7 Ways to Save Money on Gasoline

A girl in a yellow shirt putting gas on her car and trying to save money on gas

Save money on gasoline is difficult when gas prices continue to rise. Everyone is looking for ways to cut costs. Even if you aren’t taking a long trip this summer, driving to work and home every day and running errands can quickly eat up the fuel in your gas tank. Check out these key tips on how to reduce your fuel burn this summer.

1. Use a Gas Rewards Card

If you use a credit card frequently, a gas rewards card may help your wallet. Gas rewards cards are credit cards that give you a discount on gasoline when you make fuel purchases with the card. The amount of the discount can vary depending on the specific rewards program.

Some offer a flat cash-back rate at the pump, while others offer discounts based on your spending level. Some cards offer up to 5% back on gasoline purchases. If you use a rewards card, pay off the balance in full each month. Otherwise, any money you save at the pump would be offset by interest fees on your balance.

2. Maintain Your Car

Simple car maintenance can increase fuel efficiency and reduce wear and tear on your car. Keep your tires properly inflated, replace dirty air filters, and change your oil regularly. When tires are underinflated, your car must work harder and burn more fuel to go the same distance. The proper inflation pressure is listed on the tire information sticker in your vehicle’s door jamb or in the owner’s manual.

Replacing or cleaning clogged air filters and air filters on vehicles with fuel-injected or computer-controlled gasoline engines will also improve your gas mileage and make it easier for your engine to breathe.

3. Use Gas Saving Technology

Many people do not realize that there are many types of devices available to help you save money on gas. These include fuel injectors, electronic sensors, and other devices that can be used in combination with your car’s engine to reduce fuel consumption. Read up before investing, though, since some sources say these devices don’t work while some car owners swear by them. 

4. Save money on Gasoline by Changing Your Driving Habits

Simply altering how you drive can help improve gas mileage. When possible, plan your errands so you don’t make multiple stops, which will waste gas as you start and stop your engine. If possible, combine errands with trips to work or school. Avoid aggressive driving and speeding. These behaviors not only waste gas but also put everyone on the road in danger. Use cruise control when it’s safe to do so; it helps you maintain a steady speed on the highway and can boost your fuel economy by 15-30%, according to Cars.com.

Avoid long warm-ups or idling. Warming up a vehicle for more than 30 seconds before driving away does not improve engine performance and wastes fuel. Turn off the engine if you expect to be parked for more than a minute, such as at drive-up restaurants and toll booths.

5. Get Gas Where Prices Are Lowest

Prices fluctuate throughout the week and month, so be aware of where gas is cheapest in your area. You can use an app like GasBuddy to find the closest station with the lowest prices. Don’t drive many miles to fill up your gas tank as the extra mileage wastes gas, too.

6. Consider an Eco-Friendly Filling Station

In Germany and the Netherlands, alternative fuel stations are commonplace. In the U.S., however, only about 1% of all filling stations offer an eco-friendlier option such as E85 (15% gasoline, 85% ethanol) or biodiesel. These fuel options are better for the environment and less expensive than traditional gasoline.

While E85 or biodiesel may not be available in your area, it’s worth looking into if you live near a city. You can find where alternative fuel stations are located by visiting FuelEconomy.gov or AFDC Alternative Fueling Station Locator.

7. Save Money on Gasoline by Fueling Early in the Day When Prices Are Lowest

The next time you fill up, do so early in the day when prices are lowest. When it’s hot outside, fuel expands and the pressure at the pumps is higher. During the morning hours, there is less expansion, meaning you get more fuel for your money.

The next time you’re looking for a gas station, use one without a convenience store attached. Companies that own these stores have to pay rent on them and often charge more per gallon to compensate.

The Bottom Line

With gas prices on the rise, extra savings can go such a long way. Every little bit helps when you’re trying to make ends meet. Keep these money-saving tips in mind when buying your next tank of gasoline. Saving monthly on gasoline costs can add up to big savings over a year. You can even save more by driving in a much greener fashion.

Can You Pump a Car Tire With a Bike Pump?

a service man servicing a car that has flat tires

A car tire is a tire. Bicycles and cars use the same sort of valves to receive air for their tires. So, yes, you can use a bike pump to manually add air to a car tire just like you would with a bike tire.  Inflating a car tire by hand is a tedious process, but it just might get you out of a jam someday. 

How a Bike Pump Works 

There are a number of bike pump styles, such as frame-mounted pumps or foot-operated pumps. The classic design is called a floor pump, also known as a stand pump. A bicycle floor pump includes these components: 

• air compression chamber 

• hose that connects the pump to a tire 

• piston that compresses air through the hose and into the tire 

• handle that the user pumps to operate the piston 

During an up-stroke of the handle, the piston pulls air into the chamber. During a downstroke, the piston forces the air out of the chamber and into the tire.  

Tire pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Recommended tire pressure for bicycles ranges from 30 to 50 PSI for mountain bikes up to 80 to 130 PSI for narrow road bike tires. 

For most passenger car tires, the recommended pressure is 32-35 PSI. Recommended PSI for your vehicle’s tires can be found on the tire’s sidewall, in a sticker on the car frame where the front driver’s door opens, and/or in the vehicle owner’s manual. 

Why You Might Need to Use a Bike Pump for a Car Tire 

The machines used for adding air to motor vehicle tires are known as air compressors or tire inflators. Most car owners don’t own an air compressor but are likely to own a bike floor pump. If you ever want or need to fill up your tires without leaving home, that bike pump is all you need. 

Pump your car tire the same way you pump a bike tire. Remove the tire valve dust cap, connect the hose to the tire valve, and press the pump’s piston handle up and down. You’ll be able to hear the pressurized air moving from the pump chamber into the tire. If your connection isn’t secure, you’ll hear a hissing sound from the escaping air. 

Manual pumping will be a slow grind, so why would somebody go through the trouble? There are plenty of reasonable explanations for pumping up your car tires by hand, such as: 

• Temporarily inflate a flat tire and take the vehicle to an auto shop for a new one 

• Regularly keep ideal tire air pressure at home for free 

• Maintain an air pressure  

Some folks just prefer DIY, cheap, simple, fixes. As an added benefit, manual pumping is a great tricep workout. 

How Long Does It Take to Manually Inflate a Car Tire? 

When you pump up a bike tire, you can see the gauge needle move with each pump. You can also quickly see and feel the tire inflating. When pumping a car tire, for obvious reasons (more air), progress is much slower. 

You won’t notice any difference from an individual pump. You are making progress when you hear air displacement because this usually means the device is properly attached. It might take a few hundred pumps and upwards of 20 minutes to fill up a flat tire. 

Adding air pressure to a car tire with a bike pump probably isn’t your first choice. However, it’s good to know that the option exists. 

For more relevant articles especially if you are driving in icy conditions, read our post here.

Driving Tips: Get the Most Miles On Your Gas

Man and woman driving a convertible under a sunny weather

Inflation is causing gas prices to rise higher by the day. Each time you fill your gas tank, you are paying more money to drive the same amount of miles as usual. Each car has a certain number of miles per gallon that it can drive, which is also called its gas mileage. Your car’s gas mileage is largely set by factors you can’t change, like the size of your engine and the weight of your vehicle.

There are, however, small steps you can take to maximize your gas mileage. Here are some easy driving tips you can follow: 

1. Roll down the window

Blasting your air conditioning nonstop may help you stay cool, but it makes your car work harder. To use less gas, consider using your air conditioner a little less.

2. Keep the ride smooth

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests using your car’s cruise control to keep your speed more constant, which will lessen your engine’s demand for gas.

Aggressively accelerating and braking also require more gas for every sudden start and stop. Try and keep your driving as smooth as possible.

3. Check that tire pressure

Keeping your car’s tires at their optimal pressure helps you optimize gas usage. Being properly inflated also increases the traction of your tires and keeps you safer on the road. The recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure for your tires can often be found in your car’s owner’s manual or printed on the door jamb of your driver’s side door.

Car tires lose more pressure in cold weather, so you may need to check your car’s tires more often during the winter months.

4. Don’t carry around things you don’t need

In general, the heavier your car is, the more gas it will use. If there is a period of time when you know you won’t be using the bike or other storage rack on your vehicle’s roof, consider removing it. Also, unpack any unnecessary cargo from the trunk or car’s interior.

5. Leave the car off

This is one of the driving tips that are easy and the most common: leave your car off until you’re ready to drive.

Idling, or leaving your car running while it’s parked or while you are stopped for longer lengths of time, also uses unnecessary gas. Although remote starters have made it easy, especially in colder climates, to start a car early in order to warm up its interior, making a habit of doing so can mean you’ll have to fill your car up more often.

It’s now much more common for drivers to pick up items and food they’ve ordered online by waiting for them to be delivered to your car in the parking lot. If you’re going to be waiting for your order for more than a minute or so, and you can get by without the heating or air conditioning, consider turning the car off.

6. Keep the oil changed and the car maintained

Including in this driving tips list is changing your oil.

Driving for too long between oil changes can mean you’re driving with old oil. Your engine has to work harder when it’s working with old oil, and that can decrease your fuel efficiency.

As gas prices increase, it can be important to take tiny, personal steps to maximize your vehicle’s gas mileage. The longer you can go between trips to the gas station will translate to bigger money savings for you.

You can also read more about driving here.

Electric Vehicle: Is it Right for You?

Woman in her business dress is charging her electric vehicle

Driving an electric vehicle is tempting to anyone who pays for a lot of fossil fuel. Who wouldn’t want to dump a gas guzzler in favor of a car that runs on electric or solar power? But before ditching your gas-engine vehicle, some factors must be taken into consideration.

The most significant benefit of electric vehicle ownership is having reduced dependence on gasoline or diesel fuel. However, electric-powered vehicles come with their own set of concerns and expenses.

How Far Do You Usually Drive?

Most electric vehicles have limited ranges due to battery life. 

Generally, motorists driving 75 miles or less in a single trip should have few concerns. However, if you enjoy jumping in the car and seeing where life takes you or driving long distances, this could present limitations. With a gas-engine car, you can fuel up anywhere and keep moving. While electrical charging stations are available, it could take planning and time to find stations to recharge your battery. However, the range for EVs is expanding, which is good news for EV drivers. 

Is Driving One of Your Job Duties?

Sales representatives and other workers who drive significant distances as part of their job could find electric vehicles unworkable. However, gas-engine cars are always reliable, and gas is easily accessible, albeit getting more expensive all the time. 

Do You Rent or Own a Home?

Like other types of technology, the only way to keep an electric car running is by charging it. To accommodate the new addition, you’ll need the ability to install a specialized charger in your garage. If you are a renter, this alone could be a deal killer. Whatever the case, it’s a no-go without a way to charge your car at home conveniently. In addition, installing a car charger in your home represents more upfront expenses if this is a concern.

Are You Single or Driving for a Family?

Most single people with predictable driving schedules and access to a charger can drive an EV with confidence. Transporting a family around is a different story, though. If using an electric car as a primary means of transportation, many trips can exceed the recommended driving range. For example, you may have to take the kids to soccer practice or run to the store. However, electric and alternative energy cars can easily handle short runs and daily driving without much issue.

Let Your Lifestyle Decide

Ultimately, deciding to purchase an electric vehicle will come down to whether it fits your lifestyle or not. For most drivers, the limitations in range and the need to recharge are the main considerations. 

Interestingly, did you know that Tesla has a Semi Car Hauler in concept? Check it out!

Preparing Your Car for Summer Driving

A jeep on a summer driving carrying surf boards.

Summer driving is prime time as people hit the road for vacations and visiting family. Although summer weather is often more predictable and less dangerous than winter weather, it does present specific challenges. To get your car ready for driving in heat that can be extreme and storms that can be severe, follow these four simple steps.

Follow your regularly scheduled maintenance plan

When seasons turn it is an excellent time to check in with how many miles are on your car. Then refer to your owner’s manual and see what sort of regular maintenance tasks are recommended at certain age or mile milestones for your vehicle. If you need to have your tires switched over from winter snow tires to all-weather tires, use that same appointment to ask your mechanic to give your car an all-over inspection.

Items that need regular attention include the brakes, the battery, spark plugs, belts and hoses, and the air conditioning system. Fully electric vehicles need battery and coolant system maintenance as well.

If possible, address any larger problems at a time when you are not planning to travel long distances. It would cause issues if you get the entire system overhauled or new parts installed a day before you leave on a week-long road trip. Get your car ready, then drive it for a few weeks to make sure that everything is working properly, before using your car to travel.

Summer Driving #1: Check those wipers, fluids, and tires

A regular maintenance check-up is a good time to have your mechanic top off all your car’s fluids and inspect your tires. You can also do this on your own if you are not set up on a scheduled maintenance on a regular basis.

Pop the hood (making sure you know how to prop the hood safely while you inspect your engine and fluids) and make sure that your windshield washer fluid reservoir is full. If it’s not, fill it with fluid you can buy at any auto supply store. It can be more involved to check such fluids as oil or power steering fluids, so if this is not something you’d like to try, make an appointment with your regular auto shop to do that for you (you can even ask to observe how they do it).

Summer Driving #2: Give car a good clean, and run your air conditioning

One of the main things you should check when cleaning your car out for the spring and summer is whether you have a spare tire, whether you can get to it easily, and whether it’s ready to use and accessible.

Look over the exterior of your car to make sure everything looks solid. Pay attention to your bumpers, look underneath to make sure nothing is getting close to dragging, and inspect and clean all your windows the next time you fill-up with gas. You may also want to take your car through an automated car wash to remove any of the road salt or other dirt it picked up during the winter months. This is also important if you are planning to transport your car.

During heat waves, you’ll also want to know that your air conditioning is working. Run your air conditioning during several car trips and under different conditions to make sure it’s working properly.

Have a summer emergency kit ready

Extreme weather conditions are possible in summer, just as they are in winter, particularly depending on where you live. Your emergency car kit should include both nonperishable safety and car items, as well as perishable food and health supplies.

Supplies that you might need are booster cables, emergency flares, duct tape, and a basic tool kit. You will also want to include a basic first-aid kit, as well as gloves and paper towels or wet wipes. Perishable supplies that can be helpful to have include bottled drinking water and snacks that have a long shelf life.

Prepare yourself for what might happen if you ever break down or have an accident. Consider joining a roadside protection service like AAA for a monthly fee. Make sure to save the numbers of a couple of local maintenance shops or tow companies on your phone.

Summer can be a wonderful time to make the most of your vehicle and enjoy fun road trips. You’ll enjoy your travels that much more if you take steps to make sure your car is clean, maintained, and stocked with emergency supplies before you go.

Top 5 Signs You Need a Car Brake Inspection

Man giving a car brake inspection on a beetle car with a plate titled dinocar

Car brake inspection is as important as it gets. The brake system is one of the top components in a motor vehicle because the braking mechanism comprises many parts that work together to allow you to stop or slow down your car when necessary. Thus, it is important for your brakes to be maintained properly. Neglecting regular examinations of the brake system could result in more expensive repairs, unexpected downtime, and a potentially hazardous situation for you, your loved ones, and other drivers.

There are several signs that show that your brakes need attention. As soon as you notice any of the signs below, take your car for an inspection.

1. Worn-Out Brake Pads or Shoes

Worn-out brake pads can negatively affect your driving experience. When they wear thin, the metal backing of the pad can press against the rotor, causing a loud screeching noise. You may also observe that the brake flare and pedal pressure point have moved closer to the floor than normal. And if it smells rather unusual, you might also want to check that too.

Certain older car models use brake shoes instead of pads. A reduced stopping distance, as well as a lack of grip power when applying the parking brakes, can be a sign of worn-out brake shoes. If you notice any of these brake issues, it’s important to have your vehicle looked at by a mechanic for a car brake inspection. If the mechanic finds that the problem is worn-out brake shoes or pads, the solution is replacing them.

2. Unusual Sounds and Vibrations

It is normal for your vehicle to make slight noises when braking as the pads press against the rotors. However, if you hear screeching or grinding sounds every time you step on the brake pedal, that could show a problem with your braking system. Screeches and squeaks are usually indicators that the brake pads are worn out. When the pads reach a certain thickness, a warning indicator will make noise so that you replace or repair them.

Squealing or screeching noises can also occur when brake pads are improperly installed or loosen. Here, it is best to replace the pads and inspect the hardware that connects them to the vehicle. Harsh grinds show metal scraping against metal. This could be a sign of caliper anchor plate problem or worn-out rotors.

Vehicle vibrations can reveal a problem in your wheels or suspension system. A wheel alignment is necessary if it does not affect your braking system. However, if this vibration happens every time you use your brakes, it could mean that one or more of your rotors are bent or warped. Other reasons for vehicle vibrations are sticky calipers and uneven application of pad pressure from one side of the brake to another side.

3. Car Pulling

If you come to a stop and feel your car pulling to one side, it could signal that at least one of your brake calipers is sticking. When the caliper sticks in the closed position, it causes an imbalanced braking force, which makes your vehicle pull when you apply the brakes.

The caliper may stick because it’s missing lubrication, the piston seals may be dried out, or it might need new pads. In most cases, the caliper of a disc braking system can be removed and rebuilt in a few hours using basic tools.

4. Mushy or Hard Pedal

There are several reasons your car’s brake pedal feels mushy, including worn-out brake pads and low or no brake fluid in the master cylinder. Start by checking the brake fluid level, then check the entire brake system for leaks. Sometimes an issue with a master cylinder can cause a leak and low brake fluid levels, which may leave you with a spongy brake pedal feel. Another common symptom that causes mushy brakes is air in the hydraulic line of the system, which will leave you with little to no brakes at all.

A brake pedal that is hard to push could result from incorrect pedal adjustment or an obstruction in a brake line. Alternatively, it could be due to worn-out brake pads, low or no brake fluid in the master cylinder, or damage to the hydraulic system because of air in the hydraulic line, an air leak, or a leak in the wheel cylinders.

5. Dashboard Brake Lights

The dashboard brake light is a mechanism that signals to drivers and mechanics the deterioration of the braking system. Most commonly, it’s triggered when there is too much pad wear in your brakes or if the fluid or parking brake needs attention as well.

The dashboard light can also be activated if you have defective calipers, a damaged sensor, or other similar problems with your braking system. To make sure that the problem doesn’t get more serious, especially if it comes on suddenly, have a trusted mechanic assess your vehicle’s braking system immediately. 


The best approach to keeping your brakes in proper working order is to have them inspected and maintained regularly. Get your vehicle a car brake inspection out at a garage for brake problems immediately if you notice any of the warning signs outlined above. Ignoring these signs can be incredibly dangerous.

5 Warning Signs It’s Time for a Wheel Alignment

man in his blue uniform working on wheel alignment on a vehicle
Wheel alignment for SUV in professional workshop. Modern auto service with high-level maintenance

Wheel alignment is integral in taking care of your vehicle. Badly maintained wheels are one of the major preventable causes of car accidents, with some estimates putting the annual injury count at close to 20,000 a year in the US alone. And while many of these accidents are the result of tire blowouts or a sudden loss of grip. Tracing back to poor alignment could be an underlying issue too.

Impaired handling, tires are put under stress and strains that are they are not designed to handle when the wheels are not in the correct position.

Eventually, an accident is inevitable if nothing is done. How do you know if your car has this problem? Here are five warning signs that tell you it’s time to get the wheel alignment checked out by a qualified mechanic.

1) Unreliable Handling

If your car has trouble staying on the straight and narrow and tends to respond sluggishly when you turn the steering wheel, then poor alignment may be dragging the vehicle out of line. Also, you may notice that turning in one direction is easier than the other, which shows that poorly aligned wheels are pushing your car off your intended path.

2) Squealing Tires

A tire that’s gripping well on the road shouldn’t make any strange noises. If you hear squealing or screeching when driving straight ahead without stepping on the brakes, it’s a sure sign that the tire isn’t making full contact with the pavement. Not only does this reduce your control over the vehicle, but it promotes faster, more uneven wear on the tires and increases the risk of a blowout.

3) Tire Wear Problems

Even without the squealing issue, you may see signs of uneven wear on your tires. You will notice this with one side losing tread more quickly than the other. There is uneven wear and that’s norma normal but this could also be the cause of uneven wheel alignment.

4) Struggling With the Wheel

The steering wheel should come back into its natural position once you’ve completed a turn. If you find you’re always struggling against the wheel, pulling it back to its center and trying to keep it there, you should have the wheel alignment checked.

5) Sideways Drag

Lastly, if you don’t move the steering wheel the car should mainly keep going in the right direction. But if you find there’s a persistent drift to one side, your wheels probably aren’t pointing true. Don’t be tempted to test this out by letting go of the steering wheel and seeing what happens. But if it’s becoming an increasing struggle to drive straight ahead, it’s time to book an inspection.

If you spot any of these issues, it’s best to have a good mechanic check your car for a wheel alignment. With all the tires pointing in the correct direction, your car will be safer and more pleasant to drive. This will make the wheels and the last longer. Don’t wait for problems to arise; have your wheels checked now. Of course, if you are planning to ship your car, here are some car shipping reviews you need to remember after your wheel alignment!

Electric Cars: GM Commits to 30 This Decade

An electric car in color black is charging to its full battery.

Electric cars are on the trend today because of their environmental advantage. But sometimes it is difficult to separate the hype from the sound buying advice. When it comes time to buy your next car, will it run on electricity, gas, diesel, or some exotic combination? Will it help or hurt the environment, and will you be able to afford a more environmentally friendly alternative?

One way to answer these questions is to listen to the news. GM recently made big news when they announced it was committing to no less than 30 electric cars this decade. That is a major commitment. But this serves as further proof that the future of transportation is cleaner and greener than ever before.

Tesla may be soaking up all the headlines with its larger-than-life CEO. The industry stalwarts like General Motors are clearly not left out of the equation. In fact, GM may actually have the edge on its upstart competitors with more than a century’s worth of innovation and success driving its future innovations.

With this new announcement, GM is making it crystal clear that electric cars are not a flash in the pan or an aim at well-heeled drivers. Instead of electric cars being the odd ones out, GM sees them as the new standard. Indeed, GM has now announced its commitment to an all-electric future; committing to produce 30 such vehicles by 2025 is only the beginning.

For practical buying advice, what this means for drivers is that their next cars are likely to be electric. It is clear that electric cars have a number of built-in advantages such as fuel economy and cost of ownership. It is also environmentally friendly design and compliance with future regulations as well.

If you are planning to get one and ship it out, make sure to read our post on ship car to another state to save you from stress in shipping your electric car!

Car Covers and Its Many Protective Advantages

Two men working in a car shop taking off a car cover from a vintage car

Car covers keep your vehicle clean when you’re not driving it and protects the paint from fading due to ultraviolet light. These products keep snow off cars, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles during the winter and protect them from tree leaves, seeds and sap the rest of the year. 

Protective Advantages

Birds and insects won’t do their business on your car’s beautiful paint job when you have the vehicle covered with a high-quality product. You’ll never find little cat paw prints tracking dirt on the trunk or hood. Dust and sand from the general environment also won’t settle on your vehicle’s paint. Instead, these substances land on the car cover. In our post about Car Transport Reviews, we’ve listed important ways to avoid when transporting a car – and a car cover can help out as an additional piece.

Relevant Statistics

More than 70 percent of passenger vehicles in the United States are not kept in a garage or an enclosed storage unit. A large number are parked in lots at apartment complexes. Many single-family homes and duplexes do not have off-street parking, so vehicle owners must keep their cars on the street. In other cases, a garage is available, but the residents store so many belongings inside that there isn’t enough room for their vehicles.

Car Covers in Classic Cars

Protective covers are especially important for classic cars. Older vehicles were manufactured with materials that are more susceptible to corrosion. People who live in regions that treat roads with salt in the winter typically don’t drive their classic cars during this season. Nevertheless, as the automobiles sit in storage, they are vulnerable to paint damage from dust and other bits of debris that settle on the exterior.

Available Car Covers

You can buy a really cheap car cover, but these products aren’t likely to provide all the results you want. Certain kinds of materials do not offer complete UV protection, for example. You don’t want a car cover that tears easily or that is vulnerable to developing tiny holes that rainwater can seep through. If your region is susceptible to severe storms, you may want a padded or inflatable cover that can stop the damage from hail. 

It may not matter to you what color your car cover is, or you might have a specific preference. Black, silver, and gray are common choices, but you can also find these items in red, blue, beige, and other hues. 

Concluding Thoughts

These effective products provide numerous advantages for protecting vehicles. Before starting to shop, make a list of the features that are most important to you and then take a look at pricing. Soon you’ll have the car cover you need to keep your vehicle looking great.

Tips to Buying a Car from a Private Seller

a man and a woman by a car contemplating if they want to buy a car from a private seller

Buying a car from a private seller may save you some money compared to buying from a dealership. However, you still want to do some research to make sure you are getting a good deal. Here are five tips to follow when purchasing a car from a private seller:

Do Research

When you find a car that you are interested in, you will have to do your homework on the car. First, start with a vehicle history report. The report will disclose any accidents or damage the car has had. Afterward, ask the owner questions such as if they have a service record of the maintenance done on the car or if there are issues with the car. This will help you get a better idea of the car. 

Take a Test Drive

You can get a better feel for the car by taking it out for a test drive. Note how the brakes and suspension feel as it drives. Keep an ear out for any odd noises, especially when accelerating and braking. Check to make sure that certain functions such as the turn signal and lights work. 

Get an Inspection

Take the car to a mechanic so they can perform a safety inspection on it. They will be able to tell you if there are any issues with the car. The mechanic can also determine if there is any damage caused by an accident that was not reported. Find a local mechanic that you trust to look at the car thoroughly. 

Shop for Financing

Unless you have cash on the spot to pay for the full price of the car, you will need to get financing. Shop around for different financing options. Some banks will offer loans specifically designed for private auto sales. Look around at different loans and see where you can get the best rate. 

Get the Paperwork

After you and the seller have agreed to a final price and your financing is covered, you will want to get the paperwork for the car. This includes the title being signed over to you, lien information, and odometer disclosure statement. After filing the paperwork and paying any fees, you will get a new car title under your name. If you’re dealing with someone from another state, make sure to check our post on how to ship a car to another state to know what mistakes to avoid.

In Conclusion

Buying a car from a private seller will require some more time and effort from you. Before you finalize the sale, make sure you do things such as ask questions, do a test drive, and get an inspection done by a trusted mechanic. If done right, you can purchase a used car at a lower price than at a dealership. 

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