but there should be), there should be written "with defects" or "used car", normally it doesn't matter or not important to place it in the receipt, cause, if a customer purchases a vehicle, he/she should be responsible enough to inspect it. Receipts declaring with defects tells that the dealer is willing for repair or responsible for the car for a certain period of time... communication is important.

legally "as is" is suffice

Car Selling
Used Car Buying
Taxes and Tax Preparation
Sales Tax

Do you have to pay sales tax if you buy a used car from a non-car selling business in California?

Here are opinions and answers from FAQ Farmers: * There are probably different laws in different states, but in Kansas you show the sales tax receipt when you register the vehicle. If you did not pay sales tax to the seller, the county clerk will collect it then. * No. The BUYER probably will. * I believe that in most states when you go to register the car as the buyer you will pay sales tax on the purchase price equal to the sales tax rate of the county you live in. * Sales tax is a State tax and laws and rates do vary. Cars (like real estate) are, by the very nature of values involved, frequently handled under special rules. Generally, just like if you buy say a used washing machine from a business, that business will collect the sales tax. With cars, if you don't buy it from a business, when you go the register it, the Dept. of Mtr Vehicles will collect it for the state. If you trade a car in to a dealer, many places they can give you a credit for the value of the trade, and only charge you sales tax on the amount above it. * YES -- I just discovered yesterday that if you live in Georgia, you WILL have to pay sales tax if you buy a used vehicle from a business. This may be the rule in other states also, even if you purchase the car from out of state. Last month I flew to New York to pick up a beautiful 2003 Cadillac Escalade, and drove it back down here to Georgia. The car was loaded with everything, and I bought it from an individual (so I thought). Since I got a good price on the car compared to a dealership, and thought I would be avoiding any sales tax, I felt it was a very good deal. The only problem was that the seller had bought the car through his small business/company, in which he was a partner, and the company's name was written first above his name on the title. Yesterday, when I went to the county offices to register it, I was told that I would have to pay just over $2100 sales tax at 7% (the county rate) because the car was purchased from a business (although not a car dealership). While I am very happy with the car and still got a very good price, this is a loophole that I've never run into before. So, if you think that you are buying a used car from an individual, make sure that you ask them if it was purchased and titled under the name of a small business or company they own, otherwise you may be liable for the full taxable amount.

COMMENT/CLARIFICATION on above: The person above is confusing things: That the seller had it registered however he had (business name or not) makes no difference. When you buy a car from a NON auto dealer, you pay the tax when you register the car. When you buy it from a dealer, (who normally handles all the registration stuff for you) pay him the tax to pay the State. When you buy a car for export out of the State, the tax isn't charged until you register it in the destination State (or if it is, most States will give you a credit for the tax paid, if it was done to get a temporary transit permit).

As far as my previous response, I'm not confusing the matter, just reporting on what happened here with the county when I went to register the car. The fact that the vehicle was "owned" by a business is what affected the taxes. It would have been the same if the owner was in Georgia or in another state. I have purchased vehicles both in and out of state, and because it was from an individual, I did not have to pay sales tax at all when it was registered. These were non auto dealers, and there was no tax owed to the county gov't. I'm not trying to create confusion, just letting you know what happened to me here in Georgia.

The commenter immediately above is absolutely correct. In Georgia, a used vehicle purchased from an INDIVIDUAL (whether he/she is in-state or outside of Georgia) has absolutely no sales tax liability, either at the time of purchase or when the vehicle is registered in Georgia. If, on the other hand, you buy from an AUTO DEALER (either in-state or outside of Georgia) they are legally obligated to collect the sales tax and forward it to the Georgia Department of Revenue (retain proof of such payment in case they fail to do so). The only exception to this rule is if you buy from an out-of-state auto dealer who then ships the vehicle to you in Georgia via "common carrier" (in other words, you don't take delivery in this other state). In that case, they have no legal obligation to collect Georgia sales tax, but you will then owe "Use Tax" (same principle as sales tax) when you register your vehicle at the Georgia DMV (the exact rate of tax may vary from county to county within Georgia; you will pay the rate effective in your county of residence). If you buy from a BUSINESS ENTITY THAT IS NOT AN AUTO DEALER (say a car rental firm that's selling excess inventory), whether they are in-state or outside of Georgia you are still liable for the sales tax. It makes absolutely no difference whether that business is an auto dealership or not: it's whether the name on the seller's title is of an individual or a business that determines sales tax liability in Georgia. In short: individual seller (in Georgia or out of state) = no sales tax when registering vehicle in Georgia; business seller (auto dealer or not, in-state or outside of Georgia) = sales tax liable (with the one exception noted above, when an out-of-state dealer ships you the vehicle via common carrier -- then you are responsible for paying the "Use Tax" when you register at the Georgia DMV). NOTE: When you buy a Georgia vehicle and register it in another state, you will pay the prevailing sales tax rate in that other state. Thus, it doesn't make sense to travel to Georgia to buy a vehicle just to avoid the sales tax. Same would be true for vehicles purchased in Oregon, or any other state that doesn't tax vehicle sales (unless, of course, you also live in such state).

CLARIFICATION: If you purchasde a used vehicle from a private owner in Georgia (and you live in Georgia), then you avoid paying any sales tax on the car. Georgia considers this type of transaction a "casual sale" and only charges sales tax if the previous owner registered the vehicle for a business. Expect to pay sales tax in Georgia, however, if the previous private owner registered the vehicle for business use, or, you bought the car from a dealer. Cars purchased out-of-state also incur a sales tax. For example, if you live in Georgia and purchased a car in Florida from a private individual, you DO pay a SALES TAX in Georgia.

Previous postings incorrectly state that you don't have to pay a sales tax in Georgia if you bought a car from a private individual outside of Georgia. It does matter! I live in Georgia and purchased a new Mercedes Benz in Florida from a private individual, I HAD TO PAY A SALES TAX when registering my car in Georgia.

You do NOT have to pay sales tax in GA when a car is purchased from a privaqte seller regardless of where the private seller resides. This is deemed a casual sale. Please see the links below for the official documentation from the GA dept of Revenue:

State Regulation 560-12-1-.07 regarding sales tax (casual sale)

OK, has anyone noticed that the guy asking the question specifically refers to CALIFORNIA? Why is everyone discussing Georgia? So frustrating!

Used Car Buying
Auto Insurance Claims
Sales and Customer Service
The Difference Between

What is an implied warranty?

Implied WarrantyState laws hold dealers responsible if cars they sell don't meet reasonable quality standards. These obligations are called implied warranties � unspoken, unwritten promises from the seller to the buyer. However, dealers in most states can use the words "as is" or "with all faults" in a written notice to buyers to eliminate implied warranties. Furthermore, private sellers are usually not covered by the implied warranties of state law. There is no specified time period for implied warranties. The most common type of implied warranty is the warranty of merchantability: The seller promises that the product offered for sale will do what it's supposed to. That a car will run is an example of a warranty of merchantability. This promise applies to the basic functions of a car. It does not cover everything that could go wrong. Breakdowns and other problems after the sale don't prove the seller breached the warranty of merchantability. A breach occurs only if the buyer can prove that a defect existed at the time of sale. A problem that occurs after the sale may be the result of a defect that existed at the time of sale or not. As a result, a dealer's liability is judged case-by-case. A warranty of fitness for a particular purpose applies when you buy a vehicle based on the dealer's advice that it is suitable for a particular use. For example, a dealer who suggests you buy a specific vehicle for hauling a trailer in effect is promising that the vehicle will be suitable for that purpose. If you have a written warranty that doesn't cover your problems, you still may have coverage through implied warranties. That's because when a dealer sells a vehicle with a written warranty or service contract, implied warranties are included automatically. The dealer can't delete this protection. Any limit on an implied warranty's time must be included on the written warranty. In states that don't allow "as is" sales, an "Implied Warranties Only" disclosure is printed on the Buyers Guide in place of the "As Is" disclosure. The box beside this disclosure will be checked if the dealer decides to sell the car with no written warranty. In states that do allow "as is" sales, the "Implied Warranties Only" disclosure should appear on the Buyers Guide if the dealer decides to sell a vehicle with implied warranties and no written warranty. A copy of the Buyers Guide with the "Implied Warranties Only" disclosure is available here.

Here are more opinions and answers from other Wiki s Contributors:

  • The dealer advertised the vehichle had a " CD " player it does not work! The vehicle had a problem with the clutch that almost caused me to wreck that he had said to have fixed! I questioned him on the smell of a burning clutch he said it was the radiator paint from which it was just sprayed after being repaired, it turned out it was the clutch burning and it caused the transmission to go out do to the clutch failure! These were all things that were a word of mouth promise to be of working condition!
Car Buying
Auto Loans and Financing
Used Car Buying

Should you buy a car from a private individual instead of a dealer?

Private Car Sales vs. Buying from a Dealer

Buying a used car from a private seller is very different from buying a car from a dealer. Private sellers generally are not covered by the Federal Trade Commission's Used Car Rule and don't have to use the Used Car Buyers Guide. However, you can use the Guide's list of an auto's major systems as a shopping tool. You also can ask the seller if you can have a car inspection done by your mechanic.

Private sales usually are not covered by the implied warranties of state law. That means a private sale probably will be on an "as is" basis, unless your purchase agreement with the seller specifically states otherwise. If you have a written contract, the seller must live up to the promises stated in the contract. The car also may be covered by a manufacturer's warranty or a separately purchased service contract. However, warranties and service contracts may not be transferable, and other limits or costs may apply. Before you buy the car, ask to review its warranty or service contract.

Many states do not require individuals to ensure that their vehicles will pass state inspection or carry a minimum warranty before they offer them for sale. Ask your state Attorney General's office or local consumer protection agency about the requirements in your state.

The following tips are useful when buying a car:

  • Do you homework on Carfax, KBB, eBay. Check prices. Getting a car from a dealer at Private Party price is often a good deal.
  • Ask questions. Please note Carfax, Auto Check will not always show if a car has been in an accident - so have the vehicle checked out before you buy. Almost 100% of used cars sold by a dealership will have had paintwork done (and many new ones too)- so that may not always be a useful question to ask. Better to look or inspect. Do you see poorly done work? Check hidden areas for "ridges" to indicate paint that may not have been done well. (A note on extended warranties: buy cars that are at the end of their factory warranty.)
  • There's an option where you can get great deals and it's still much safer than just buying from any private individual: repossessed car auctions (in particular, government car auctions). These are cars that have been repossessed by the bank or lien holder due to a lack of payment of the original auto loan, and then sold at public auctions so that the lien holder can make some of the money back. Even though you should always get a vehicle history report and inspect the car yourself, these are usually pretty safe environments, although they're attended by many professional dealers.
  • Another way to get great deals (and safer than buying from a private seller) is hiring a professional negotiator. If you use a service (ex: Carsala), you can get private party prices from a dealership on a car that's been reconditioned, in good shape, clean title, etc.
Cars & Vehicles
Car Buying
Auto Loans and Financing
Used Car Buying

Should you get financing from the car dealer?

If you decide to finance your new car, be aware that the financing obtained by the dealer, even if the dealer contacts lenders on your behalf, may not be the best deal you can get. Contact lenders directly. Compare the financing they offer you with the financing the dealer offers you. Because offers vary, shop around for the best deal, comparing the annual percentage rate (APR) and the length of the loan. When negotiating to finance a car, be wary of focusing only on the monthly payment. The total amount you will pay depends on the price of the car you negotiate, the APR, and the length of the loan.

Sometimes, dealers offer very low financing rates for specific cars or models, but may not be willing to negotiate on the price of these cars. To qualify for the special rates, you may be required to make a large down payment. With these conditions, you may find that it's sometimes more affordable to pay higher financing charges on a car that is lower in price or to buy a car that requires a smaller down payment.

Before you sign a contract to purchase or finance the car, consider the terms of the financing and evaluate whether it is affordable. Before you drive off the lot, be sure to have a copy of the contract that both you and the dealer have signed and be sure that all blanks are filled in.

Some dealers and lenders may ask you to buy credit insurance to pay off your loan if you should die or become disabled. Before you buy credit insurance, consider the cost, and whether it's worthwhile. Check your existing policies to avoid duplicating benefits. Credit insurance is not required by federal law. If your dealer requires you to buy credit insurance for car financing, it must be included in the cost of credit. That is, it must be reflected in the APR. Your state Attorney General also may have requirements about credit insurance. Check with your state Insurance Commissioner or state consumer protection agency.

If you don't have great credit, getting financing from the dealer may be your only choice (for either new or used cars). Because the dealer wants to sell you a car, he or his finance company is more likely to make you a loan. Be aware, however, that the APR is likely to be higher, or the price of the car may be higher than a similar model sold by somebody else. That said, if you need a car, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Used Car Buying

Should i repair my car before trading it in?

Yes, People will generally pay a premium for a car that has nothing wrong with it, is clean and smells good on the inside and has just been waxed.

Used Car Buying
Auto Insurance Claims
Transportation Accidents

Should you buy a car that has been in an accident?

First, you may want to have an independent mechanic look at the car. Second, you should get a vehicle history report so that you know exactly what the problems were. Click here for Experian or Carfax. They each charge $15 for an instant report.


The vehicle check can be done free to a degree up to the point of an unverified report that states if the vehicle has been salvaged. That typically means the insurance company paid off the car as a total wreck. These cars will typically have a "reconstructed" title stating they were repaired and inspected. If that is the case, and you are not getting a huge discount, don't touch it.

For all other accident cases, it is more work for you. You have to take it to a body shop and have it inspected, as stated above. But most often it is not serious. It comes down to the price of the car. All things being equal, buy one that has not been in an accident. But a discount for a bent bumper or creased door panel is hardly worth passing up if nothing else is wrong, and the check should show what repairs were done and how extensive they were.

Finally, if the person lies, even a smidgen, don't touch the thing. I have had two cases in which I specifically asked if the car had been in an accident. One person said no and the other said that the tail light and bumper had to be replaced and that was all. Both cars, as it turns out, had been salvaged, and the seller lied about it hoping I would not check. If they are lying, and you catch them, that isn't all they are lying about. Walk away.


Ultimately, the fact that the car you want to buy has been in an accident should give first clue. Even if you had the car inspected, keep in mind, the car may have hidden damages due to the accident. Last but not least, most of the times when you buy an used car you buy it, AS IS. I would not do it.

if the carfax is "unclean" you want to see if the airbags were deployed or if the vehicle was towed. those two could indicate frame damage.

Cars & Vehicles
Used Car Buying
Importing and Exporting

How do you import used cars from US into Nigeria?

You export them. Look for Export brokers on the Net.

Used Car Buying

What is covered under a used car warranty?

Dealers may offer a full or limited warranty on all or some of a vehicle's systems or components. Most used car warranties are limited and their coverage varies. A full warranty includes the following terms and conditions:

Anyone who owns the vehicle during the warranty period is entitled to warranty service.

Warranty service will be provided free of charge, including such costs as removing and reinstalling a covered system.

You have the choice of a replacement or a full refund if, after a reasonable number of tries, the dealer cannot repair the vehicle or a covered system.

You only have to tell the dealer that warranty service is needed in order to get it, unless the dealer can prove that it is reasonable to require you to do more.

Implied warranties have no time limits.

If any of these statements doesn't apply, the warranty is limited.

A full or limited warranty doesn't have to cover the entire vehicle. The dealer may specify that only certain systems are covered. Some parts or systems may be covered by a full warranty; others by a limited warranty.

The dealer must check the appropriate box on the Used Car Buyers Guide to indicate whether the warranty is full or limited and the dealer must include the following information in the "Warranty" section:

the percentage of the repair cost that the dealer will pay. For example, "the dealer will pay 100 percent of the labor and 100 percent of the parts ...";

the specific parts and systems � such as the frame, body, or brake system � that are covered by the warranty. The back of the Buyers Guide lists the major systems where problems may occur;

the warranty term for each covered system. For example, "30 days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first"; and

whether there's a deductible and, if so, how much.

You have the right to see a copy of the dealer's warranty before you buy. Review it carefully to determine what is covered. The warranty gives detailed information, such as how to get repairs for a covered system or part. It also tells who is legally responsible for fulfilling the terms of the warranty. If it's a third party, investigate their reputation and whether they're insured. Find out the name of the insurer, and call to verify the information. Then check out the third-party company with your local Better Business Bureau. That's not foolproof, but it is prudent. Make sure you receive a copy of the dealer's warranty document if you buy a car that is offered with a warranty.

If the manufacturer's warranty still is in effect, the dealer may include it in the "systems covered/duration" section of the Used Car Buyers Guide. To make sure you can take advantage of the coverage, ask the dealer for the car's warranty documents. Verify the information (what's covered, expiration date/miles, necessary paperwork) by calling the manufacturer's zone office. Make sure you have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) when you call.

If you have a written warranty that doesn't cover your problems, you still may have coverage through implied warranties. That's because when a dealer sells a vehicle with a written warranty or service contract, implied warranties are included automatically. The dealer can't delete this protection. Any limit on an implied warranty's time must be included on the written warranty.

Most important if you plan to purchase a warranty LOOK closely at the EXCLUSIONS documented in the warranty contract. I've never seen a used car warranty that was "Bumper to Bumper"..most are more like Dealer to curb, especially if the Warranty Company has a poor reputation. AND remember FEW used car warranty company plans cover the costs of the FULL repair...Look at your deductible costs, per visit or breakdown and if the costs of fluids or filters would be your responsibility.Remember if the Warranty covered Everything the Contract would be one line in length!

vauxhall corsa,overheating and taken back to garage.The garage said they would carry out repair under warranty,gave me loan car.When I collected they state that warranty does not cover all work undertaken ie.machining cylinder head,refilling air conditionin(which was ok prior to repair work)The garage no say I must pay for this extra work at over �130,as warranty insurance does not cover these costs.Is this correct as the warranty fault caused the extra work specified?

I bought a 1997 buick skylark.. I picked it up on 2/15. on 2/16 i had to go and pick up my son and went over the grand island bridge to pay toll and i put the window down which is electric windows and it went down and would not go up after a few trys it went up finally well i took the car back the next morning on 2/17 and told them whats wrong and I come to find out thay say with the 30day warrentee its not covered.. the motor on the electric window burned out.. I ended up paying 209.00 to get it fixed .. what i dont understand is I was told I had bumper to bumper coverage.. Is it true that it would not be covered under the 30 day warntee? can you help me thanks

I bought a used 1997 buick sky lark and I got a 30 warranty with bumper to bumper well I piacked up the car on 2/15 on 2/16 the driver side window is electric and when i used it. it went down but would not go up after trying a few times it finally went up slow.. on2/17 i took the car back to the salesman and told him about the prob and he said he would check it i get a phone call and thay sais its not covered on the 30 warnnty which is bumper to bumper coverage... found out the motor in the window was blown and i got charged 209.00 to fix it can you help me if this is true on the warranty that it would not be covered???? thanks


As I stated previously you must read and understand what IS covered in any warranty. A warranty is a contract and the terms must be spelled out in the written warranty, NOT verbally stated by a salesman. "Bumper To Bumper" could only mean the front and rear bumpers but most, if NOT ALL warranties EXCLUDE any damages that were caused by collision with the possible exception of a TIRE warranty offered by many tire companies. REMEMBER, the most important section of any warranty is to read and fully understand what is NOT included. Until you commit you always have the option to walk.

Plymouth Breeze
Car Buying
Used Car Buying

If you buy a brand new car on Friday can you return it on Monday without incurring any expenses?

Generally, no. Some dealers will offer a period of time that allow customers to return a car (i.e. 72 hours). But in most cases, once you drive it off the lot, you own it. Suggestion: Have the dealer put in the contract a clause for a 3 day trial period. This is the only way to get that kind of 3 day test drive. ANSWER They will make a profit too so exampleifyou buy a car for 23000 and the next day you sell it they might say the price is now 21000 so u should go tomany dealers for the best price on your car


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