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by Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin, March 30, 2010
It’s easy to get money-saving advice when you’re shopping for a new or used car. You can get information about market values how much dealers pay for cars at Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book, lists of local inventory and prices at AutoTrader.com and Vehix, and those famed reviews from Consumer Reports and others.
But where do you get the scoop on what it will cost you to keep that ride running, and hear from other owners about what went wrong with their cars?
AutoBeef is a free service where owners of the make and model you’re interested in reveal their complaints. The information can provide clues to what might go wrong with your next car, when it might go wrong, and how much it can cost to fix it.
There’s also the CarTalk survey, where devotees of the popular NPR auto-advice program chime in on their experiences with specific vehicles. And Safercar.gov, operated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, compiles data on complaints, recalls and safety defects by car make, model and year.
Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.
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