Automobiles in USA, Cars in United States of America

The automobile is a necessity in the United States. It is an essential part of the American lifestyle. Since most American commute long distances for work, they invariably drive to work.

The following are the main choices for using an automobile:

Types of Cars in United States of America

The different Types of Cars that you could think of renting or buying based on your requirements are:
  • Luxury Cars
  • Minivan
  • Coupe
  • Convertible
  • SUVs
  • Pickup Truck
  • Alternative Fuel

Buying a Car in USA

Buying a new car will be your dream coming true. You need to wisely choose your new car before you make a purchase otherwise you will be wasting money unnecessarily. You could either buy a new car or a used car based on your requirements and budget.

Buying a new car in USA

Before you buy your new car decide about which car model you would like to buy and the features of the car along with the amount of money you would want to spend.

Important things you should think about and familiarize yourself with before buying your new car in USA:

  • Check out for the latest car features and the prices offered by different dealers on any kind of media.
  • Visit two or more showrooms to compare different models and the prices. You could use assistance provided by car-buying service and brokers to compare.
  • You could also plan to bargain the price as some of the dealers will give you a discount on the market price by keeping a profit margin around 15%. This could save you some money.
  • There are situations where you might not find a car of your choice. In this case you can place an order which will result in the postponement of buying your car and sometimes an increase in the price.
  • Some important terms
    • Base Price is the actual cost of the car without any options. It includes the standard equipment manufacturer's warranty. It is printed on the Monroney sticker.
    • Monroney Sticker Price (MSRP) displays the manufacturer's installed options with the manufacturer's suggested retail price, the base price, the mileage and the manufacturer's transportation costs. The federal law requires the label to be affixed on the car window which may be removed only by the buyer.
    • Dealer Sticker Price, mostly on another sticker, is the Monroney sticker price plus the retail price of dealer-installed options, such as additional dealer profit (ADP), dealer preparation, and undercoating

Service Contract

Service contract provides services like repairing certain parts or rectifying problems. Service contracts are either developed by dealers or by independent companies and they do not provide coverage beyond manufacturer's warranty. The service contract is not included in the price of the car. The questions to be clarified before the purchase of the service contract are as follows:
  • How is the coverage provided by a service contract different from the coverage provided by the warranty?
  • What are the repairs that a service contract covers?
  • Does service contract cover routine maintenance?
  • Are the costs for labor and the repair parts included in the service contract coverage?
  • Who rectifies the problems? Can I get the repairs done elsewhere?
  • What is the lifetime of the service contract?
  • Can I cancel the service contract? What are the cancellation fees? Will you refund the money paid for the service contract?

Buying a used car in USA

Before you buy a used car, think about your driving style, your requirements and your budget as this will help you save some money. The vast information about cars like the different models, the features and the costs can be understood by referring to newspaper ads, internet... Information like how you may purchase the used car and instructions to be carried out while inspecting the car are also available. Payment Options(these are applicable for buying a new car too) There are two ways in which you can pay for your car, pay fully or in installments. When you are paying in installments the costs will be high as this will include additional costs like interest and loan costs. You need to consider the monthly payment and the duration of the loan. If your monthly payment is high then your repayment of loan will end soon. The loan terms and payment schedules provided by different dealers and lenders may vary so you will have to visit two or more places to verify who can offer you the best price.
If you decide to finance, make sure you understand the following aspects of the loan agreement before you sign any documents:
  • the exact price you're paying for the vehicle
  • the amount you're financing
  • the finance charge (the dollar amount the credit will cost you)
  • the APR (a measure of the cost of credit, expressed as a yearly rate)
  • the number and amount of payments
  • the total sales price (the sum of the monthly payments plus the down payment)

Dealer Sales

Used cars are sold through a variety of outlets: franchise and independent dealers, rental car companies, leasing companies, and used car superstores. You can even buy a used car on the Internet. Ask friends, relatives, and co-workers for recommendations. You may want to call your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General (AG), and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to find out if any unresolved complaints are on file about a particular dealer.
The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a Buyers Guide in every used car they offer for sale. When you buy a used car from a dealer, get the original Buyers Guide that was posted in the vehicle, or a copy. The Buyers Guide must inform you:
  • whether the vehicle is being sold "as is" or with a warranty
  • what percentage of the repair costs a dealer will pay under the warranty
  • that spoken promises are difficult to enforce
  • to get all promises in writing
  • to keep the Buyers Guide for reference after the sale
  • the major mechanical and electrical systems on the car, including some of the major problems you should look out for
  • to ask to have the car inspected by an independent mechanic before you buy

Before purchasing a used car in USA

  • Use the inspection checklist and examine the car. The checklists are available in many Internet sites, books, magazines
  • Test drive the car in different road conditions - on highways, in slow moving traffic and on roads which have steep curves.
  • Get the car inspected by a mechanic
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