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6 Easy Steps to Buying a New Car

Step #6: Signing the Papers


Car Buying Couple

A Happy Customer

© Metro Portland Car Dealers

Everything's been agreed, you think. Not so. Until all the papers have been signed there are still ways in which a shrewd dealer may add to his profit by talking you into extras you don't want and probably don't need.

These can include added and overpriced insurance, extended warranties, rustproofing (absolutely unnecessary), paint or fabric protection, anti-theft plans, and more. Smile and firmly turn them all down.

The final papers will include items that are legitimate yet unexpected if you haven't done your homework: Sales tax is unavoidable. There'll be a state license registration fee. A documentation fee. Factory delivery charges should have been included in the quote but if they weren't, they'll appear now. In some cases there may be an added luxury tax, a fuel-guzzling tax, and possibly an air-conditioning tax.

"Handling charges," "administrative fees," "additional dealer markup," or "advertising fees" are not legitimite add-ons; you should refuse to pay them.

As you can see, it's important to read the paperwork carefully before signing, rejecting anything you consider unreasonable. And before you drive away, do a careful inspection of the car, looking for scratches or dents; anything that mars the perfect finish. If you're not happy, get a written agreement (known as a Due Bill). It means you have the right to later return the vehicle in order that flaws can be corrected.

Finally, remember that you're the customer, a valuable source of profit. You deserve respect, honesty, and a fair treatment. By entering this deal as a well-informed consumer, there's an excellent chance that both you and the dealer can sign off with a smile. Happy motoring!

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