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Buying or selling a car?

June 10, 2012 | Erin | Comments (10)

I recently bought my first car. I lived in the downtown core for years, so I never really needed one until now.

Ferrari_california_1Ok, so this is not the car I bought. But a girl can dream.

I bought my little commuter car used, and let me tell you (though I am sure many of you already know) that you need to do a lot of research. Especially if you are buying from a private seller instead of a dealership. It may be a cheaper approach, but it comes at the cost of having to really do your research. Otherwise you may end up with a lemon wishing that you had.

You need to know things like: the vehicle history, whether it has been certified, if there have been any recalls on the model, what the gas mileage like, consumer ratings, etc.

Here are some resources I found invaluable during my research:

Fuel Consumption Ratings by Natural Resources Canada. This handy tool had a major impact on which vehicle I ended up deciding on. I like saving money on gas, what can I say. Bonus: my car is a little easier on the environment.

Consumer Reports. Most people are familiar with the go-to resource forConsumer-reports-cover product reviews of all kinds. But did you know it has information on cars? Most branches have subscriptions to the in-print periodical, and it is also available online through our Articles & Online Research portal (library card required to log in). When it comes to vehicles, Consumer Reports is the place to find information on: new cars, used cards, prices and deals, car buying advice, tires & car care, car safety, and car repairs.

Canadian Red Book. Published by the Federation of Automobile Dealer Associations of Canada, this periodical published multiple times a year includes information on official used car valuations. There is also a Canadian Older Car/Truck version as well. Nearly every branch caries this publication.

The Ministry of Transportation's website. This should be a source that anyone owning, buying, or selling a car in Ontario checks out. I specifically relied on their information regarding Buying and Selling a Used Vehicle in Ontario. It covers what you need to do, the paperwork you will need, and where you need to go to get it all done.

1214725-gfLemon-Aid. This is a buyer's guide published every year or two by the Automobile Protection Association (APA). There is a Used Cars and Trucks edition, a New Cars and Trucks edition, and a SUVs, Vans, and Trucks edition. Many larger branches have copies, and some information is also available on APA's website.

Lastly, the Recommended Websites section of the TPL site lists these other car-related free resources recommended by our librarians.

Unfortunately, no matter how shiny and new your car is, it will inevitably come time to do some repairs. I became quite familiar with this fact after I hit an enormous pothole in that day of torrential rain we had last week. While some things require an expert, for others the Chilton's guide can help walk you through it. Chilton’s Auto Repair guides are available online, also through the library's Articles & Online Research portal.

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