How to Buy A Used Car - U-M International Center

How to Buy A Used Car - U-M International Center

How to Buy A Used Car Gatot Arif Triaji - International Center Peer Advisor Jake Koelzer - International Center Program Coordinator Icebreaker ● Ho...

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How to Buy A Used Car

Gatot Arif Triaji - International Center Peer Advisor Jake Koelzer - International Center Program Coordinator

Icebreaker ● How many of you have bought a used car before? ● What is buying a used car like in your country? ● What are your concerns about

2 buying a used car in the U.S.?

Where to Look

Ann Arbor Craigslist


Facebook Marketplace

*Ann Arbor Zip Code: 48104, 48105, and 48109*

What to Look for Typical things to look out for: ●

Vehicle Title

Mileage Car Condition

Service Record


Safety Features (Airbag, Anti-lock brakes, etc.)

Gas Mileage (MPG)

Car Feature

Vehicle Title Clean Title: ● No severe accident ● Never got called back by manufacturer due to defect Rebuild/Salvage Title ● The car has experienced at least one of the events listed above ● Usually priced a lot lower The Risk ● The car is fine if it is rebuilt properly, but there is no way of knowing for sure ● Usually harder or more expensive to get insured ● Check accident records: (Charge will apply)

Mileage and Service Record Recommend looking for cars under 100,000 miles, or 10,000 miles per year for older cars ●

Older/higher mileage cars are more likely to break down

Think long term: ● ●

Buying a car close to 100,000 miles means that it will likely be over 100,000 miles when selling. Having a poor service record can also decrease the selling price

Costly Service Items for Used Cars Items

Service Schedule

Estimated Cost

Timing belt & Water pump

60,000 - 90,000 miles



20,000 - 30,000 miles

$600 for all four

Catalyst Converter & Oxygen Sensor

Potential repair for cars over 100,000 miles


Clutch (for manual cars)

40,000 - 100,000 miles


*Add potential service cost to vehicle selling price is a good way for comparison *Check repair cost at Repair Pal

Good Ad Example Key Information - Vehicle year: 2006 - Vehicle Model: Toyota Matrix - Location: Ann Arbor - Title: Clean - Price: $5000 - Mileage: 50,000 Service Records - Tire: 2 years ago - Brakes: 6 months ago Drawbacks - Damage on front bumper - Potential Clutch replacement

More Good and Bad Ad Examples ● (More examples shown during presentation) ● Good ○

Provides a lot of information (photos, VIN, tires, odometer, etc)

● Bad ○

Limited information

Too good to be true

Price Checking ●


Check used car price at Kelley Blue Book website

Questions to Ask ●

How long have you owned the car?

What did you use the car for?

Why are you selling it?

Has it been in any accidents?

Does it need anything/have any problems?

What service have you done since you owned the car?

When is the last time parts (tires, transmission, engine, etc.)

Background Information

were replaced? ●

How is it on snow/ice?

What gas mileage are you getting?

Ask for a test drive.

Owner’s Experience

Service Record


Clutch Replacement: $1400 Bumper Replacement: $300 Total Vehicle Price: $6700

At the Test Drive ●

Look underneath the car for rust and oil leak (A flashlight can be helpful)

Look for crack on the rubber parts (tire sidewall, belt)

Check tire thread

Check all lights

Dealerships vs. Private Owners Dealerships

Private owners

Provide more selections

Can provide service

more details about the

plan for discount price


Usually more expensive

Usually can provide


Are Dealerships More Reliable? Buying car at dealership does not guarantee the car will be more reliable. Get to know the car through Consumer Report and Car Talk. Time is money: Car repairs cost both money and time, and can significantly impact you when you are busy.

Repair shops close to campus: Napa Firestone Broadway (North Campus)

*Check prices of parts* (example:

Choosing a Car for Winter ●

Getting stuck in snow (best to worst): ●

All Wheel Drive > Front Wheel Drive > Rear Wheel Drive

All wheel drive DOES NOT prevent you from losing control on slippery surfaces

Things to look at: ○

Windshield defroster and heating working properly

Ground Clearance

Snow Tires (especially for Rear Wheel Drive Cars)

Car Insurance

Nerd Wallet Compare Car Insurance Rates

It’s illegal not to have car insurance!

Cost Estimate Cost of Car 6 % tax on the price of the car Driver’s license, title, registration, license plate, and road test Car Insurance depends on the person (age, driving history, address), vehicle, and types of coverage ($1500-$2000/year) Repairs and maintenance (depends on age and condition of the car)

Gasoline ($50 per month) Parking ($100 - Student Orange and Yellow Lots) Depreciation

Procedure 1. Driver’s License: Secretary of State a.

Study guide/manual for the test

2. Find & buy a car a.

Bill of Sale, assignment of title, check lien information

3. Insurance a.

Send request letters for quote to insurance agents

4. Title a.

Transfer title at a Secretary of State office within 15 days after the purchase of your car

5. License Plate

Parking ●

Students can buy Orange and Yellow parking permit at

Blue permit is for staff and faculty of the university (or students with disabilities)

Gold permit is by lottery

After-hour permit allows you to park in any lot after 3pm (only for graduate students)

Maps to find out parking spot spots

Alternatives: Rental

Alternatives: Taxi/Ridesharing ●

Blue Cab - 734-547-2222

Ann Arbor Cab - 734-709-5454

A-1 Airport Cars - 877-276-1335



Alternatives: Car Lease


*Require Social Security Number (SSN)*

Other Orientation Workshops ● Getting around Ann Arbor and Personal Safety ● Budget Travel in North America ● Driving in the U.S.

Questions? Your feedback is valuable to us and will help us to improve the experience of future participants. Thank you!