1. Read carefullty the "Buyers Guide" in the window of the car if buying from a car dealer.
2. Ask if the car is being sold "as is" (which means you must pay all costs for repairs) or has a warranty. Make sure the warranty is in writing and that all verbal promises are included.
3. Comparison shop carefully for price, condition, and mileage of the model you are interested in buying. Compare for total cost the interest rates and other terms of finance agreements.
4. If you are non-mechanical, have a mechanic or other knowledgeable person look the car over for you.
5. If you are unfamiliar with the dealer, you may wish to check with your state of local consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints before signing the contract.