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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.

Buying a Used Car

The Buyers Guide is required on all used cars sold by dealers. Read about payment options, private sales, warranties, service contracts and spoken promises.

Vehicle Repossession

Here’s “must know” information about when and how your car can be repossessed.

Financing or Leasing a Car

Before you lease or financing a new or used vehicle, learn more about your options and what to expect at the dealership.

Paying a Premium for High Octane Gasoline?

Higher octane fuel is not necessarily better for your car.

Auto Service Contracts and Warranties

What’s the difference between a service contract and a warranty? Find out, and get tips on how to recognize and avoid auto warranty scams.

Auto Warranties & Routine Maintenance

Is it ever okay for an auto dealer to deny warranty coverage because someone else did routine maintenance on your car?

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.

Auto Trade-ins and Negative Equity

What can you expect at trade-in when you owe more on your car than it’s worth?

Buying a New Car

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

"Gas-Saving" Products

Many gas-saving products may be a waste of money.

Renting a Car

This guide to common terms and fees can make renting a car easier and less expensive.

Saving Money on Gas

These tips can help you stretch your gas dollars.

Are Car Ads Taking You for a Ride?

How to determine whether special promotions featured in car ads offer genuine value — or are simply smoke and mirrors.

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.

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.