Help for used-car buyers

June 15, 1993|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Staff Writer

Misaligned numbers on the odometer should be a warning to a used-car buyer that someone might have turned back the mileage to enhance the car's selling price.

This is one of hundreds of tips on buying used cars that are packed into a free, 48-page booklet, "Avoiding Shakes, Rattles and Rollbacks: How to Buy a Used Car," published by the Maryland attorney general's office.

Hank Greenberg, director of research with the agency's consumer protection division, said the booklet was a response to the large number of complaints the office has received.

"There are a lot of books on the market dealing with new-car purchases," he said, "but there is not much out there to help used-car buyers."

The guide also gives advice on negotiating with a dealer; describes the buyer's legal rights in such areas as "as is" sales, warranties and service contracts; and explains how to examine and trace a car's title.

It was printed with the help of a $25,000 federal grant.

A single copy can be ordered by sending a self-addressed, 9-by-12-inch manila envelope with $1.05 in postage affixed.

The envelopes should be mailed to Used Car Book, Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, Md. 21202.

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