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Home  California  Cars & Motor Vehicles

Used Car

The site includes book values for used vehicles and lets you adjust for mileage, transmission and air-conditioning.

Offers in depth information on used cars and tells you what to expect for your trade-in.  To learn what your used car is worth, punch in its make, model, year and mileage.  Through their price index of accessories, you can then factor in the value of add-ons such as whether your car has a stereo or alarm.

Kelly Blue Book
Pricing on new and used autos.
The Web site lists both wholesale and retail prices for most cars and takes into account various levels of condition.

Auto Trader

Prices new and used cars according to make, model, year and mileage. 

CarMax & Auto Nation
These stores have a no-haggle policy and offer a wide selection of vehicles, some with warranties. They may not be the cheapest around, but it's worth it if you hate to negotiate.

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Learning About A Car's  Prior Defects
Car dealers are more apt to offer a cheaper price when it's obvious you know all about the car's checkered past.  Shop smart and ask your dealer for a history of prior repairs.  If you cannot get a repair history, there are several competing companies that can furnish this information for under $40. 

With A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) you can receive a report indicating whether there are odometer discrepancies, whether the car was once totaled, whether the car was repossessed or used as a taxi or police car, or if the car suffered from prior flood damage, etc.. .

Cheap Vehicle Histories

Carfax   (800) 346-3846 or


Auto Services (888) 324-0545

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 Getting A Refund From A Used Car Dealer vs. A Private One-Time  Seller
When trouble starts, you're more likely to get a refund from a used car dealer than from a private or one-time seller.  Unlike the one-time private seller, a dealer's livelihood is much more dependent on his public image. 

In many states, a used car dealer must also remain in good standing with the state licensing laws that regulate used car dealers. A dealer in violation could forfeit his license and go out of business. To see if used car dealers must be registered in your state, check out your state's Occupational Licensing Boards

An individual seller faces none of these concerns and is therefore harder to persuade.

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Internet Resources For New Cars

This user-friendly site offers in depth information on both new and used cars.  Find out if you're getting a good deal by comparing the car's manufacturer's suggested retail price with what the dealer really paid for it.  This site also tells you what you should expect for your trade-in. To learn what your used car is worth, punch in its make, model, year and mileage.  This site even factors in the value of add-ons such as whether the car has a stereo or alarm.

This comprehensive site allows you to call up invoices for almost all models and has an invaluable listing of all the latest rebates and incentives.  The site also includes book values for used vehicles and lets you adjust for mileage, transmission and air-conditioning.  This site is invaluable for those who want to know every extra item available for the type of car they wish to purchase.

Prices new and used cars according to make, model, year and mileage.  Select a city from their extensive list and you'll be directed to the nearest dealership with the car you're looking for.

Lists the best rates on car loans.

Compare new models side-by-side to find the one that best fits your needs and budget. Find out about the consumer rebates and
dealer incentives that can save you hundreds of dollars or more. 

Bankrate Monitor
Lists the best rates on car loans.

Licensed in at least 40 states, E-LOAN allows consumers to apply for a car loan via e-mail. On this site, consumers can also search for the best rates on mortgages and home equity loans and credit cards. It costs nothing to apply for a loan and your application will get a response within 24 to 48 hours.

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Getting Your Car Fixed While Still Under Warrantee
Have a mechanic inspect your car for problems just before your warranty expires.  Then give your dealer the list of needed repairs and get your car fixed for free!  

Car Checkers Of America (770) 514-8100 charges $85-$99 for a complete inspection.  The money spent on the inspection may save you ten-fold. As of 6/2/01 they have locations in
San Jose, CA, Powder Spgs., GA, McMurray, PA, Missoula, MT and Eagle Point, OR.

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Provides well written, authoritative advice on buying auto, life, home and other insurance as well as dealing with insurers.  Their articles cover topics such as spotting flood damage in a used cars to HMOs in financial trouble. Buyers can search for firms offering specific coverage in their state and can check a company's strength.  You can also link to insurance companies, quote services and agents, but the selling is done off the site.

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Help Agencies/Reporting Bad Car Dealers, Sellers & Repair Shops, Etc.

Complaints Against Auto Dealerships (CA)

Complaining About A Business (CA)
Learn about the complaint process for particular businesses ranging from airlines to contractors to doctors to real estate agencies. Directory of hundreds of businesses and where to complaint to.

Directory of Consumer & Financial Services (LA County)
Directory of consumer agencies and help groups in LA County:
Includes bankruptcy courts, regular courts, immigrant advocates, groups that fight consumer fraud, groups to help with debt and student loan problems, and tax and veteran assistance.

Filing A Complaint Against A County, Government Official, Police Officer or Business Entity (CA)
Includes where to file complaints against judges, investment firms, and more.

List Of  U.S. Car Manufacturers (Includes Links)
Plus some tips on resolving complaints.

National Auto Dealers Association (703) 821-7144  
Call their automated response line for disputes with new car dealers, vehicle problems, safety issues and recall information.  

American Automobile Association (202) 942-2079 
You may want to ask for their help in dealing with one of their bonded shops.  They may be willing to act as an intermediary to help you resolve this matter. 

The Automobile Manufacturer Who Supplies Cars To The Franchiser  
The manufacturer has a right to know if the franchiser's shady practices are ruining its good name.  Make it clear to the franchiser that you will file a complaint with the car manufacturer unless the matter is taken care of immediately.  Remind them that if the manufacturer learns of their shady dealings they could lose their franchise and be put out of business.  You can find a listing of U.S. car manufacturers and their consumer help lines at your local library or on the Web.

Call For Action  
Volunteers hear consumer complaints and then act as mediators between the aggrieved consumer and seller.  These volunteers often have the clout of a major TV station behind them and this makes sellers much more cooperative. 

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Auto Tags

Department Of Motor Vehicles (CA)
Learn what you need to know about taxes, titles, tickets, insurance, licenses, fees, and fines, etc.

For More, See Motor Vehicles & DMV Information

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Car Damage Caused By Pavement

Department Of Transportation (DOTs) (All 50 States, Not DC)
For help with car related issues i.e. car damaged caused by pavement, unsafe streets, traffic, bridges and roads, etc.

Your Phonebook's Government Pages
Find your city and county agency that deals with streets, sidewalks and highways. The names of these agencies may vary from state to state.  Look for agencies like "The Department of Public Works", or "Bureau of Highways, Sidewalks & Streets" ,etc.

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Car Defects & Auto Recalls

D.O.T. Auto Safety Hotline (800) 424-9393
This federal agency monitors auto defects and can provide you with information on auto recalls and pending investigation on auto safety.  They handle problems with cars, trucks, child  safety seats and motor vehicle equipment.
A "one stop shop" for U.S. Government recalls. Has recall information on cars, boats, medicine, consumer products, food, cosmetics and environmental products. Just follow the tabs to obtain the latest recall information, to report a dangerous product, or to learn important safety tips.

The Center For Auto Safety (202) 328-7700
The Center For Auto Safety is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the deaths and injuries caused by unsafe vehicle design and defects.  Call them for information on auto recalls, complaint statistics, safety problems, class action suits, secret warranties, defective auto paint, etc.  

Consumer Product Safety Commission (800) 638-2772
CPSC is an independent Federal regulatory agency that helps keep American families safe by reducing the risk of injury or death from consumer products.

Federal Trade Commission
Call from 9am to 12 pm.
Learn how you can sue car manufacturers under the lemon law.

Toll-Free Directory 1-800-555-1212  
Use this free directory service to see if your help agency has a toll-free number.

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