Shopping for a used car? The FTC has a deal for you!

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If you’re in the market for a used car, but don’t know where to begin, the FTC welcomes you to its new webpage,

The page is chock-full of free information on everything from comparing cars, costs, and warranties and service contracts to understanding payment options and where to report problems.

Ready to shop? Here are a few tips to help steer you in the right direction:

  • Consider your driving habits, what you’ll use the car for, and your budget.
  • Test-drive the car under varied road conditions — on hills, highways, and in stop-and-go traffic.
  • Get a vehicle history report before you buy. Vehicle history reports can tell you a lot about a used car. A report might include ownership history, whether the car was in any accidents, its repair records, and whether it ever was declared as salvage.
  • Consider getting an independent inspection by a mechanic you hire. An inspection is a good idea even if the car has been inspected by the dealer.
  • Figure out how much to pay for a used car. There are commercial services with information about the value and pricing of used vehicles, including:, Kelley Blue Book, and the National Automobile Dealers Association Guides.
  • Look for the Buyers Guide. Dealers are required to display a copy in every used car they offer for sale, and to give it to buyers after the sale. The Guide tells you the major mechanical and electrical systems on the car, including some of the major problems you should look out for; 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; and to get all promises in writing. If the dealer doesn’t display the Buyers Guide, you might want to shop elsewhere.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy motoring!

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Great Thanks for the News

Can I get some help with this?

It is difficult to get repair and maintanance info because all dealers and non-dealers don't have access to a central server to record the info for us. That's because no one has mandated the development of and participation in such a database. It sure would help us make better decisions and hopefully avoid buying a lemon.

Thanks for updating your policies on purchasing used cars and what we should do as consumers, check out the auto dealer and check on some information ourselves about purchasing a used car. Thanks....

approved credit for a new car , at an understanding prior to appt 5000. trade in. arrive not only was the trade no longer , I was test driving from the top of line down to a low budget, dirty, etc. sitting with fam 8 hrs. my brain was fried, I transferred auto ins. I called relative for now the 5000 deposit , i made it clear my bank said no statements , so I gave them 5000. as a promise and proof of acct. I would be back Thursday with bank or certified ck. From Monday I bought car with and still have buyers guide. on Sat. Monday it all started harassing calls for bank statement here they ran 5000. check in front through bank and never told me. I can confronted them . then they were going to report car stolen , by Wed night I felt it, wrong . they have all my bank statement, then flipped on me when I said pick it up. No trust in dealership after that. They picked it up , and since still receiving banks denials , especially from the bank that initially closed on the deal. Day of sale , smooth , I would have never known. I'm glad I have all documents and they even asked if I left all paper work in car, I said no , they were not thrilled. I feel this , and learned from past. Do not allow this slip away. Trust me these companies will do what they can to make your life miserable. Follow through with protecting yourselves. If I allow this to go , the truth is flipped and before you know it , your in negative. It's awful , abusive, bullying, fraud, greed .

Just bought a car from Herbie's Auto Sales in Greeley, Colo., and the car is falling apart. The paint is coming off of the car, after 3 washings, the car has a warranty but only on certain parts, and their is a $100. deductible, and you don't know it till you need to have it checked out for something wrong. Their is a recall on this car, but the warranty people told us not to take it to the Chevrolet Dealer. So were stuck with a car that doesn't always shut off when you turn the key to off, and the paint is coming off of the car, and to top it off it is a lease. Lease it for $11,104.69, and buy it for $7,199.40. after 2 yrs of leasing, with a payment of $429.36 a month. And it's on our registration for the amount of $5,186.29. But we wanted to buy a car, it's a 2007 Cevy HHR, Their is also some noise going on in the rear of the car, that does not sound to good.

You can report that to your  state Attorney General’s office and to the FTC at

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