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11 questions to ask when buying a used car

Business Insider Logo By Matthew DeBord of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 12: 
  Buying a used car can be a stressful experience - but if you
  plan ahead, you can get some great deals.
  
  The biggest choice is between buying from a dealership or a
  private seller.
  
  In particular, don't overlook certified pre-owned vehicles or
  gently used luxury brands.
  

  Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to buying used cars.

  But perhaps the most important knowledge is self-knowledge: Know
  what type of vehicle you want before you get started, understand
  your budget, and determine whether you know enough about cars to
  cut a deal with a private seller and not end up with a lemon.

  I've come up with 11 basic tips for buying a used car - there are
  many more, but these will get you started. The biggest choice is
  whether to go to a dealer or strike out for the wilds of private
  sellers. You can find some dandy cars with the latter, while the
  former will take a lot of hassle out of the process.

  Either way, getting organized, establishing a budget, and being
  realistic are all important objectives. If you do your homework,
  you should be happy with the results.

  • Buying a used car can be a stressful experience - but if you plan ahead, you can get some great deals.
  • The biggest choice is between buying from a dealership or a private seller.
  • In particular, don't overlook certified pre-owned vehicles or gently used luxury brands.

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to buying used cars.

But perhaps the most important knowledge is self-knowledge: Know what type of vehicle you want before you get started, understand your budget, and determine whether you know enough about cars to cut a deal with a private seller and not end up with a lemon.

I've come up with 11 basic tips for buying a used car - there are many more, but these will get you started. The biggest choice is whether to go to a dealer or strike out for the wilds of private sellers. You can find some dandy cars with the latter, while the former will take a lot of hassle out of the process.

Either way, getting organized, establishing a budget, and being realistic are all important objectives. If you do your homework, you should be happy with the results.

© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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