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Car Buying

Buying a Car in Albuquerque

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You should plan on getting a New Mexico driver's license and purchasing insurance before taking ownership of a car. Here is some advice that every buyer should know before purchasing an automobile. Before you start, please visit www.kbb.com.

You have to do your homework on the car you would like to purchase. Most dealerships/sellers will try to get the best price they can, so you need to be well prepared to bargain and to not get taken advantage of.

If you do not want to have to bargain or negotiate the price of the car, there are a few dealerships, such as CarMax and Houston Wholesale Cars that offer set prices for both new and used cars.

How to purchase a Used car

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  1. Find out how much you can afford

  2. Research the right car for you

  3. Find your car's value

  4. Contact and Communicate with a seller

  5. Get both safety and history information on the car

  6. Conduct a thorough inspection both inside and outside of the car

  7. Conduct a thorough test drive

  8. Assure quality: pay a mechanic to check the car

  9. Negotiate your best price depending on whether you are buying from a private party or a dealer

How to purchase a New car

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  1. Know your shopping style

  2. Narrow down your shopping list

  3. Calculate what you can afford

  4. Do your research online

  5. Know when the price is right

  6. Understand the advantages of leasing vs. buying

  7. Find financing, warranties, and insurance

  8. Sell or trade your current vehicle

  9. Consider your buying options

  10. Get the most out of your test drive

Automobile Insurance

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In New Mexico, as in most US states, it is mandatory that all automobile operators carry proof of Liability Insurance for the automobile they are driving. You must supply proof of automobile insurance upon demand by any qualified state official. Insurance may be purchased from a number of reputable companies which can be found online.

Registration

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All automobiles must be registered with the State of New Mexico if you are living here. This is done at the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). In order to register your car you must show proof of emissions testing. Your vehicle must pass the test once every two years. Any oil change, car dealer or mechanic that is licensed by the state can conduct the test.

Note:  Fees assessed for the registration vary according to the year and type of car.

Useful Tips

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When planning for buying a car, you can use the following websites:
http://www.abqjournal.com/drive
http://albuquerque.craigslist.org/cta

These sites might have some really cheap cars, but if the seller does not post their phone number, beware of scams. Never trust the advertisements without a phone number.

1. After you see a car you like, you can call the owner to get the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN number (a 17-digit number). With this number, you can check the history of the car to find out whether it has a clean title (no accidents) or salvage title (it was wrecked and repaired) and also check the official used car price at http://www.carfax.com/ or http://www.kbb.com/.
2. If it is a clean title, ask the owner if you can take a test drive and pay a mechanic to check it out.
3. Shop around for and buy adequate insurance.
4. When you buy the car, the owner should give you the keys, any information on the car (such as the user's manual) and the Title of ownership to the car. The owner needs to sign the Title (certificate of ownership) over to you.
5. To register the car and Title of ownership you will need to get an emissions test. Check the yellow pages for emissions testing locations.
6. Process the change of title and car registration with the New Mexico Motor Vehicles Division (MVD).