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Buying & Owning a Car

Having a car can be an expensive proposition. Read tips on buying vs. leasing, negotiating the best deal, financing, getting the most out of warranties and service contracts, using gas efficiently, and avoiding repossession.

Auto Repair Basics

Take the scare out of auto repair with these tips about how your vehicle works, how to identify common problems, and how to select a good mechanic.

Buying a New Car

Get tips about pricing terms, financing options, trade-ins, and service contracts.

Auto Loan Modification Scams

Should you trust companies that promise to negotiate lower payments for your car loan if you pay them a fee in advance?

Deceptive Auto Scams Infographic

Some auto dealers put tempting promises in their ads. But when you try to close the deal, it’s another story.

Vehicle Repossession

What to know about when, and how, your car can be repossessed.

Used Cars

Visit the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) website,, to get a vehicle history report with title, insurance loss, and salvage information. This site lists NMVTIS-approved providers of vehicle history reports. Choose one, enter the VIN (vehicle identification number, which is listed on the front of the Buyers Guide), and pay the provider’s fee to learn the car’s history.

Know Before You Go: Car Dealer Ads and Promotions

How to determine whether prices, discounts, and other terms in car ads are true before you go to the dealership.

Auto Warranties and Service Contracts

Explains differences between a warranty and service contract, how to get the most out of a warranty, your rights, possible scams.

Buying a Used Car From a Dealer

A Buyers Guide is required on used cars sold by dealers. Learn about vehicle history reports, warranties, and payment options.

Financing or Leasing a Car

Shopping for a new or used car? Learn about your financing and leasing options and what to expect at the dealership.

Auto Trade-Ins and Negative Equity: When You Owe More than Your Car is Worth

What to expect when you owe more on your car than it’s worth.

Auto Loan Refinancing Scams

Use caution when dealing with companies that promise to negotiate lower payments for your car loan if you pay them an advance fee.