Money Talks News: Used Car Buying Tips

When shopping for a used car, you certainly want to avoid getting taken for a ride.

Want to avoid a lemon? There are obvious things to do, like having the car checked by a mechanic.

Maybe ordering a report like CarFax. But better advice: order the car's title history, if you have time.

"It's the real McCoy. It's the birth certificate to sometimes the death certificate of the car. It shows where the car has been, who's driven it."

It can also tell if the car's been in a flood zone: Cars affected by Sandy, for example, are now nationwide.

Other things to watch for:

First, rental cars: they're not worth as much, so when in doubt, ask. Next, service history: ask the seller for proof of what's been done.

Now you want to take a really slow walk around the car. You're looking for dings, you're looking for scratches, and you're especially looking for rust.

Next, check the fluids, especially oil. You want it to be clear and amber colored, not black or gunky.

Finally, major repairs. Check for paint mismatch or new bolts under the hood. And keep an eye out for doors, trunks and bumpers that don't line up.

Bottom line... Buying used is a great way to save money on buying a car.

But when you do, make sure you really look at the car, look at the paperwork that comes with the car, and make sure that a professional inspects it first. what you need now is more tips and they're waiting for you at and do a search for "Used cars."

For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.