Category Archives: Automotive

Where to Ride Your Bike When There is no Designated Bike Lane

Bicycles are considered as vehicles. This means that bicyclists are expected to use the roadways like other vehicles, and have the rights and duties of motorists in the roadway.

Bicycle lanes refer to a section of the roadway that is designated for bicyclists. It is marked by a solid white line that breaks into a dotted line at corners. This traffic lane is different from the standard white lines marking the edge of the road in two ways: first, a bike lane follows specific width requirements, and second, it is clearly marked as a bicycle lane. But many roads don’t have designated traffic lanes for bicycles.

So, where should bicyclists ride their bikes?

Bicyclists are expected to share the traffic lane on the right (to the left of the white line marking the end of the road) so motorists overtake on your left side. If the traffic lane is narrow and there is no bicycle lane or shoulder, you should ride closer to the center of the lane to prevent motorists from passing you fast when there is not enough space.

Bicyclists are also allowed to use sidewalks, except in prohibited areas such as institutions and central business districts as per local ordinance. When riding your bike on a sidewalk, you should exercise the rights and duties of pedestrians. This means that you should not travel at speeds of 20 mph (or faster) on sidewalks as you place yourself and pedestrians at great risk.

When using the sidewalk, try to travel at the same speed as pedestrians to reduce conflicts. Similarly, use the traffic lane when moving at the same speed as the traffic around you. This is a safety measure to keep you away from drivers’ blind spots and to reduce the risk of conflicts with right-turning traffic.

Are bicyclists safe using the roadways with motorists?

Many bicyclists wonder whether they are justified to seek compensation from a motorist that knocks them down due to some confusion on the road.

The truth of the matter is, there are hundreds of thousands of bicycle collisions every year, some of which result in the death of the bicyclist. Some of these crashes are due to the behavior of the cyclist, while others are a result of the driver’s lack of attention.

Click here to discover how a bicycle accident attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against reckless motorists, and prove that your fault (proportionate responsibility) was less than 50 percent in order to recover damages from the negligent party

Stay safe on the road

Bicyclists riding on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users, and are bound by the same rules and regulations. While motorists are expected to keep a certain distance when overtaking bicyclists and look carefully for bicyclists before turning right or opening doors, bicycle riders must also exercise caution.

This means riding in the same direction as the traffic; obeying traffic signs and signals and alerting other road users when changing lanes or turning using hand signals; protecting yourself with a bicycle helmet (required by law for riders under 18 years of age) and wearing a reflector; maintaining control of your bicycle; and being visible, alert, and prepared to take evasive action.

If you have questions about the laws affecting bicyclists, or have sustained injuries when riding due to the reckless actions of a motorist, it is important that you talk to a skilled bicycle accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Consumer Considerations to Make Before Purchasing Your Next Big-Rig

Numerous large commercial trucks haul essential stuff from one place to another throughout Texas. These huge big-rigs are often involved in accidents and put all of us at risk of serious safety threats. Though more than enough federal and state safety regulations are imposed on the trucking industry, there are various reasons behind serious truck accidents.

Because buying a commercial truck is a massive investment and an unfortunate turns of event can put your money at stake, it is necessary that you purchase your big rig after bearing all consumer considerations in mind. To learn more about key considerations while buying your truck, read the post ahead.

Key Considerations before Making a Major Investment:-

Know your needs:
It is very important to know the number of runs you will be making with your truck every week. Knowing the miles you are putting on your truck every month will eventually help you decide the power you need in your truck. Other uses related to your truck such as the capacity of loading and similar things also matter when making a decision to buy a commercial truck.

Engine size is another extremely crucial decision to make. It is not necessary that bigger is always better. Whether you’re buying a truck for everyday commuting or for transporting large items, your need will eventually decide the picture-perfect engine size.

Figure out if you need a new or used truck:
This is another crucial aspect of buying your next big rig. If you are a beginner in trucking industry and don’t have enough resources to make such a huge investment, you may also be looking for a used truck. After properly taking your operating costs and long hauls in mind, you will be competent enough to make a wise decision.

Manual vs. automatic:
Depending on the traffic conditions of your city, you will have to decide between the manual and automatic transmission for your truck. Automatic transmission saves a great deal of unnecessary shifting especially when you are supposed to spend a lot of time in traffic. However, if you drive through relatively less chaotic roadways, a manual transmission can give you improved control over the engine. Thus, it is another significant decision to make.

Other than these common consumer considerations, you will also need to know about the various safety features that can make hauling safer for both your truck and other vehicles on the road. Buying a truck with camper shell can also protect your belongings whilst preventing thefts.

If you own a truck and ever get involved in any of the truck accidents in Texas, you would probably need the best law firm to make your case. People who get hurt in Texas truck accidents have a right to claim for compensation. If you or some of your loved one has been injured in an accident where a commercial truck is involved, you will need to hire an attorney to seek relief for your damages. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney will make sure you never lose on significant compensation.

Five Things that Cause Burns in a Car Accident

Most of us think of broken bones or whiplash when we talk about car accident injuries. Though subsequent burn injuries from a car accident may be less common, burns of all kinds are extremely critical in nature no matter what caused them. Burn is one of the terrifying injuries to occur in a car accident. If the vehicle happens to catch fire after an accident, the results can be severe and even deadly in extreme cases.

Burns are a real threat in car accidents because even a fairly minor collision may work as a contributing factor to result in a fire. Car accidents mostly cause second and third-degree burns, and a first degree burn is usually not seen as the consequence of a fire caused by these car accidents.

After an accident, fire can start in one or more ways. Punctured gas tank of a vehicle or trucks hauling hazardous chemicals can all result in fire because of a motor vehicle collision.

Here are the five things that often cause burns in a car accident.

Damaged Fuel Tank:
When the fuel tank of vehicle damaged in a collision, it is likely to get punctured or burst. Leaking fuel can easily catch fire because of the heat generated by the impact. Whenever a victim makes contact with this fire or with hot surfaces, liquids or steams, he suffers heat burns. Heat burns are the most common type of burn that usually results from a car accident.

Broken Electrical System:
Vehicles are made up of extensive electrical systems. Thus, whenever a car endures a collision, internal electrical systems along with power lines and other external electrical equipment pose great threat of a fire outbreak. Electricity passes through the victim’s body and causes severe electrical burns.

Vehicle Carrying Chemicals:
If a car happens to collide with a truck which is hauling chemicals or other hazardous substances, victims are at a greater risk of suffering chemical burns. There are various chemicals being transported in these vehicles which may cause chemical burns if the victim’s skin comes in contact with them. In fact, sometimes passenger vehicles carrying household cleaners or some other similar products also catch fire because of their chemical compositions.

Faulty Equipment:

It is not uncommon of us to carry certain electrical equipment in our vehicle. Sometimes equipment with faults in their electrical system can catch fire when your vehicle collides in an accident. Even a small spark in electrical equipment can result into a deadly fire outbreak.

Inflating Air Bag:
Though relatively uncommon, inflating air bag is another reason that causes burns in a car accident. The risk of an inflating air bag can dramatically increase the chances of fire after a car accident.

You have all the rights to file personal injury claims if you have endured burns as a result of the collision during a car accident. Burn is a serious injury that requires extensive rehabilitation. Experienced car accident attorney can help you claim for compensation so that you can easily bear your medical expenses.

Seatbelt Injuries That Can Occur During A Car Accident

Most crash-related deaths in the US occur to vehicle passenger occupants. In 2014, over 21,000 died, with more than half accounting for those who were unrestrained during the time of crash. While wearing a seat belt is proven to save lives, sometimes it can cause physical injuries to the wearer. A seat belt increases the safety factor of both passengers and drivers involved in a car crash. Rarely could the seat belt itself cause injuries, but it does happen. If you or a loved one gets involved in a crash, know that a good personal injury attorney can provide you with more information, see to it that your legal rights are protected, and guide you all the way. Here’s how seatbelt injuries may occur:

Seat Belt Injuries

A seat belt works by restraining the user to his or her place securely during a crash or an accident. The nature of the seat belt prevents any type of injury as long as it works as intended, but there are times when a seat belt malfunction happens. Tight restraints, improper belt placement and how the crash occurred and its severity can complicate matters, resulting in a seat belt injury.

Hiring an attorney will prove to be your best resource if you or a loved one becomes injured in a car crash involving seat belts. It will certainly help you in your claims if you decide to pursue the matter in a legal course.

Seat Belt Injury Types

The most common form of seat belt injuries are scrapes and bruising from the belt restraints, depending on how severe the auto accident was. Lap belts in particular could cause internal injuries to the spinal cord and the abdomen area. Shoulder belts could cause injuries to the sternum, the neck and the shoulders. Perhaps the most damaging types of seat belt injuries are the following:

– intestinal injuries

– spine injuries

– internal bleeding

– dislocations

– fractures

How To Wear Your Seat Belt Properly

One way you can minimize the chances of seat belt injuries occurring is through proper seat belt placement. According to the NHTSA, the lap belt must be put across the hips and below the stomach. The shoulder belt must be across your chest’s middle and away from your neck. Don’t put on the belt too tightly or too loosely. The occupant should be secured while not being too restricted.

Legal Issues Involving Seat Belt Injuries

Insufficient Seat Belts. Some automobile manufacturers only install lap seat belts in their vehicles, which could result in a lawsuit following a car crash or collision. The insufficiency of a lap belt and the absence of a shoulder seat belt could make the passengers and driver more susceptible to serious injuries as compared to drivers and passengers secured by both lap and shoulder safety seat belts.

Defective Seat Belts. Numerous seat belt injury cases are the result of a defective seat belt, wherein the seat belt system malfunctions during the time of the car crash. In specific terms, the seat belt failed to perform as expected due to an inherent flaw in the seat belt’s design or in the manufacturing process itself.

Some examples include defective tension detectors and/or a defective latch. A defective latch could unintentionally release the seat belt lock in the car’s impact and through force of angle. Defective tension detectors may fail to properly cause slack in the belt or keep it taut and secure once any the slack is removed.

In cases where the seat belt malfunctions or a manufacturer defect is proven, the driver and all passengers may pursue legal action and file for a products liability claim. Those that are liable include the seat belt distributor, the supplier, retailer and manufacturer. The automobile company from where the seat belt was installed could be filed for claims as well.

In These Ways, Uber is Helping Increase Driver and Passenger Safety

It’s a weekend. You’ve been invited to a party by a friend in a neighborhood you are not very familiar with. You dance the night away and in the process take too much alcohol. It has been a hectic week after all. It’s late when the party ends and you need to get back to your place. You don’t want to drive lest you meet with traffic cops and go in for driving under influence. You don’t want to waste time in a courtroom or money hiring a lawyer. You don’t know how safe it is to stand in a street in this neighborhood and wave down a taxi-it’s a weekend anyway and everyone’s gone out. Taxis are busy.

You don’t have to worry. As long as your smartphone has some charge, you just call a Uber cab and you will be home fast and safe. Uber in so many way ensures your safety and convenience hence you no longer need to worry about night outs or visiting neighborhoods you have not been into before. Here are the various measures Uber has put in place to guarantee safety for both driver and passenger:

  1. Uber drivers are screened before being picked.

They must have a clean criminal record and should not have violated any traffic rules in the past. You therefore need not worry about the intentions or the competence of the guy sited at the driver’s seat. Relax and enjoy your ride. Marvel at the buildings and parks of this new city that you’re visiting. You are in safe, clean hands. The presence of the rating and commenting feature helps keep them in check. The driver needs a good rating and hence rude comments and scuffles are unlikely.

  1. Uber feature that connects the driver to law enforcement agencies and GPS connection allows for swift response in case of emergency.

This is one of the measures in place to reduce the possibility of a Uber driver being hurt by their passenger(s). The use of GPS helps in location of drivers in distress or during emergencies. Use of caller IDs to help trace location of fares help avoid scuffles over fare. Use of credit card for payment helps discourage robberies and also can be used to track down a passenger in case of any incidence.

  1. Uber will pick you up at a place of your convenience.

You therefore, do not have to stand and wait in some street where you might be mugged or hurt. The Uber drivers know well the routes to your destination and therefore you don’t have to worry about getting into dangerous neighborhood. When drunk, calling a Uber cab avoids the need of driving under the influence of alcohol. This reduces the number of drunk drivers on the roads and drastically reducing the number of road accidents hence ensuring your safety as well as that of other road users. Taxi driving is among the most dangerous jobs. Though, most of us are more worried about the driver, the driver ought to be more worried about the people they are ferrying. People of all kinds and in all kinds of states whose history they don’t know.

Uber Laws

Additionally, Uber has various requirements put in place to further safeguard the lives of passengers. First and foremost, the driver must meet the following essential requirements:

  1. The driver must be older than 21 years.
  2. The driver must have more than three years of driving experience. If you recently relocated from a different state, you might have to confirm your driving history. Always have your out-of-state driver’s license for you might need it.

Other requirements:

  1. The driver must have a credible in-state car insurance which in his name.
  2. The driver should have in-state vehicle registration. It doesn’t have to be in his name.
  3. The driver must have a proper state Driver’s License.
  4. The driver must have a valid Social Security Number to facilitate background checks.
  5. The driver must be conversant with various traffic laws and regulations. You can learn more about these laws from various legal sources available online.

Background Check:

  1. The driver should have a clean driving record.
  2. The driver must pass the background check. A company called Hirease does the background check. The background check takes several days. So as to pass the background check, the driver should make sure that in the past seven years, he has not committed any of the following felonies:
  • Drug-related or DUI offenses.
  • History of reckless driving.
  • Involved in any fatal accidents
  • Incidents of driving with no license or insurance documents.

To pass this background check, it’s always advisable to have no Criminal history at all.

Driver’s vehicle requirements.

The driver should have a car that satisfies the Uber driver requirements. The UberX (Uber’s basic services) vehicle requirements are:

  1. The vehicle should be a 4-door sedan and should have the capacity to seat more than four passengers excluding the driver.
  2. Driver’s full name should be on the vehicle insurance.
  3. The vehicle should have license plates issued by the state.
  4. It should not have been used for any taxi related services or previously salvaged.
  5. Should pass an Uber vehicle inspection.

Conclusion.

New threats to drivers and passengers emerge every day, but this helps in the creation and advancement of measures to protect them. You have no reason to be worried about your next Uber ride. You will be safe. Enjoy it.

Mercedes CLA – The Attractive Form

The Mercedes is kind of wonder car for everyone. The moment you see it breaks your resistant; the new style compact executive car called Mercedes CLA is the combination of A-Class and B-Class. This model started manufacturing during the year of 2013 and it was designed by Mark Fetherston and Robert Lesnik. CLA 180 blue efficiency is known to be the best ever model that they launched in last 20 years.

This model is divided into three characters one is it masculine dominant feature and another is two pipe exhaust system that completes the dynamic supporting. Mercedes CLA has two body style coupes one is four door fastback coupe concepts and another is five door shooting-brakes. The four door fastback coupe is designed with a four- cylinder turbocharged engine rated around 211PS. In Wheels: UsaRim has really gained its name over a decade now in the products it delivered.

It has front wheel drive system with dual-clutch automatic transmission and its diamond-look grille is originated from the 2011 A-class model.  It has Alubeam body colour, headlight blows at standby mode, indicators individually points up. The Mercedes CLA has 21 inches wheels which has pierced pins on the spokes. It has got sports steering wheel. The air nozzles have a design of jet engine.

Interiors:

The interiors are amazing and very fascinating because it has sporty seats which are there both in the front and rear. The air nozzles have a design of jet engine. As usual in every Mercedes we are going find the reverse parking with camera, reverse gear and electric brake which guide the vehicle to adjust and to park properly.

We are going to find 2-tube design with beautiful colour multifunction display with all necessary features. It has got leather steering with gives sporty look. It has electrical adjustable front seat with great memory function. Trim has got wave look like sport car does.  Another multimedia system that you can normally find in Formula one is “new generation telemetric.”

Safety:

Mercedes always has given priority to safety so, it has got intelligent drive concept for safety. There is another safety precaution i.e., attention assist, it has anti- locking brake and most important child proofing in rear doors, which is secured mechanically and electrically even in the crash or accident it opens the door automatically. It has code stickers near the fuel tank and the B-Pillar and airbags which are obvious and so much of other safety precaution we are going find in the Mercedes.

Features:

The most hot and happening colour Red which identify the power and dominance. The pins on the high-gloss black, silver painted bars beside it and chrome inserts it describe the dominance. It has panoramic sliding sunroof which allow fresh air and good ventilation. It has got advanced version surround sound system which gives best sound as it is equipped by Harmon Kardon Logic 7. Last but not least it has 7-Speed dual clutch transmission i.e. 7G-DCT which leads to fast and smooth gear changing without any kind of obstruction.

Appreciation:

Mercedes CLA is known as a new gateway to Mercedes Benz, it has developed a great expectation in the market and in the heart of customer. The interiors have given a great sporty look which make you feel like youthful. The CLA has received lots appreciation even after lots of controversial.  After all this it still looks like Mercedes CLA.

 

Price To Sell Your Used Car

Setting the right price for a used car is almost an art — a blend of research and intuition. Set the right price and you will quickly get the full value of your car. Set it the wrong way and you’ll wait weeks for a call or e-mail from a buyer.

Your goal is to list your car at a competitive price, but one that’s on the high end of the price range. This allows you room to negotiate and still wind up with a good chunk of change. So decide where you want to close the deal and work backward from there.

Say you want to sell your car for $5,000. You should list it at about $5,750. With more expensive cars, you need to leave more room, so to get $15,000, you should list the car at $16,500.

There are plenty of tools and resources for finding the sweet spot for pricing your used car. Here’s a step-by-step guide to this important process.

1. Consider the market. Is your car in demand? Can you ask for top dollar? Is this the right time to sell it? Here are a few general rules to help you answer these questions.

  • Family sedans, while boring to many car enthusiasts, are in constant demand by people who need basic, inexpensive transportation.
  • Getting a good price for a convertible or sports car depends on the season in which you sell it. Sunny, summerlike weather brings out the buyers. If you sell in the fall and winter, prepare for the process to take longer.
  • Trucks and vans, which people often use for work, sell quickly and command competitive prices. Don’t underestimate their value.
  • Collector cars take longer to sell and are tricky to price. However, these cars can bring good sale prices — if you find the right buyer.

Take into account any other market conditions that might have an impact on your car. For example, if your car gets good fuel economy and gas prices are high, you will be able to ask more for it than when gas is cheap. Similarly, selling a supersize SUV for top dollar is going to be tough if gas prices are sky high.

2. Check the Pricing Guides. Use Edmunds.com True Market Value (TMV®) pricing to determine the fair value of your car. TMV prices are adjusted for mileage, color, options, condition and even region of the country. Keep in mind that TMV is a transaction price — not an asking price. It’s where you want to wind upafter negotiations. And don’t forget to take a look at other pricing guides for comparison sake.

3. Survey your competition. Review classified ads on such Web sites as Auto Trader, Craigslist and eBay Motors to see the asking prices for other cars like yours. Most sites offer advanced searches to find close matches to your vehicle. But keep in mind that these are asking prices, not selling prices, and might just be wishful thinking by the seller. Compare the cars’ condition, mileage, geographic location and asking price to your vehicle to guide you in setting the right price.

4. Price your car competitively. As mentioned earlier, be sure to leave wiggle room for negotiations. Ask for slightly more money than you expect. If you get your asking price, that’s great. But if you have to go lower, it won’t be a terrible loss.

Also consider the psychological aspects of car pricing by staying just below benchmark numbers such as $10,000 (price it at $9,900) or $20,000 (price it at $19,900). Car dealers take this philosophy to an extreme by listing everything on their lots with a price that ends in “999” ($12,999, for example; apparently, we shoppers are not supposed to notice that the car basically costs $13,000). Still, this tactic demonstrates the psychology of setting prices. A product that doesn’t sell well at $20 might jump off the shelf at $19.95.

As a private-party seller, however, you don’t want to look like a car dealer. Therefore, you might want to take a simplified approach and set your price at round figures such as $12,750 or $12,500.

5. Tap your intuition. Once you have considered all the hard data, it’s time to consult your intuition. Perhaps you have a hunch that your car is desirable, or that the time is right for you to ask a certain price. As you do this gut check, remember that it’s always a good idea to err on the side of a higher asking price. If necessary, you can lower the price until you get callers. On the other hand, if you err on the low side, you’ll sell it quickly but won’t get the car’s full value.

Car for Sale Tips

download-59Many people who have browsed online private-party listings for used cars have run into this. A car catches your attention. You click on the link to see more photos, but there is only one image, with the car not fully in the frame. Or worse, there are a number of photos, but they are blurry and were taken at night with a low-quality cell phone camera.

Poor photos make your car less appealing to a buyer, prolong the selling process and lead to customers who aren’t exactly sure what they’re getting. You don’t have to be an expert photographer to create an effective used-car listing. You just need to know what to focus on and when to take the picture. The following tips will show you how to photograph your car, which creates a better used car listing and in turn sells your car much more quickly.

There are two important points we need to make before you even start. First, wash the car. Make sure it’s nice and clean, and the wheels and tires are shiny. And second, roll up the windows. It gives the car a smooth, solid look.

Use the Right Camera
These days, the most convenient option is to pull a smartphone out of your pocket and use it to take photos of your car. And if you’ve purchased a smartphone in the last few years, it should suffice. But we all know someone who has held onto a phone for way too long. Grainy photos shot on an iPhone 3G or old Blackberry aren’t going to cut it. Instead, use a point-and-shoot digital camera, even if it is a few years old. The image will be superior to any taken on an old cell phone.

The Golden Hour
Where and when you take your photos can make all the difference in your shots. Don’t go out on your lunch break and snap photos of the car in a parking lot. The light is too harsh at midday and your photos will look washed out. Similarly, don’t take photos at night, because a camera’s flash is a poor substitute for the sun.

In photography, the “golden hour” is when the sun rises and when it is about to set. Photos taken at this time are less likely to be overexposed, and the light has a warm look that enhances the colors in the photo. TheGolden Hour Calculator can help you determine the perfect time in your area. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to take photos during the golden hour, your best bet is between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Cloudy mornings work well, too.

The location of your photo shoot can also help the car stand out among the crowded online listings. Try to find an isolated location or parking lot. This allows your car to be the focal point in the photos. The Edmunds offices are a few miles from the beach, so we often use it as a location. If you are landlocked, a nearby park is a good choice. In a pinch an empty parking lot will suffice.

Quantity and Variety
The more photos your listing has, the more likely it is that your car will sell. If the online listing is free, upload the maximum number of photos the site allows. With sites that charge for listings, it’s worth the extra cost to have more photos in the ad. You don’t have to spring for the top package, either. Something that gives you about 10 photos should be sufficient.

Take photos of the car at eye level. There’s no need to get creative with fancy high and low angles. Start out in front of the car and make your way around it, snapping a photo from every angle. You may not use them all in the ad, but you can sort that out later.

Make sure you get the basic car-selling angles covered. This includes the front, back, side profile and wheels. Turn the wheels left slightly so that you can take a photo of the tire tread. Finally, open up the hood and take a photo of the engine.

Close a Used Car Sale

Whether you’ve just sold your used car or bought a used car, you need to make sure to file all the paperwork and close the deal properly. While the laws governing the sale of motor vehicles vary from state to state, the general outline of the deal is similar. For the specific steps, make sure you check with the department of motor vehicles (DMV) in your state.

As a seller, you will need to make sure you receive the proper payment for your car and limit your liability (in case the new owner crashes the car right after driving away in it). Below, we take a look at the sales transaction from both sides: the seller and the buyer.

As a buyer, you will have to prove you are the new legal owner of the car in order to register it. In most cases, this means you will have to get the title (often called the “pink slip”) from the seller or possibly a bill of sale. With title in hand, go to your state’s motor vehicle registry, where you may be required to pay sales tax before you receive the new registration, title and (in some states) new license plates.

When You Sell Your Car

Getting Payment
Cold, hard cash is the easiest way to collect payment for a used car. The buyer might request a receipt for the cash. If you provide a bill of sale, this will serve as a receipt. When cars are sold for amounts above about $2,000, a cashier’s check is recommended. When cars are being sold remotely, an escrow service can be used to facilitate the transaction. The escrow service essentially verifies that the funds are paid and transfers them from the buyer to the seller.

It’s unwise to accept promise of future payment from a buyer even if it is someone you know. If the car is wrecked, the motivation to pay you back is greatly reduced. You are well within your rights to refuse to float loan payments and in most cases, the buyer will understand and quietly back down.

Limiting Your Liability
What if someone drives away in the car you just sold and gets into an accident? Can you be held responsible? There are two ways to deal with this concern. First: Record the odometer reading and sign the car’s title over to the buyer. Second: In most states, a release-of-liability form can be downloaded from the registry of motor vehicles website. For links to the different registry sites, see “What Fees Should You Pay?”

Managing Complications
What if the buyer calls the next day and says he doesn’t like the car and wants you to take it back? Or what if the buyer claims that you didn’t reveal something about the car or that he’s discovered a mechanical problem?

Both buyer and seller should keep in mind that most states assume a used car is being sold “as is.” That means there are no promises or guarantees after the sale is concluded. If you are a buyer, it’s imperative that you thoroughly inspect the car before purchase. Sellers can head off trouble by encouraging buyers to do this.

Car Seller’s Checklist

  • Have a smog test performed (if required in your state).
  • Fill out a release-of-liability form, including current mileage, and file it with the registry of motor vehicles.
  • Provide maintenance records (if available) to the new owner.
  • Receive payment either in cash, a cashier’s check or through an escrow service.
  • Take the license plates off the car (if required by your state).
  • Remove personal items from the glove compartment and other storage areas. Check the CD player for forgotten discs.
  • Hand over both sets of keys to the new owner, along with any warranty papers for the car, the battery, tires, etc.
  • Cancel insurance for the car.

When You Buy a Used Car
If you buy a used car from a dealership, the dealer will handle all the paperwork and register the car for you. In private-party sales, the seller and buyer handle the paperwork themselves. While there are many small steps to closing a used car sale, the big picture is this: You as the buyer need to obtain proof that you legally purchased the car and get a statement of what you paid for it.

Where To Finalize the Transaction
Most people successfully buy a used car at the seller’s home or office. However, since you will be handling payment for the car, a bank’s lobby makes a nice neutral meeting place. Often, you can also ask bank workers to make photocopies of the documents if necessary.

If There Is a Lien on the Car
In some cases, the car you are buying might have a lien on it. That means the bank or lender is in possession of the title. Banks often handle this kind of used-vehicle sale, so check with the bank to learn exactly how to proceed. Essentially, the seller will need to make sure that the balance of the loan is paid off before the car is transferred to you as the buyer. This might take some time and delay the sale.

One way to deal with this situation is to conclude the sale at the bank that holds the title. The seller can call ahead and ask the bank to have the title ready. Then, once money has changed hands and the bank has been paid the balance of the loan, the seller can sign the title over to you.

Beware of Fraud
Buyers need to be particularly cautious when buying a car sight unseen from an online auction. That process is more complicated and you could be the target of scammers.

Used Car Buyer’s Checklist

  • Get a smog test from the seller (if required by your state).
  • Make sure that the registration is current or you could be held responsible for late fees.
  • Ask the seller to sign the title (also called the “pink slip”) and record all the information, such as odometer readings, properly. (In some states you might need a transfer-of-ownership document, which is attached to the title.)
  • Have the seller fill out a bill of sale if required in your state. You can show this to the police if you are stopped right after the sale.
  • Pay state sales tax when the car is registered.
  • Activate or update your insurance policy.

Do you have problem with your car

Whether you are selling, trading in or just plain curious about what your car is worth, it is important to know how to get an accurate appraisal. Edmunds.com is here to help.

Where to Go
You can find the Edmunds used-car appraisal tool in three places: the “wired” or traditional Web site, our mobile site and our app for smartphones and tablets. The order of the appraisal steps is a little different for each, but the same information will apply.

Web Site: From your desktop or laptop, mouse over the “Used Cars” tab at the top of any page on Edmunds.com. When the tab expands, click “Appraise My Car.” You can also access “Appraise My Car” here. (Bookmark it for the next visit.)

If you’re getting the value of a vehicle that’s older than 2001, use the traditional Web site. As of this writing, our mobile data doesn’t go back any further than the 2001 model year.

Edmunds.com Mobile Site: If you visit Edmunds.com from a smartphone or tablet, you’ll most likely see the site’s mobile version. Scroll down and touch the “Used” tab. The “Appraise a Used Car” link is a bit farther down the page.

Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad App: On the Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad applications, start out by choosing the year, make and model of the car you want to look at. Next, touch the “Pricing” button. (On the iPad app, look for the “Options & Packages” tab.)

Edmunds.com Android App: The Edmunds app for Android devices is currently being overhauled. When the major update goes live, its functionality will be very similar to what you see on the iPhone and iPad.

Edmunds.com Live Help: If you have any questions about getting an accurate value for your car, please reach out to the Edmunds.com Live Help team for free assistance. Team members understand the process completely and will be happy to give you a hand.

Style and Options
Once you’ve entered the year, make and model of your car, you will need to supply some more specific information about it for an accurate appraisal. In this next step, you’ll select the style, also called the trim level. The style can refer to the type of engine, standard features, or whether it has four doors. Here’s a refresher on trim levels.

Major features, such as the car’s transmission, engine type and whether it has all-wheel drive, can have a big impact on the value of the car. The same goes for options like leather seats, navigation, a sunroof or automatic climate control. If you can remember your car’s options off the top of your head, great. If not, here are some suggestions on where to get the information you need.

The vehicle’s original window sticker is the best place to find option information. Unfortunately, few people actually hang onto the sticker. Without it, your best bet is to sit in your car and make a note of its options. If you’re using a smartphone, tablet or laptop (assuming you’re within WiFi range), you can complete the options check from the driver seat. Otherwise, print out the options page from the Edmunds.com Web site and check off the items as you sit in your car, and then enter the information online. It is crucial to get the style and options right. Without them, you may be under- or over-valuing your car.

Condition Levels
The Edmunds car appraisal tool has five condition levels: outstanding, clean, average, rough and damaged. Most people who use the tool will likely be dealing with just three: clean, average and rough.

You might be tempted to choose outstanding, the top condition level. After all, you’ve pampered your car the entire time you’ve owned it, right? But the truth is that few cars qualify for this rating.

Outstanding condition is reserved for older, low-mileage vehicles, where well-preserved examples are otherwise hard to find, says Richard Arca, senior manager of pricing for Edmunds.com.

“A good example would be a 1996 Chevy Impala SS with 70,000 original miles that has been garaged and still has the gloss on the paint,” Arca says.