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Go online to view safety ratings, vehicle condition, and a history report.

Do the research

Check out Web sites such as carfax.com and edmunds.com. These sites help you find exactly what you are looking for, including safety rating, vehicle condition, and a vehicle history report.

Many dealerships offer certification programs that can protect you if any mechanical problems arise after the purchase. These programs are effective, depending on the source of the certification.

Buying a "certified" used car is kind of like buying it with a guarantee. Be sure to read the fine print of the warranty to see what it covers and just understand that buying a certified used car can possibly add on a significant chunk of money to the price tag.

If you end up planning to buy a non-certified used car, make sure to have a qualified mechanic inspect it first.

My used car

I am happy to say that I am a used-car buyer. I purchased a six-year-old Honda Accord EX. I first researched it online to see what I liked, since it was the first time I bought a car.

I found Honda to be great for reliability and performance. I was mainly influenced by the consumer reviews I read. Then, I hunted around dealerships with my mom for several days trying to locate the specific model.

I told the dealer I would like to see the warranty and other past information, such as maintenance records. After the records checked out, I test drove it and immediately told my mom, "I can see myself driving this car!"

Since my dad has an excellent credit score, it was easy for him get the loan and lock in a low interest rate of 3.8%.

I am so happy that I now have my first used car, and I can reap all the savings. If it worked for me, it can definitely work for you, too.

Go out there and start your research-you can have your first used car in no time.

True or False: Benjamin Franklin had to invent a lot of the terminology regarding electricity. Click Ben's head for the answer.
TRUE: He is credited with the first use of 25 words regarding electricity, such as battery, charged, conductor, positive and negative (in the electricity sense).

Age 17
San Marcos, TX
WRITTEN BY:
Kevin
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"This article gave me the push to talk to my parents about getting a car. Great tips and super informational. Thank you and Great job Kevin."
Angelique, 17, chicago, il

"I will almost be driving by myself and getting a car. This story has a lot of good information that would be very useful to others looking to buy a car."
Anna, 15, Montgomery, MN

"Thank you so much for posting this story! I will be driving soon and when I reach the point where it is time for me to get my own car, I will definitely be back to refresh my memory on all the helpful advice that was in this article! "
chrislogar, 15, Blandon, PA

"Thank you for the great advice! Your advice would be very helpful to a teen buying a car for the first time. I am also a used car buyer, and I love the car I bought! I also understand the process, and I know your advice is reliable and helpful. I will definitely show this article to the next friend that wants to buy a car. "
Alexis R., 16, Chester, NH

"This story was great. I also have a used car and this article was informative about what it is like buying a used car."
Fia A, 16, LYNNWOOD, WA

"This story was awesome. It's really informative. I bought my car a couple months ago, after looking around for a car for awhile. I read around and found Honda to be the top used car brand. So now I drive around Rhonda the Honda and am glad that I got a good first car to drive :)"
kendallweb, 16, Klamath Falls, OR

"I enjoyed reading this story; it was very informative and was of great importance to me. It gives a lot of great information on how to check background history of a used vehicle you are interested, which can save you time and money in the end. I will definately be able to use what I have learned here whenever I plan to go car shopping!"
Sammi Jo, 16, Westby, WI

"This story was very informative- It was also very relevant to people in my age group who don't really have a lot of income but still are looking to buy a car. It's very helpful in highlighting all the necessary steps that one must take in order to successfully purchase a used car."
Hannah457, 17, Camas, WA

"Great article! Very useful information. I will definitely be saving a few sections of this for when I purchase my first used vehicle. "
MarvinB , 16, Richmond, Va

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