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Buying a new car can be fun. The process of doing the research, and testing various vehicles is exciting and rewarding. Especially gratifying is getting the car you want for a good, fair price. Advance planning, following a few simple steps, being prepared, and knowing what you want can help make the car-buying process easier. For more information, our online Buying and Selling Guide offers helpful tips, as well.

Getting Started

These are a few of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself if you are shopping for a new car. Once you do this, you will have your priorities in place and will know what you want when you go car shopping:

  1. How much do you want to spend for a new car?
  2. What can you offer for a down payment?
  3. Do you want a three, four, or five-year loan?
  4. How much can you afford to pay monthly?
  5. What is the value of your trade-in on the open market?
  • Car Shopping

Once you decide what type of vehicle you want to buy and how much you can afford to pay, it’s time to start shopping. Decide on such things as interiors and paint colors, then determine:

  1. Selling price of the car
  2. Add-on fees, such as tax, license, etc.
  3. How much is the insurance?
  4. What kind of gas mileage does it get?
  5. What are the regular maintenance costs?
  6. Which options or upgrades do you want?
  7. Are there any incentives or rebates?

Once you make the decision to buy and have gotten a fair deal on your trade-in, be sure that the salesperson writes up the options and extras you want and nothing more. Work with the dealership manager if you can’t come to an agreement on price with the salesperson alone.
The dealership will take care of all paperwork involved in the title and registration of your new car.

  • Peaceful Shopping

You can avoid the confusion that so often happens to car shoppers when they enter the dealership by doing your homework first. Follow your plan of action and do not allow the salesperson to mislead you. If your salesperson is being too aggressive, ask to be left alone while you shop, or ask the manager for a different salesperson. You have the right to shop in peace and without excess pressure.

  • Used Car Buying

Much of the same information that applies to new car buying also applies to buying used cars.
Once you found the car you want to buy, take a test drive and put it through the paces. Check the brakes, steering, transmission, and engine by getting on the highway. Take it on a deserted stretch of road and rev up the engine. Put the car in gear and begin driving, then hit the brakes to see how they respond. You don’t have to run it like a racecar or damage the car components or engine, but do give it a little push.

  • Have It Inspected

Once you’ve given the car a good test drive, be sure to have it inspected. Start by inspecting the car yourself, then have an independent, reliable mechanic or auto inspection service run a diagnostic test and give the car a good once-over. Get any problems or issues in writing from the mechanic. Expect to pay between $50 to $100 for this service. If you are paying a substantial amount for the car, it will be worth it.

  • Titling and Registration

Check the title paperwork to make sure that there will be no problems when you go to transfer the title into your name. Have a completed bill of sale with all of the pertinent information in place.
Be sure that all liens have been removed from the title and that the seller signs off in the appropriate area. You should both sign your names and print them as well, and include the purchase price of the vehicle on the title. Include an odometer reading if the vehicle is 10 years old or newer. Then, you can take it to have the vehicle titled and registered in your own name.
The same applies if you are selling a car to an individual: You and the buyer should sign and print your names and include the purchase price of the vehicle. Include an odometer reading for a vehicle 10 years old or newer. Write up a bill of sale for your buyer and keep a copy for yourself.
For more details and specific information on how to title and register your new, previously-owned car, see this page of the Kansas Department of Revenue website.

  • Buying or Selling a Car Without a Title

If you’re the seller and you’re missing the title, you must prove that there is no lien. Your registration receipt will serve as solid evidence. But if you’re also missing the registration receipt, you will need to apply for a new one with your county treasurer. If your registration has expired, you will also need a verification (a Kansas term for a “vehicle record”) from your county treasurer. If the registration receipt or verification prove there is no lien, you can then apply for a duplicate title and continue with the sale.
Also see the Kansas Department of Revenue’s FAQs for additional details about how to sell or buy a vehicle without a title in hand.

  • Buying or Selling a Car Without a Registration

You do not need your vehicle’s registration to sell it. Only the title is mandatory.

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