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Understanding Used Car Ads

Browsing through used car classified ads is one of the most popular methods adopted when one wants to buy a used car. Used car classifieds are all over the place where they matter - in the newspapers and on the Internet. Additionally, many used car dealerships are online and have well designed sites that are easy for you to use for figuring out used car prices and features even if you do not plan to buy them from these online dealers. Used car ads on the Internet can cover all states in the USA (if the classified ad website is national in nature), or if it is a local website restricted to a state or an area then it may be like a newspaper classified ad that covers a restricted geographical region. The best way to figure this out would be to fire up a search engine and look for used cars +Las Vegas, used cars +New York, etc., and check out the results. However, don't do this if you are in Texas, in which case you can look for used cars +Texas.

Used car ads: Understanding abbreviations

A classified ad may very well read: 2004 Nissan HB in Ex COND fully LOADED with MNRF, 4 CYL and 5SP(D). 20K OBO. Call xxxxx.

Zapped out of your skull? Don't worry; I know how you are feeling. But this is how used car ads read, at least in the newspapers. The Internet is clearer, but there too abbreviations like these are sprinkled all over the ads. Anyway, here is a small used car abbreviation directory that will help you decipher used car ads .

Relating to type of cars:

LB: Long-bed pick up truck
P/U: Pick up truck
XTRA CAB: Extra space behind the front seat (in a pick up truck)
WGN: Station Wagon
HB: Hatchback

Relating to condition of cars

EX COND: Excellent condition
G COND: Good Condition
CLN: Clean

Relating to extras in the car

CD: CD-based Stereo system LTHR: Leather interior
LOADED: all kinds of extras and options are present in the car
MNRF: Monsoon roof
SNRF: Sunroof
CONV: Convertible top
A/C: Air conditioning

Relating to usage of wheels

FWD: Front wheel drive RWD: Rear wheel drive
2WD: 2-wheel drive
4WD: 4-wheel drive
OD: Overdrive
PS: Power steering
ABS: Anti-lock braking system

Relating to the car engine/size

CID: Cubic inches displacement CC: Cubic centimeters
DOHC: Direct overheat camshaft
EFI: Electronic fuel injection
ENG: Engine
(Number) CYL: number of cylinders that an engine has
MPG: Miles per gallon

Relating to transmission

STD: Standard transmission TRANS: Transmission
A/T: Automatic transmission
4SP(D): 4 speed manual transmission
5SP(D): Overdrive
2/4 DR: Number of doors, 2 or 4

Relating to price

K: Thousand
BO: Best offer
OBO: Or best offer

Used car ads: Reading between the lines

In any used car ad, there's a lot of meaningful information that is not written, and that is the paradox. You have to read and reread any used car ad and figure out what it is really trying to say over and above the written word. Here are some questions you should be asking after reading a used car ad:
Trade-in ads
If an ad offers you an unbelievable trade-in bonus or price, then most likely the used car that you may buy against the trade-in will carry an inflated non-negotiable price sticker. Is the trade-in allowance applicable for all kinds of cars? Find out more before getting into such a deal. You will mostly find that a dealer who does not advertise will most likely give you better prices than dealers who advertise.
Low i nterest
If dealers advertise that they are offering you a fantastically low rate of interest, then do not fall for that. For all you know, the down payment may be higher. Also check with other offers to figure out if this rate is really low or just a hyped-up gimmick with conditions attached - maybe the loan interest rate is low because the installments are spread over a short period, or is there a balloon payment scheduled at the end of the plan. Sometimes, low interest loans are not applicable for all car models or they are available for a limited time period only. Whatever it may be, low interest loans have some hooks attached to them, so you have to be careful.
Car price
If the car price looks like a bargain deal in a display advertisement, then find out if it includes the cost of options and additions. A car price that seems very low will feature a small asterisk next to it. The asterisk will lead you to some remote corner of the ad, and next to that will be the words, "conditions apply". F ind out about any "conditions apply" - either in a classified or a display - before you go shopping.

If you would like more information or file a complaint about used car classifieds and unfair trade practices, then maybe you should visit the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) site, http://www.ftc.gov.




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Buying tips – used car Take decisions on what type of car you require.
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