Once you’ve found a car or two that suits you, invest a few bucks to find out what the dealer or private party might not know — or not tell you. Go to CarFax.com and order a one-car report for $19.99 or unlimited reports for $24.99. With the VIN number of the car you’re interested in, you can learn the last odometer reading, whether it’s been involved in an accident, whether it has suffered hail, fire or flood damage — and more. A car is a major investment, and the more you know, the better chance yours will be a good one.
MICHELE ST. MARTIN edits the Minnesota Women’s Press and writes on a variety of parenting issues.