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Thinking of Buying a Used Car? Read This First

Buying a car can be complicated. Do you finance or lease? Buy new or used? What can you afford? If you are looking to purchase a used car and have found something that seems decent and within your price range, you likely want to jump on the opportunity because good cars are hard to come by. Be careful, though, and make sure you know a few important details before proceeding. While good used cars can go quickly, you do not want to get involved in a financial and legal nightmare just because you acted too hastily. Buying a bad car can increase your likelihood of getting involved in, and causing, a Nevada car accident. 

Tips for Buyers

Documenting a Nevada car accident can be relatively easy, but finding the documentation that supports your case is not always so simple. This is particularly true if the car itself was the cause, or part of the cause, of the crash. And while it is true that the information that a car dealer must provide prior to purchase is governed by state law, that in itself does not stop dishonest dealers from selling you a vehicle that they know could cause a Nevada accident. For this reason, below are five steps you can take before purchasing that used vehicle in Nevada. 

  1. Ask for the CarFax Report. Whether the dealership provides this for free or not, do not skip asking for this document. Be sure that you are given a full description. Watch out for any red flags — like multiple accidents. If you see a salvage title, do not purchase the vehicle.
  2. Research Online. While it costs some money to look this up, between $5 and $6 per check, there is a government website that tracks cars that vehicle insurance companies and owners have reported as salvaged or totaled. A little investment and research on the front end can save you a headache later.
  3. Check Safety Recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports safety recalls. While you will need the vehicle identification number (VIN), getting this is free. Depending on the type of recall, you may or may not want to move forward with your purchase.
  4. Get a Mechanic. Find a trusted and reliable mechanic to make his or her own assessment of the vehicle based on experience. Make sure you choose this person and not the dealership. A skilled mechanic will be able to give an opinion of the vehicle and determine if any accidents occurred that went unreported.
  5. Go On a Test Drive. Before committing to any purchase, drive the vehicle on different roads and highways, at various speeds. A used car sales person may recommend local roads where the speed limits are low to hide any issues. 

Dealer Obligations

The information above is critical for a potential buyer of a used car. That being said, very few used car dealerships want to divulge this important information and instead focus on turning a profit over transparency. Contact H&P Law today if you are involved in a Nevada car accident. We will investigate your crash and determine which parties may be sued for monetary compensation. 

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