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Updated: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm Published: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm


If you bought your pre-owned car from a dealer, you may have a limited-time warranty or other agreement whereby you can return the vehicle for repair or repurchase within a certain period of time if problems develop. If you didn't already take the precaution of having the vehicle checked by an independent mechanic, now's the time to do so. If you bought your car 'as is,' particularly if you purchased from a private individual, you should already have had the vehicle checked out. It's important that possible faults or malfunctions, particularly those that may affect the safety of the vehicle, be discovered as early as possible. There's a chance that the seller may be honest and scrupulous enough to rectify any major problems if they appear within a day or two of purchase. Even if you don't have legal recourse, for example if your purchase was 'as is', it can still be worth contacting the seller and bringing the problem to his or her attention. If you didn't have time to obtain a full title history before you bought the car, now's a good time to get one. These are available for a small fee from your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Such records can be useful in revealing past problems with the vehicle and any instances of odometer tampering. It's your responsibility to check that a correct transfer of ownership has been made and that you're now registered as the legal owner of the vehicle.

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